The Harry Potter video game I've been fantasizing about since I was a teenager is Hogwarts Legacy. I read every Harry Potter book when it was released and during the wait period between books, I read and created fanfiction set in the Wizarding World. A large-scale role-playing game that allowed me to attend Hogwarts has been created, and 16 years later, I would have given my tiny emo soul for it. (And I now understand what transpired to my spirit.)
Magic is present throughout Hogwarts Legacy. It's a sizable, stunning open-world role-playing game with secrets, peril, and adorable creatures crammed into every crevice that goes far beyond the boundaries of the wizarding school. In this setting, casting spells rapidly becomes second nature, and when it comes to problems, my magical intuition is frequently accurate and well-rewarded. The combination of sophisticated spellwork and lightning-fast reactions in combat consistently produces a smooth, pleasant flow. While playing Hogwarts Legacy, I feel strong. And that's all I've ever really wanted: to feel like a witch.
Although we weren't given much time to prepare for the review, I believe I've played Hogwarts Legacy enough to have formed solid judgments on it. I've played the PC game for around 22 hours, and I still have one skill left to add to my witch's skill set. He goes by Goku Grogu, belongs to the Hufflepuff house, and has a 13-inch wand with a dragon heartstring core. He's striving to become the dark wizard of Hufflepuff.
Hogwarts Legacy's combat takes place in a number of settings and pits players against various foes, and it's always mouthwatering. All of these movements lead to intense, fluid duels as players enter battle with 16 spells ready to cast, a wheel stocked of potions and plants, a meter that creates extra-powerful magic moves, and some basic defenses. My witch's movements link together in a way that feels volatile and magical, and spells, healing potions, and protego bubbles react even at the last minute. Each new battleground presents a different strategy and challenge, and I always look forward to putting my skills and various outfit upgrades to the test.
While the action may be in the combat, the game's key features are personalization and exploration. Hogwarts is teeming with students who can help—or not—and the institution is full with secrets, any of which can be unlocked with the right mix of inquiry and spellwork. I've spent a lot of time simply jogging through the school's hallways and through its grounds, content to explore while idly gaining experience and taking in the secrets around me.
This process is only made more delightful by flying. Flight in Hogwarts Legacy feels just how I expected it to: smooth, quick, and stylish, with always magnificent views, whether you're on a broomstick or the back of a thestral.
Players continuously run upon sidequests, challenges, secrets, puzzles, and obstacle courses as the map grows past Hogwarts, Hogsmeade's streets, and the Forbidden Forest's bounds. The world is big, but it's designed with purpose and is genuinely beautiful; rather than being the outcome of procedural creation, it was intentionally created. My Quests tab is continually expanding, and there is always something to discover, a new puzzle to complete, or a talent to learn. Furthermore, anytime I need to grind or take a break from the main plot, I truly enjoy completing the tasks I come across.
The Hogwarts Legacy to-do list seemed to go on forever. For instance, the game's introduction of interior design elements in the Room of Requirement takes place around 10 hours in. Here, players can customize a vast room's decor, from the architectural details to the positioning and color of certain tables, chairs, paintings, rugs, and trinkets. The player's clothing-upgrade loom, potions tables, herbology boxes, and captive animals are kept in this valuable chamber as well. I've probably spent hours perfecting the look of my own Room of Requirement, but I adore the outcome and have loved every minute of the process.
The abundance of content in Hogwarts Legacy has the potential to get boring, but so far throughout my playthrough, it hasn't. After more than 20 hours, I still feel the magic.
I was particularly eager to make potions before beginning the game because this was my favorite activity in Pottermore, the browser-based Hogwarts student simulator that vanished into oblivion in the middle of the 2010s. I found the process of making potions in Pottermore, which required reading formulas and physically moving components at the right times, to be wonderfully serene. Making potions isn't particularly difficult in Hogwarts Legacy, though. Like growing plants, you just get the components and set them out on the table for a bit. It's a squandered opportunity, but the mechanics work for the game; in a world this bustling and large, acquiring ingredients is the problem, not the fine details of chopping, stirring, grinding, measuring, and timing.
In Hogwarts Legacy, the primary plots are standard fantasy tropes. Two major plotlines intersect: one pits players against goblin revolutionaries seeking to exterminate wizardkind, and the other is a thorough exploration of an old and potent magic that only you, the main character, may use. The final storyline, which features a group of old fogies continuously putting a child in perilous situations while withholding critical information and stroked their long white beards, will be painfully familiar to Harry Potter aficionados. We now know where Dumbledore obtained it, I suppose.
Personally, I find the emphasis on the Goblin Rebellions to be annoying. Although it's an obvious choice for a Harry Potter prequel, it works as a basic fantasy notion, and the game hasn't yet shown that it was a particularly wise choice. While there are many potential for class, power, and revolution within this framework, the presumption up to this point has been "goblins are bad, wizardkind is wonderful." Regardless matter how this plot develops, I would have preferred a more subtle strategy or a unique foe.
There are many reasons to wonder whether the portrayal of goblins in Harry Potter is intrinsically antisemitic or the result of centuries of antisemitic codes used in European literature to describe vampires, dwarfs, and other monsters. You should know that goblins in Hogwarts Legacy are not very different from those in the books, thus this lecture is not likely to change your opinion of the subject.
Reviews and tweets about the game would undoubtedly focus on the topic of goblins and antisemitism, but because the transphobic beliefs of the author of the Harry Potter books have been widely known, this topic has naturally taken center stage. It has prompted others to demand a boycott of Hogwarts Legacy, and some of these people are criticizing anyone who writes reviews, streams, or comments negatively about the game. Any more general criticism of the game itself has been overtaken by this dispute.
For those worried that Hogwarts Legacy may contain transphobic or prejudiced material: The Harry Potter novels' author was not engaged in the writing or development of the game, and its universe is really more diverse than any in the series' history. Importantly, the Hogwarts Legacy character builder enables players create their own names and offers a variety of gender, voice, and appearance choices. It essentially functions as a Mary Sue machine in fanfiction. This is perfect for an interactive role-playing game since it has personalization features that let people project their own personalities onto the main character, a student sorcerer with extra-special abilities who is surrounded by ordinary magic users. Fantasy RPG gamers are likely familiar with this premise.
Its abundance of activities, puzzles, and breathtaking moments, as well as its meticulously honed combat systems, set this game apart from other open-world role-playing games. The magical Hogwarts Legacy increases not only the area around the school but also the parameters of representation in a hugely well-liked fantasy universe. It's the coolest piece of Harry Potter fanfiction I've seen in a while, and I can't wait to start reading it. especially if a DLC for advanced potion creation is planned.