It seems like Harry Potter has always been around. I remember when the first book came out and even though I was not a big reader, I thought I’d give it a read.
I don’t think I put it down.
It’s been 25 years since the first book was launched, since then I’ve read the books and watched the films many, many times.
One thing I’ve always wanted like so many others, is to be able to explore the world of Harry Potter.
With Hogwarts Legacy, this is now possible.
It’s worth noting that Hogwarts Legacy is based in the 1800’s, a long time before the events of Harry Potter and even Fantastic Beasts.
So you won’t be seeing Dumbledore pacing in his office or Newt Scamander trying to save any fantastical beasts. (Luckily though, this is something you’ll be able to do.)
Even though it’s set so far before the events of Harry Potter, it still feels very much like the same world. Which is a tough thing for the developers to get right.
Some players might feel a little disappointed that they don’t get to meet characters from the books. It does however help to develop the overall world and history. You do also get to meet some new and interesting characters.
There are however some loose connections. Hogwarts still looks and feels exactly how it’s portrayed in the books/films. In fact, it’s pretty fun locating some of the spots and seeing just how accurate they are.
Obviously we run into characters that have names that we’re familiar with, such as the Weasleys and even the Gaunts.
One thing that does seem very clear in Hogwarts Legacy is that it’s a much darker and more dangerous world. With poachers and dark wizards attacking you at first sight, giant spiders and even trolls in the open world. You need to have your wits and your spells at the ready.
That’s not even to mention the risk of bumping into a group of Goblins and getting attacked.
At this point in history, Goblins and Wizards did not get on. There is generally a lot of hostility between each other and this runs through the main story of the game.
Hogwarts legacy starts off by allowing you to create your own character. There’s some good selections of face shapes and hairstyles available. You’re also able to add facial scars and have some really cool coloured hair styles.
You then pick your voice and name your character. I will say that even though you can change the tone, it would have been good if there were more voice variations.
As soon as you enter the game, you’re attacked by a dragon, find your way into Gringotts and this is before you’ve even spent your first day at Hogwarts. In fact you’re still using a borrowed wand.
Since I’m a fan of the books and films, once Hogwarts was in view I certainly felt a pang of excitement.
Oh The Graphics Of Hogwarts Legacy
Let’s start with what you see first….The graphics.
I played Hogwarts Legacy on the PS5 and to be honest it’s one of the first games I played on the PS5, so that might sway my view slightly.
The graphics are however incredible.
It is very much what you would expect from a next gen console. The NPCs looked realistic and the world looked super realistic.
There were a few glitches at times when a NPC had his robe on the wrong way round, but you can forgive that.
Overall the graphics were breathtaking.
The work put into how the game looked was incredible. You could almost imagine yourself being at Hogwarts and immersing yourself into the game.
There were times that I’d be walking around the hogsmeade and i’d see Hogwarts in the background and just think…Wow… that is impressive.
The Art of Sound
When it comes to the sound track, I think it world well. To be honest you dont really hear too much background music when it comes to playing the game.
This is probably not to ruin the atmosphere of the game.
There’s one point with spiders that you just hear the feet scuttling around and believe me, it gets your attention.
At the same time, I don’t think anything prepares you for hearing the Harry Potter theme to a view of Hogwarts. That really smacks you in the feels.
Overall I think the music and sound effects are great in the game.
I was getting annoyed with hearing the same thing from the floo network statue, but I can live with it.
Time To Game
Now it’s time to go to Howgwats and start to learn what’s happening to the wizarding world. Once we get to Hogwarts, the first thing we do is get sorted into our houses.
It’s a special moment, however it doest really impact the story of the game. Each house does have its own unique quest, but you can play however you want.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what house you join, it really only impacts what your common room looks like.
You don’t spend that much time in the common room as well.
What I would have preferred to see is more reference to house points. We get many choices in the game when it comes to the outcome of a quest. This doesn’t have any impact on the story at all.
What would be good is if the answers we gave would impact on what school is likely to win the house cup and also show our players contribution to it.
When it comes to playing the game itself, it does it at a reasonable pace.
You’re not rushed into doing the main story line, you have a decent amount of side quests to keep you busy. There are also a ton of puzzles to solve. More of which unlock as the game progresses.
I also like the fact that new spells are unlocked as the game progresses. Not only that but you actually went to class to learn some of these spells.
These quests usually involved some initial tasks to be completed. Looking at other peoples comments, some found this annoying but to be honest I did tend to hit these tasks just by playing the game and doing the side quests.
These tasks involved planting a specific thing or making a certain potion. Now you could just purchase the items or make them. Whichever you preferred.
I think this is a good thing, as it introduced you to certain elements of the game.
Don’t get me wrong, there were certain quests that either didn’t make sense or I had no clue on where I needed to go. And I had to do a bit of Googling.
So I think some quests could have a much better description to them.
Create Your Own Character
One thing that I really like about Hogwarts Legacy is the ability to fully control what your character wears.
You’ve just found a new item that’s got much better stats. You put it on and it looks hideous. What do you do?
Luckily, you can collect different outfits and change the way your current item looks. This allows you to keep the stat but also change the look of the item to something a little bit more appealing.
Another reason to explore and see what appearances you can unlock.
The Open World
First of all, the open world in Hogwarts Legacy is massive.
Like many others, I thought it was just going to be Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. I was certainly wrong.
It is massive…
In fact, several players have tested just how big it is. They walked from the top to the bottom and it took over 30 minutes!
