New Harry Potter Game From Pokémon Go Creators Shows Portkeys, Giant Spider

Pokémon Go developer Niantic and WB Games just gave us our first in-depth look at the gameplay for their next augmented reality game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, slated for release sometime this year.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Gif: Niantic/WB Games
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From the screenshots and videos Niantic dropped today, it’s immediately apparent that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s beta looks a lot better than its Niantic predecessor. The character models’ graphics seem well-detailed, and the spells looks pretty damn good so far.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s gameplay doesn’t split players into teams as of now, Eurogamer reports, but they can choose one of three classes: the Magizoologist, the Professor, and the Auror, which, respectively, are good at taking down magical beasts, understanding the intricacies of magic, and spell-casting. Everybody is a member of a group of top wizards called the Statue of Secrecy Task Force, which aims to neutralize evildoing “artefacts” from around the world. Here’s Niantic’s description of the game’s plot from the website:

A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories to mysteriously appear in the Muggle world. Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to solve the mystery of The Calamity, overcome the confounding chaotic magic that surrounds these “Foundables,” and return them to their rightful place, keeping them safe from Muggle eyes. Your journey begins as a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, established by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards for the purpose of investigating and containing The Calamity.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Gif: Niantic/WB Games

Those Foundables will function basically like Pokémon in Pokémon Go—players must hunt them down down in the game’s augmented reality, but then, instead of catching them, players will destroy or neutralize them with spells.

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Spells used by players will cost Spell Energy, which players can replenish at “Inns found at Muggle locations around the world,” the website reads. The site continues, “While exploring, you’ll also come across ingredients that can be used to brew Potions, which will aid you in different aspects of your Wizarding World journey. These ingredients can be found on the Map, varying by the environment, weather, and time of day, as well as in specially designated Greenhouses.”

Players can also visit Fortresses, where the game hosts real-time multiplayer challenges like fighting Dementers. Right now, Eurogamer reports, these raid locations can accommodate five players. Most exciting to me are the game’s Portmanteaus, locations that unlock Portkeys—an item from Harry Potter that, here, will transfer players to locations in the wizarding world in 360-degree augmented reality.

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Pre-registration is now open for Google Play, but not yet for iOS users.

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