I absolutely adore Hogwarts Legacy! Who knew that an open-world RPG set in the Harry Potter universe would be among the best games ever made?
Set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, this game takes you on a magical journey through the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and beyond.
As soon as you start playing Hogwarts Legacy, you'll be transported to the familiar world of Hogwarts with its towering castle, winding staircases, and mystical creatures. The game allows you to create your own wizard character, choosing your house, wand, and appearance. You can also customize your character's abilities and skills to suit your playstyle, making each playthrough unique.
The plot of Hogwarts Legacy is set in the late 1800s, before the events of the Harry Potter books, and introduces new characters and plotlines while also weaving in familiar elements from the franchise. The game's main plot involves a dark wizard threatening to unleash an ancient power that could destroy the wizarding world, and it's up to you, as a fifth year student at Hogwarts, to prevent his plans from coming to fruition.
The story is engaging and well-paced, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you invested. The characters you meet are well-written and feel like real people, with their own motivations and desires. The game also does an excellent job of incorporating elements of the Harry Potter franchise while still feeling fresh and new.
As you progress through the game, you'll attend classes, learn spells, explore the world, and engage in combat with a variety of magical creatures and foes. The combat system is engaging and intuitive, with a variety of spells and abilities at your disposal, and the enemies are challenging enough to keep you on your toes without being overwhelming.
Each spell has its own unique animation, and the game's combat system allows you to seamlessly switch between spells and abilities. You can allocate spells to different face buttons and as you level up you can unlock more face button sets. In total you can have 16 spells allocated. Switching to a different set mid combat fluidly takes a while to get used too as you’ll also have to remember what spells did you place in what set. Maybe there’s a better way they could have done this though like some sort of radial menu that paused the game and you could see the different spell sets. However, what’s in the game works, but again, you’ll need some time to get used to it.
One aspect of the gameplay that stands out is the freedom of choice that the game offers. You can choose to be a powerful and destructive wizard, specializing in spells that deal massive damage and Avada Kedavra everything that moves, or you can focus on defensive spells and support magic. This freedom of choice extends beyond combat as well; you can choose how to approach quests and missions, with multiple paths and outcomes available depending on your choices. I wanted to be a douchebag so I naturally went with the Slytherins and I mostly chose to do what a Slytherin would. I was pleasantly surprised how the other NPCs reacted to my choices even though I sacrificed getting the most XP out of each side quest with my choices.
The Room of Requirement is a magical room in Hogwarts that appears only when someone is in great need of it. The room can transform itself into whatever the person requires at that moment. In the game, the Room of Requirement serves as a hub for various activities and quests. You can access the room to identify hidden gear, plant plants and moke potions. Later you will also access the vivarium, where you can store animals you collect in the open-world and pretty much run a mystical zoo. Oh and did I mention that these spaces are fully customizable meaning that you can place things, move them around to however you like? It’s absolutely fantastic!
Another standout features is the open-world environment, which allows you to explore the wizarding world beyond Hogwarts. From the bustling streets of Hogsmeade to the dark forests of the Forbidden Forest, there's a vast world to explore and secrets to uncover. The open-world is littered with engaging puzzles where you have to use all your different in creative ways to solve. Solving these will add earn you new gear and also skill points you can use to make your character stronger. The attention to detail is impressive, with each location feeling unique and full of personality. Whether you're wandering the halls of Hogwarts or exploring the magical forests outside of the school, the world feels alive and vibrant. You truly feel the love and passion the development team has for this IP.
Visually, Hogwarts Legacy is a stunning game with highly detailed environments and character models. The game looks especially impressive on the PS5 which offers a couple of different rendering modes like Fidelity, Performance, Balanced. It even offers a High Frame Rate mode and that’s what I played in since my TV supports it. The world feel more vibrant and lifelike. The lighting and shadows are beautifully rendered, creating an immersive atmosphere that transports you to the wizarding world. The attention to detail is also impressive, with intricate designs on the various spells, potions, and magical objects in the game.
In terms of performance, Hogwarts Legacy runs smoothly on the PS5, with no noticeable frame rate drops or lag. There are a few visual glitches here and there, but nothing too big or distracting. The loading times are also impressively short, allowing you to jump right into the action without any delays. The controls are intuitive and responsive, making it easy to perform complex spells and engage in combat. Flying feels also great be that with the broomstick or with one of the mounts that you get later in the game and allows you to fully explore and immerse yourself into this gorgeous open-world.
The music of Hogwarts Legacy is a standout feature as well. The game's soundtrack captures the magical, whimsical feeling of the wizarding world, with soaring orchestral arrangements and haunting melodies. The music is used effectively to heighten the emotional impact of key story moments, and the game's sound effects are also well-designed, with the various spells and magical creatures all having their own unique sounds.
The vibe of Hogwarts Legacy is one of wonder and excitement, with the game capturing the sense of adventure and magic that made the Harry Potter franchise so beloved. Whether you're exploring the winding hallways of Hogwarts and finding the many secret rooms that it hold or battling fierce magical creatures, the game is always imbued with a sense of wonder and excitement.
Hogwarts Legacy is a fantastic game that will appeal to both Harry Potter fans and gamers looking for an engaging action-adventure RPG. The game's attention to detail, immersive world-building, and engaging combat make it a must-play for anyone looking to experience the magic of the wizarding world. I highly recommend playing this game. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a PS5 using a promo code provided by CD Media. Hogwarts Legacy is out now on PC, PS5 and Xbox.