Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has finally unveiled a number of crucial gameplay details, thanks to a hands-on report released earlier today. The upcoming mobile game will feature a number of the property's most iconic elements, including the appearance of Dementors and the use of Portkeys.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be one of the most important mobile releases in recent memory. The game is being developed by Niantic, the creators of Pokemon GO, and will feature a franchise in Harry Potter that is one of the few multimedia presences larger than Pokemon. Niantic has also had years to learn from the initial shortcomings of Pokemon GO, which means fans are expecting a smoother, more robust launch for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
In the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite report from Eurogamer, there are a number of encouraging signs emerging from initial hands-on impressions with the title. The game will apparently focus on collaborative gameplay and storytelling, and will have everyone united on the same side rather than competing against each other. Players will instead choose from three classes - the Auror, Magizoologist, and Professor - and each will have skill trees to invest in. More importantly for fans, however, the game will also incorporate important visuals like the terrifying Dementors and the space-bending, teleportation-enabling Portkeys.
Dementors will be part of the many encounters with "Foundables," the broad terminology used to refer to the creatures, items, and characters that players will discover in the world of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game will ask players to investigate an event known as the Calamity which has caused various disastrous situations across the world, and will feature a story that unfolds over a series of updates and narrative beats that are supposed to span years.
As for Portkeys, they'll be teleporation items that players can pick up and then unlock with keys, which are being speculated to function like Pokemon GO's eggs and incubators system. Once unlocked, an AR portal will appear in front of the player that they can then walk through to find themselves within a recognizable location from the Wizarding World, such as Dumbledore's office. Once there, players can explore and find items as well.
There's a lot to unpack from the report, which also indicates that players will need to mimic spell-casting movements via touchscreen to succeed during encounters and that spawns will be tied to time of day, moon phase, and weather, among other things. There will also be Fortresses, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite's riff on Pokemon GO's raid system, that will ask players to team together to accomplish tasks that are geared towards specific classes. Fortresses will also be deeper than raids, with different levels to advance through.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite could genuinely be the biggest game release of 2019. It's hard to dispute how relevant Pokemon GO has been over the few years it has existed, and Niantic has learned a lot of lessons with that title as well. If the developer is able to apply that learning to a smoother, more involved launch for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, we could quite easily be looking at the next global game phenomenon.