Ever since Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was first announced back in 2017, Niantic Labs, along with WB Games and Portkey Games have been teasing information – usually a short video – but no actual videogame footage. Today, that’s now changed with the first gameplay details and screenshots being shared.
The premise around Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is that wizards and witches from around the world are being called upon to help investigate and contain a Calamity that has befallen the wizarding world, strange appearances of magic crossing over into the Muggle world. Players will need to cast spells and return ‘Foundables’ – artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories – trapped by Confoundable magic, to their proper place in an effort to keep magic hidden from Muggle eyes.
Gameplay will involve heading to Inns that can replenish a player’s Spell Energy, and where they can use magical ingredients for brewing special potions. Those lucky enough to find a Portkey will be able to open AR portals into iconic wizarding world locations and much more.
And of course, there’s going to be plenty of magical combat to enjoy when players visit real-world locations called Fortresses. These host real-time multiplayer battles against dangerous enemies called Wizarding Challenges. These will encourage players to work together to prevail against truly high-level threats, with success unlocking rare magical rewards.
If you’ve played Niantic Labs’ Pokemon Go then all of this will likely sound slightly familiar, with Raids, Poke-Stops, and Gyms sounding like they’ve had a magical makeover. Hopefully, the studios are saving the best to last, with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite coming to iOS and Android mobile devices in 2019.
AR videogames like Ghostbusters World from Ghost Corps and FourThirtyThree Inc., and Next Games’ The Walking Dead: Our World all offer something very similar with big franchise branding, so it remains to be seen how popular the Harry Potter franchise still is. As further details on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are released, VRFocus will let you know.