I HAVE always been captivated by magical worlds and the first time I was introduced to Harry, Ron, and Hermione as a 9-year-old, I was entranced.
Their world captured my imagination and I’ve been a dedicated fan ever since, even getting a tattoo inspired by them. My love for the Wizarding World reached a new height when Hogwarts Legacy was announced by PlayStation in 2020. After 21 years of being a fan, I was finally going to have the chance to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a witch.
Hogwarts Legacy is an action role-playing video game developed by Avalanche Software for PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch, and is set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It takes place in the late 1800s, long before the events of the Harry Potter books and films.
Players can create their own character and attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where they will learn magic, make friends and enemies, and uncover the hidden secrets of the Wizarding World. The game features an open world environment, as well as spells, creatures, and characters from the Harry Potter universe. This is the first time players have been able to create their own character in this world, and as a self proclaimed expert – I was so ready to jump in!
Return to Hogwarts
After undergoing a thorough customisation process, you are transported into the wondrous world of magic. From the start, you are immediately drawn into the life of a 5th-year Hogwarts student, embarking on a journey of self-discovery and magical adventure. With the help of your trusted mentor, you successfully complete the tutorial and arrive at Hogwarts where you are sorted into one of the four houses – Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. If you have linked your Wizarding World account to your device, your house will be automatically determined. However, you have the option to switch houses if you so choose.
I won’t spoil too much of the story for you, but I can say without a doubt, that it is extremely gripping. From the moment I set foot in this game I felt so invested in my character and the immersion of your surroundings through the colours and music is some sort of magic in itself.
It is clear that Hogwarts is in it’s earlier years, but the foundations of grandeur coziness remain familiar and comforting as you walk its corridors. This game has it’s own personality that sets it apart from the origins of the franchise, it feels authentic and rich with detail.
A Whole New World
We (well, most of us) are all familiar with the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmede, but beyond those iconic places, the fog that surrounds the castle hides many mysteries vital to our protagonists journey. I would suggest you gather supplies and gain as much magical knowledge as you can before exploring too far from the castle.
Be prepared to be pulled in many different directions as you move through the main questline, in some instances there will be side quests and assignments to complete before you can continue your journey.
The game features both an experience levelling system and a gearing system which assists in your survivability while out adventuring or dueling a fellow classmate.
Players will also need to manage their talent trees according to what side of magic they would like to prioritise. I particularly enjoyed the configuration of the Floo Flame network – fast travel is always a great feature in games, and I found the time adjustment mechanic very useful as some quests can only be done at certain times of day. The system has proven to be user-friendly and the process of leveling up does not feel tedious which is important for a game of this size.
Be certain to scour every nook and cranny of your environment, you never know what kinds of magical equipment you might find. Almost everything is collectable in the game including your previous gear’s appearance, animals, enemies, and so much more. It was rumored that players’ house dormitories were going to be customisable and to that I say that was wrong… but you’re still definitely in for a treat with another element of customisation in the game.
This game will definitively appeal to the magical collector in any player and I definitely be going back and finishing my collections.
I may or may not have gasped when I cast my first spell, it felt positively… magical. Acquiring new spells elevates your sense of power and enhances the overall gameplay experience during battles, so it’s definitely worth doing your homework. The gameplay feels “Souls-like” and also features an auto target system. A few early launch bugs here and there, enemies and capes getting awkwardly stuck, but the satisfaction of using your spells and special abilities is undeniable.
On a less positive note, I found the user interface too small at times, especially my health bar and the health bar of minor enemies. Not game breaking but something I had to get used to.
Now, I know everyone cares about the flying, and I am here to tell you it is average and takes quite a bit of getting used to.
I found it extremely useful when exploring however the mechanics felt robotic and not smooth enough for me to feel enticed to complete the various flying side quests just yet. I can see they are moving in a positive direction with it, especially with the stamina bar and the small customisations you can make, but I do hope they are able to refine it if they do decide to release more content in the future.
Hogwarts Legacy feels great to play. The varying levels of emotions, from innocent joy to dark and twisted really capture what I imagine life growing up as a witch or wizard would feel like.
The overall arching theme of morality or magic tells the story in a deep and meaningful way for players, it’s weaved into every element of the game.
I truly feel this game has opened the door for some incredible story telling in this world, and I look forward to the future of gaming in the Wizarding World.