There are several franchises and sagas that leave a mark on our childhood. Whether it is by hearing the iconic music of one to watching our favorite characters, we all have that one series that sticks with us for life. Most people grew up watching Harry Potter films. Most of them had the same age as the characters and were watching how these kids were crossing the threshold of Hogwarts. This wonderful and magical school we all were hoping to attend one day. While we all knew that would never happen, nobody prepared us for the biggest and best rendition of this school. Since the day we saw the game announcement for Hogwarts Legacy, something stirred inside us. That excitement we had as kids, that little flame that sparked when we saw the halls of this place. It was happening now, a game set in Hogwarts. An RPG that would let us live our lives as students there. A magical adventure that we would be able to play as we wanted. Today we want to talk more about this fantastic game in our Hogwarts Legacy review.
Story: An intriguing magical mystery for new and old fans
Ever since the first trailer dropped, people didn’t show that much interest in the story. All that gamers wanted was to create a character and live their lives as Hogwarts students. However, every RPG needs a story, and this game manages to bring a good one for both old and new fans.
The game features one of the best tutorials we’ve ever seen in a video game. It does a terrific job of introducing key characters and the overall plot the protagonist is part of. Yet, veterans of the series will notice some key details that will surprise them. The first two hours of the game do an amazing job of setting the story and the mystery around it.
This just gets better as time passes by given how well intertwined the story is with side activities. To unlock a main story quest you’ll need to attend classes first and finish assignments. Every single thing that you do in the game is justified and adds to the world-building aspect of the game. Whether it is your first time visiting the Wizarding World or you have been a fan for a long time, you’ll love every twist and discovery of the story. For this review, we had to rush the main story of Hogwarts Legacy, but we recommend that you take your time with it.
Characters are also quite memorable, and your companions and teachers are the ones that take the spotlight. Every single teacher has their own personality, and it fits perfectly with the subject they teach. Companions, on the other hand, are very well fleshed out. If you’re thinking they are just the stereotype of their respective houses, there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Gameplay: Spellcasting never felt so good
One of the things that people were skeptical about when watching the trailers was the combat. There have been many Harry Potter games that haven’t quite hit the mark in terms of fighting. Well, Hogwarts Legacy is the game that finally got the system right.
The combat is simple but requires some good coordination, especially on the hardest difficulty. You have your quick spell you’ll be spamming to do most of the damage, but you can weave some spells in between. Spells have different categories or colors and combining them is key to taking down your enemies. Let’s give an example. Expelliarmus is a red spell that disarms opponents and does damage but, will also break red enemy barriers. It is important that you set your spells correctly to deal with enemies protecting themselves.
Besides combat, exploration is fantastic. We already said that this is the best rendition of Hogwarts to date and we’ll keep saying it. Exploring the inside of the castle, which is huge and you can actually get lost in, is fantastic. You’ll be spamming Revelio to find field guide pages and chests scattered in the school. Yet, once you reach the outside, the world gets a lot bigger. There are ingredients to collect, enemies to fight, challenges to complete, and many more things to do.
One thing we praise is how great the side missions are presented to the player. Yes, it isn’t something brand new or that innovates in the RPG genre, but the missions are so well done that skipping them would be a grave mistake. Visiting hamlets doesn’t only open new shops or places to explore, it also introduces some side characters with their own stories. One of the first places you’ll visit will have you search for a shop owner’s brother. When you find him, you’ll get the choice of telling her the truth that’ll break her heart or a lie that’ll make her sad but will let her keep going. This is great as it gives depth to these small places in a meaningful way.
Hogwarts Legacy on PS4 and PS5: All Differences Listed and Explained
Graphics/Audio: A technical marvel that shines more on some platforms
For this Hogwarts Legacy review, we played on a PS5, and we have to say that it feels like the best platform to play the game on. The most impressive thing about the PS5 is how it uses the controller’s haptic feedback for almost every action you do in the game. Casting Lumos will have the control vibrating as long as the light is on. Flying on your broom will add a bit of tension to the triggers whenever you want a speed boost. All these little details make the experience on PS5 even better than on other platforms.
While we’ve heard the PC version is lacking a lot of optimization, we can’t say for sure as we haven’t played it on that platform. However, there are a few things that we noticed during our playthrough. While not bad, we had some sort of bug that had our frames go to about 30-40 on performance mode, right outside of a hamlet. This all got fixed by itself, but it was strange. There is also a bit of pop-in after sprinting or flying but nothing that would hinder your experience. One thing that we didn’t like too much at times was the camera. It can get quite clunky in closed spaces, but out in the world, it is completely fine.
The audio is amazing, and the company knocked it out of the park. Every single spell has its own sound, and whether you’re playing on a TV or with your headset, the audio is fantastic. The music is also great, and it blends perfectly with whatever you’re doing. From combat to building your Room of Requirement, every single track is perfectly made. Plus, there are some sound effects you’ll hear when finding Field Pages that will bring a smile to old fans of the game.
Conclusion: A magical adventure for the ages
It’s early in the year, but if we had to pick a Game of the Year right off the bat, Hogwarts Legacy would take it, just like Elden Ring last year. Not only it is the best Wizarding World game ever made, but it is also a fantastic RPG as well. While it doesn’t offer the customization as other titles of the genre, the progression, combat, and exploration hit the right spots. The ability to create your own character and dress them as you see fit is one thing that many fans of the series have been hoping for. Whether you’re a new fan or have been following the material the game got inspired by for years, you’ll truly love the game. Doing this Hogwarts Legacy review was a treat, and we can’t wait to jump back in to try the other houses and discover everything the game has to offer.
Hogwarts Legacy launches on February 10 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, with Early Access available now for those who own the Deluxe Edition.
Hogwarts Legacy Review
- Fantastic world-building
- Engaging combat
- A great story with memorable characters
- A few pop-in issues
- Repetitive side missions
- Clunky camera at times