Arthur Parsons, Game Director of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 was on site in Orlando, FL for Warner Bros. Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration weekend. With him were playable demos of the game, on Wii and Playstation 3. I stopped by to chat with Arthur about the game, and learned a lot of exciting things. For the moment, I'll focus on playable characters. Parsons said:
We love bettering ourselves in the LEGO series. So in the first game ["Years 1-4"] there were 167 freeplay characters. Now, some of those were "Gryffindor Boy" or "Ravenclaw Girl." But years 5-7 has amazing characters. This time around, on the console versions, we have 200 free-play characters. All of them are great characters, so whether it's Bellatrix or Professor Slughorn or Umbridge or Blaise Zabini all the characters are there...
And the cool thing is, they all do cool stuff. With Profesor Slughorn, you can turn into an armchair. And there's... there's no need for it, but because he does it in the fiction, it's like, we thought we'd do it in the game. So, 200 characters, and it was a bit of a job getting it to fit on a disc, but every character that a Harry Potter fan would want to play is in there. Even characters like the Grey Lady. You don't expect to be able to play them, but they are there. And we have just crammed everything into it.
After DEMOing the game, Arthur also informed me that a DLC pack (downloadable content) for the game will be released that includes ten more playable characters, including Peeves. If you've never played a LEGO Harry Potter title, you should know that each character has their own strengths and weaknesses (both on and off a broomstick), as well as their own special abilities. For more information and our full interview with Arthur, stay tuned!