What’s also great is that you don’t need to wait ages before you can get into the open world and explore.
You can pretty much get out and about almost straight away.
There is plenty to do in the open world.
Fancy taking a break from the main quest and want to do something a little different? No problem, Hogwarts Legacy has plenty to do.
Why not, travel to the local towns/villages to see if anyone’s got a side quest that needs doing?
Use Revelio to find hidden chests, adventure guide pages or locked doors.
You could even practice your spell casting by stopping some dark wizard poachers, goblins or even some nasty trolls.
Want to use your brain? Check out some of the merlin trials to really test your wits.
Many of these activities are available early on and some even get unlocked as you play the game, helping to keep it fresh.
Take on these side objectives to unlock furniture for the room of requirement or unlock a nice new outfit.
The amount of times I’ve been following the trail to a quest and I get side tracked to find a certain chest or I want to attack a camp.
Time To Fly
Let’s face it, the one thing everyone wants to do is to be able to get their broom and fly around Hogwarts…Well you can! And you don’t have to wait too long to be able to.
Flying does take a little bit of getting used to but it’s very responsive. You can also take part in time trials to unlock upgrades for your broom to make them fly even better.
Brooms are just the start though…
As the game progresses you also get to unlock your own Hippogriff and eventually you can become a dragonrider.
It was a nice feeling flying through the grounds of Hogwarts on my broom or driving down to the lake on my Hippogriff.
Although it’s not all positive
Unfortunately at the point of writing this review, Quidditch is not in the game. This was a massive shame, as it would have been a lot of fun.
To be honest I don’t know why it wasn’t added.
There are plenty of games that have a sports side game. Blitzball for example from Final Fantasy X is pretty much Quiddich but without the brooms.
Hopefully this is something that can be added as a DLC in the future.
Embracing Your Inner Newt
As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock some cool features. The first being the room of requirement.
This is a great space where you can customize the look and feel.
All the way from the color to what furniture you want and where to place it. I am impressed with how unique you can make your own room of requirement.
You can even set up your own herbology tables to grow plants, as well as potion tables to brew different potions.
Why not make it into a room that the future DA would only dream of having!
Now for me, one of the best characters is Newt Scamander and being able to capture magical beasts and look after them in a suitcase just sounds amazing.
With Hogwarts Legacy you can pretty much do just that.
First of all you get a “nab bag” which allows you to venture into the world and save mystical beasts such as Nifflers.
Once you’ve unlocked your Vivarium, you can let me be free. A Vivarium is basically an open area that you can also decorate with buildings and call it a home for your beasts.
With the ability to feed them, play with them, get them to breed or just do what I do and spend hours watching them. It adds a whole new dimension to the game.
Is it all good?
As you can see from the above, there are some amazing things about Hogwarts Legacy. Now if I was to be impartial, I do also have to go over some of the things that I think could be better.
Lack of Quidditch
The first one is the lack of quidditch. If you’ve gone to the effort of introducing brooms and getting the flying mechanics, you’d have thought they would have introduced quidditch.
I just feel this is an oversight and including it would have made a great game even better. Hopefully it’ll get added in the future.
This is the same for other mini games that didn’t make it such as gobstones.
No Real Morality System
Throughout the main game, you are given dialogue options. Whatever you pick will alter how that NPC speaks to you.
If you get someone’s gobstones back but keep them to yourself, they won’t be too happy with you when you walk past them in the halls. But, that’s about it..
No matter what option you choose, generally the outcome is going to be the same. It would have been better if you could completely change the way people act around you, depending on your answers.
You can do unforgivable curses and it has any real impact.
NPCs are pointless
Now when I say NPC’s are pointless. I don’t mean all of them. Just about 90% of them.
Some are going to give you side quests, which is great since you get a nice little reward at the end.
However the majority of them are just wandering around Hogwarts and you cannot interact with them. This is a missed trick.
I’d have expected something more like Grand Theft Auto, where you NPCs react to you. If you bump into them, they say something or react a certain way.
Imagine how cool it would be to bump into another student and they whip out their want and start to challenge you. Now that would be something!
Performance issues when on PC
This has not affected me as I do play on the PS5. However speaking to a few people and reading comments on Facebook and YouTube, it does seem a few are having issues with the PC version.
It doesn’t seem to perform as well, even on higher end systems.
I’m sure this is something the devs will or may even have fixed. It’s just a shame it happened on the release, as it can put people off playing it again in the future.
Which would be a shame as it’s such a great game.
I’ve experienced a couple of bugs from time to time that’s impacted the quest. One I had happened 3 or 4 times. On one of the quests where I was attacking a camp of Goblins, one didn’t spawn even though the quest would not continue until he did.
So it was a case of reloading the game, which was a bit annoying.
The bugs are not a major issue and most will have been fixed by now. It’s just a shame as it breaks the immersion.
Overall, Hogwarts Legacy is a great game that adds an exciting new dimension to the Wizarding World.
While there are some aspects of the game that could be improved, such as introducing Quidditch and more morality options for dialogue choices, these do not take away from its overall appeal.
The customisation of your character as well as the creative aspect of the room of requirement and Vivarium is amazing.
Hogwarts Legacy will keep you entertained for hours. You could easily enjoy 50+ hours with the main quest, the side missions and all the puzzles. Plenty to keep you occupied to get 100% completion.
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter then this is definitely worth checking out. It might have its flaws but it offers an amazing experience that will keep you entertained for hours.