Anybody that is a big fan of the Harry Potter stories and the Wizarding World universe will find themselves getting completely immersed in the detailed accurate world that Hogwarts Legacy provides. Everything from how your character looks to the process of picking your wand and learning spells from professors at Hogwarts, this feels like a story significant to the universe while also being personal to you. It cannot be understated how much time and effort went into putting together environments to explore and surprises to discover within the adventure that fills this game. But does that also mean what you get from Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X is a fun gaming experience that is every bit as magical as the franchise that inspired it? One can happily say yes; this is the kind of gaming experience that Harry Potter fans have wanted to see for a very long time.
While there is a main plot that unfolds over the course of 30 – 40+ hours of game time, much of the focus is on your personal character engaging with things within the Wizarding World. It’s your character that attends Hogwarts as a fifth-year student, getting sorted into their house and building friendships and rivalries with fellow students also attending for the school year. But despite being thrown into classes a little later than most, everything still feels as whimsical as the first time fans of the series saw Harry Potter enter the great hall at Hogwarts. Exploring the school grounds have you coming across many characters and obstacles that have many variations, depending on the Hogwarts House you get sorted into. Some characters you’ll meet in classes, others you’ll find roaming the halls, and others you’ll come across outside of the school in places like Hogsmeade and the valley beyond that.
What makes the story of Hogwarts Legacy interesting is how your character is tied to ancient magic that feels removed from the events of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films but is still familiar enough to fit into the universe without being out of place. Your character has a mentor named Professor Eleazar Fig, who helps in solving the mystery magic you’re tied to, while also encouraging you to stay on top of your studies and improve your magical skills. The relationship with Fig is built up throughout the game, with some big moments towards the middle and later portions that definitely have an impact.
But on the other side is an evil goblin named Ranrok, who aims to use powerful magic to attack humans and create a goblin revolt against the wizarding world. He’s a major villain that you come across multiple times, with a clash that is built up over a long period. Other characters you meet help and hinder your way as things become more clear in the story, with the conflict between Ranrok and the Ministry of Magic reaching an explosive climax. Does it all have a satisfying conclusion by the end? Yes, but the game will have different outcomes based on a few critical choices near the end. Much of the enjoyment of this story is the journey toward the end, rather than the finale itself.
Despite all of that, Hogwarts Legacy feels very good to play. The controls for movement and combat are intuitive and easy to use in quick decision moments and puzzles. Whether you’re roaming on foot, in a magic duel, or flying a broom through the air, you won’t find any issues with how you control your character. Going in and out of the menus is easy and smartly done, with quick buttons or keys to get you into the world map or key menus when needed, but also back into the action without much hassle. There is a lot to look through, but it never feels like a chore to do so.
In the game, there are a few technical hiccups that you may come across, including a few minor bugs and glitches within the larger world or inside buildings. These happen infrequently and are quickly solved, especially if you fast-travel to a new location or reload a checkpoint. When things like this do happen they don’t bring the experience to a halt, but they do look goofy and out of place. Luckily, there are no game-breaking issues or problems that cause the whole experience to crash or suffer from major issues. With large game worlds, there’s always the potential for some issues to occur here and there, but fortunately Hogwarts Legacy doesn’t have much.
The customization of your character is pretty vast, with multiple gear options and facial choices available to make your preferred witch or wizard. The magic spells and items you find are open to everyone, regardless of your custom choices or alignment, but how you obtain them and what traits you get at first for your witch or wizard will be unique to how you play. Completing quests and defeating enemies gives you experience to level up, which increases your powers and opens up more options. Leveling up can take a while, especially if you’re skipping over most side quests in favor of the main storyline, but you’ll be forced to complete side quests to open up the main ones at some point. Specific spells are required to get around obstacles and defeat certain enemies, so it helps to gather all of the spells you can as early as possible.
Speaking of spells, your magic in combat is powerful. Battling dark wizards, creatures, and other magical beings is very fun and can get tense. While you can go in mashing buttons to throw magic bolts, it ends up being smarter to slow down and counter incoming enemy magic for counterattacks and reversals. Linking together different spells for combos really pays off in dealing damage and obtaining momentum to unleash big attacks. Some spells can levitate enemies or disarm them for quick follow-ups, while others will clear out groups or stagger them enough for you to unleash even stronger attacks.
You can find yourself getting into and out of battles fast while exploring, with little to no pause in-between, so the momentum of whatever you’re doing at the time keeps on going. Boss fights in certain areas are definitely spectacular, but arguably not as fun as fights against groups of enemies. There are definitely some big battles with larger enemies and titanic foes, but they often end up being patterns of waiting and using specific spells to stagger and follow up with extra attacks. They aren’t bad fights, but just not as tense, crazy, or interesting as the battles against multiple smaller enemies.
What about exploring the world around you? There are multiple options to do so, and all of them are as viable as the last. If you can see something out in the distance, chances are you can go up to it. You can quite literally walk through the entire world on foot, but why do that when you can use a broom to fly around or hop aboard a mount and glide through the air? The views of Hogwarts and the surrounding area you get while doing so are spectacular, giving a good sense of the scope of the distance you can explore.
But beyond that, areas like Hogwarts and Hogsmeade have multiple sections within them you can visit. Whether it’s key locations from the books and movies or new spots we’re seeing for the first time, things can get very intricate. Many quests will take you around the world of the game and you’ll find plenty of secrets all over. Anyone that wanted to really explore a segment of the Harry Potter universe will feel right at home since there are layers upon layers of ground to cover that is accurate to the franchise’s lore.
Whether you want to be a good student of magic or a vicious dark wizard is entirely up to you and the actions you take. There is no morality system in the game, but dialogue options between characters you meet and some quests you engage with change depending on some choices. You might get chastised by your professors or fellow students for being a jerk, but if you’re in Slytherin house then that might be totally fine for you. Major things don’t change, however, as most of the overarching plot and key events remain the same. Using things like the Unforgivable Curses also won’t significantly impact the outcome of the story either, so one can use things like Avada Kedavra often in combat and not see punishment handed out.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some variations in the game that you’ll find. Certain Hogwarts Houses have different quests that you can finish, while others will have entirely different perks to being part of them. Gryffindor will have the most quests available, while Ravenclaw has the least. Houses like Hufflepuff will have exclusive quests that take you to places like Azkaban Prison, while Slytherin will have Common Room interactions you won’t find anywhere else. There are many other differences that you can discover, each of which will make your experience at Hogwarts feel unique.
The Harry Potter franchise may have had many different games based on the Wizarding World, but none of them are as detailed or as high quality as Hogwarts Legacy. The level of reverence for the source material, the exciting battles, and the vast exploration you can have within this game make it a definitive experience for Harry Potter fans or anyone curious about this magical world. The story will be interesting for those who care about the lore of the series, though it might not have the same impact for all players. Yet the ride you go on here will still be a fun and magical experience nobody will forget. You might pick a different house to represent, but everybody will agree that this is the right way for anyone to attend Hogwarts moving forward.
Are you a fan of the Wizarding World or enjoy the Harry Potter movies? Will you be checking out Hogwarts Legacy on any platform? Post a comment down below and let us know your thoughts about the game!
There is a lot to explore and do within this game. Not only is the world super accurate to the Wizrading World universe, but there’s plenty of new things fans have never seen before. The controls feel good, and the combat is solid. Customization options and variations on events are also really good and will have you playing through the game multiple times. While there are some technical hiccups, the overall experience is very good and well worth picking up.
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