Hogwarts Legacy opens up the world of Harry Potter to let us muggles become Witches or Wizards, but is it any good? The Harry Potter world has been a big part of our lives, from excitedly buying the latest books, seeing the films on opening night to seeing my young son’s face light up as he opened the door to the Great Hall at Harry Potter world.
For years, fans of the series have been crying out for a game that let live out their own Hogwarts Adventures and finally they can in Hogwarts Legacy. You play as a student drafted into Hogwarts in the fifth year, a rare occurrence. You have spent the summer being mentored by Professor Fig to prepare you for life as a witch or wizard. After creating your character you begin to travel to Hogwarts. What should be a simple journey isn’t a you discover some interesting secrets that forms the story.
When you do finally arrive at Hogwarts you take part in the sorting ceremony, you’ll answer a few questions and the hat will decide which house you’ll be part of, however if you don’t like the choice you can change this straight away. You’ll need to make one full playthrough as one house and three partial playthroughs as the others if you want to pick up all of the achievements.
Because you have joined Hogwarts so late you’ll have a lot of catching up to do in order to pass your O.W.L.S, so your teachers will give you extra curricular tasks to help with your learning. On completion of these tasks you’ll be taught various spells to use throughout the game.
The array of spells you learn will give you a huge arsenal of power that will give you the ability to navigate the world, all the classic spells are available. You have a basic cast that will deal damage and then you can use a combination of attack spells to cause more chaos. Depending on the path you take you will eventually learn cursed spells which ultimately teaches you Avada Kedavra which is a one hit kill. There are a whole host of other spells that will help you in other aspects of your adventure, from capturing and looking after your beasts to conjuring new equipment for your Room of Requirement.
Combat is Hogwarts Legacy is excellent, using your different spell types to make some awesome combos, as your combos increase in size you’ll collect shards that allow you to unleash Ancient Magic finishers which do huge amounts of damage. There are all sorts of enemies ranging from Dark Wizards to huge beasts and you’ll need to be aware of how to defeat them, all spell types are colour coded so you’ll know which spells to use against them. The combat system is well managed, the spell types are all managed via the d-pad via four different pages of slots, these can be edited on the fly which is great depending on the type of quests you are involved in. Eventually talent points become available to you which can be used to enhance certain attributes such as spells casting out over a wider area or being able to run while invisible.
Of course Hogwarts Legacy is not just casting spells to defeat enemies, the huge open world is full of surprises from treasure caves to trials created by Merlin himself, there are broom time trials, games to play and stars to discover. Then there is just the ability to explore and discover Hogwarts as a working school. There are more things to discover than I could possibly write here but my favourite so far are two coats of arms getting increasingly more agitated at each other each time you pass them until you see one smash the other to bits in a fit of rage. There is an incredible attention to detail that hardcore fans will totally enjoy, combine the exploration with the story and side quests and you’ll easily see a playthrough of 70+ hours appear.
You’ll notice that I haven’t really discussed the main story line, that’s mostly because it feels like the least important part of this game for me, it’s a well written and fun to play campaign but I just got more from doing everything else. The first time you flew a broom was sensational, which was topped by flying a Hippogriff alongside the Hogwarts Express, the wonderful score that played genuinely gave me shivers and I wish I could play those sections again and again. Although some of the quotes feel a bit obvious at times I never felt bored by them and was happy to discover new things to do during my exploration.
As I mentioned, there is a huge amount of detail in the world and he game does look great, some of the characters look a little dead behind the eyes and there doesn’t feel like there is much animation in any of their faces, especially when the voice acting is so vibrant, they just don’t tend to match their characters.
I’ve honestly had an absolute blast playing this game and sharing experiences with my family who were huge fans of Harry Potter. If you have loved the world created then you will have a great time with this game.
We’re of course hugely aware of the controversy surrounding Hogwarts Legacy, we disagree with all of J.K. Rowling's comments. We believe that trans rights are human rights, and offer our full support to the LGBTQIA+ community. If you’d like to offer your support to the communities affected by Rowling’s rhetoric, consider donating to the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, or Mermaids in the UK.