The Harry Potter franchise has captured the hearts of millions of fans ever since its rise to popularity in the late 1990s, and now with Hogwarts Legacy, players can finally experience their own Hogwarts adventures. This open-world action-RPG takes players to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as fifth-year students who possess unique abilities. The game starts off with a thrilling opening cut-scene that introduces the core mystery and sets the stage for the players' journey.
Players will take on the role of a new Hogwarts student who is mysteriously connected to a powerful form of ancient magic. They are mentored by Professor Fig, who helps them uncover the truth behind their abilities while they attend classes, navigate the threat of a goblin rebellion, and master various spells. The game begins by quickly introducing players to the first set of spells, such as Lumos for lighting up dark areas, Levioso for levitating objects, and Repairo for repairing broken bridges. The spells are not just used for combat but also for puzzle-solving, making the game all the more engaging.
While some players may worry about the limited number of spells in Hogwarts Legacy compared to other games, this proves to not be an issue. The game offers a total of 23 spells, and players can equip up to 16 spells at any given time. This gives players a significant amount of variety and choices in combat, allowing them to experiment and find the most effective spell combinations. For example, players can start a battle by levitating an enemy with Levioso, pulling them forward with Accio, hitting them with a few basic spells, blasting them into the air with Bombarda, and then pulling them back down with Descendo in just a matter of seconds. The combat is an exciting challenge that requires quick thinking and strategy, and those who mix things up with clever spell combinations are sure to have a blast.
However, not all elements of the combat in Hogwarts Legacy are perfect. The boss fights are repetitive and lack excitement, and the battles against trolls can be overly lengthy and obnoxious. Trolls in the game have enormous health bars, which make the fights against them quite tedious, especially later in the game. However, players can speed up the troll battles considerably once they learn the Killing Curse, Avada Kedavra.
In addition to the standard spells, players can also learn the three Unforgivable Curses: Crucio, Imperio, and Avada Kedavra. These powerful spells allow players to torture or control their opponents, and there are no consequences for using them in the game. While the developers chose not to include a morality system, the use of these spells in battle could have added a deeper level of significance. To obtain the Unforgivable Curses, players must complete companion quests offered by the representatives of the four Hogwarts Houses (excluding Ravenclaw).
The companion quests are just one type of side quest in Hogwarts Legacy. The game is packed with side quests, ranging from standard tasks to more involved stories. However, the game's quest design is its weakest point, as many of the side quests amount to little more than busywork, involving a lot of fast-traveling and talking to characters. These problems also affect the main quests, but to a lesser extent. The main story offers more variety and is more engaging than the side quests.
One factor that hinders the pacing of all the quests in Hogwarts Legacy is the excessive dialogue. Although the voice acting is great, the amount of talking in the game can be overwhelming. The game's main character doesn't have much of a discernible personality, and the dialogue often amounts to simple agreement or disagreement. The game may have benefited from a silent protagonist, as cutting out the excessive
The game offers an immersive and captivating experience, filled with a variety of activities and stunning visuals that will keep players engaged for hours on end. The flying mechanics are particularly noteworthy, as they are both easy and enjoyable to control, making soaring through the skies above Hogwarts feel like a dream come true.
The open-world map of Hogwarts Legacy is vast and filled with plenty of things to do. From exploring the interior areas of Hogsmeade village to engaging in dungeon crawling and hunting down magical beasts, there's never a shortage of activities to keep players busy. The game also features a custom Room of Requirement where players can capture, care for, and breed magical creatures, using them as mounts or to acquire crafting materials to upgrade their gear.
The gear system in Hogwarts Legacy functions similarly to other looter games, allowing players to find and replace their equipment. However, players are given the option to keep their traditional Hogwarts robes while still enjoying the benefits of the upgraded gear, which helps preserve the immersive experience of the game. Players will spend their time in the game collecting better gear, brewing potions, racing brooms, and completing quests, among many other activities.
Although the story may not be as long as expected, taking about 20 hours to complete, it still offers an engaging and captivating experience for players. The game is not exactly a Hogwarts student simulator, as players spend a significant amount of time outside of the school, but this doesn't detract from the overall quality of the game. The Hogwarts castle and surrounding areas are beautifully brought to life, complete with the iconic Harry Potter musical score, creating a special atmosphere that will captivate fans of the franchise.
Hogwarts Legacy is a top-tier gaming experience that succeeds at being the dream Harry Potter game that many fans have been hoping for. The game offers a solid foundation for future Wizarding World games and is the best thing to come out of the Harry Potter franchise since the original books and movies. It launches on February 10 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X, April 4 for PS4 and Xbox One, and July 25 for Nintendo Switch.