Hogwarts Legacy is a Magically Captivating World


Hogwarts Legacy welcomes players into a wizarding world set in a time period prior to Harry Potter’s existence.

I want to preface that I never got into Harry Potter when I was younger and this was a way for me to finally dive into it for the first time.

As a result, I was pleasantly surprised at how fleshed out this experience was even from the get go.

At the start players are met with a letter from Hogwarts welcoming you as a new fifth year student which was a nice touch immersing me even more into the world.

To further add to the element of immersion, the ability to create my character is introduced and although this addition wasn’t all too complex I still enjoyed its presence.

As someone who is coming into this world without any prior knowledge of what occurred in the movies or books, this elevated my experience because I was able to make it into something of my own starting off with my character.

It’s important to keep in mind that despite being included, there are some faults with this feature. One that I was able to pick up on was the voice options.

For some reason they all kind of sound robotic unless you go with the default preset voice, but this in the grand scheme of things is minor but for those that were looking to customize that aspect of their character might feel a bit disappointed.

But despite that, the opening sequence was able to mesmerize me through its whimsical yet inviting tone in narrative. And with superb voice acting, I really felt like I was embarking on my own story in Hogwarts.

Each of the characters provided an even bigger backdrop to the already massively contextualized story.

Some of the more notable ones are the professors because they all have unique classes to take and through them you’re able to learn new spells which translates nicely into combat especially in the more challenging encounters later on.

Though not excessively challenging because this was one of those games where you can just kind of shut your brain off for a bit and just enjoy the breathtakingly crafted environments. 

The classes as well as the additional assignments act as a tutorial to get the player familiarized with the controls and acclimated to the world itself. Exploration is key to unlocking and discovering just about everything this game has to offer and then some.

When I stepped into Hogwarts for the first time and became a Slytherin through the sorting ceremony, all I was looking forward to was roaming around the castle. I couldn’t wait to find all its secrets and hidden doorways for me to go through.

I was really excited to uncover even more lore and become more involved in the dense story. As I made my way through, I found myself in awe due to the developers attention to detail and faithful recreation of the castle which included many references to the source material.

From my perspective, this was done extremely well and the level design is of premier quality. It’s impressive what this team has been able to create here, despite their technical limitations which tend to slip through the cracks.

For example, there are instances in which I approach a doorway and my player is just kind of stuck there for a second or two before I can actually walk through it. This doesn’t detract from the game in any which way but it is somewhat of an annoyance after happening frequently but it’s still undeniably well executed.

This is especially true in the quiet moments at night in the castle when no one is around and players can see moving pictures, alongside ghosts flying around which is strange but really cool to see.

One thing I’ve heard people complaining about is the tight field of view on consoles.

Personally I played on PC so I didn’t run into this issue but I can see how this is a major issue when traversing through otherwise claustrophobic sections of the castle.

On top of that I witnessed some strange technical issues such as pop in of characters as I walked through doorways or if I was at a farther distance from NPCs.

Also the weather effects just happened to appear at times out of thin air. This was a jarring thing to see considering many games nowadays tend to iron those issues out but all i can hope for is that it gets patched in a later update. Fortunately, the frame rate performance was stable running at over 100 FPS on PC so that made up for a lot of those bugs. 

Let’s step out of the castle for a bit and head over to the village of Hogsmeade where the player has the chance to meet a lot of new characters that you can buy spells, brooms, and useful items from throughout the story.

As a result, Hogsmeade feels alive, filled with NPCs talking amongst each other and there’s always something new to see. Now, the player isn’t forced to interact with any of that but it’s there if you want to and it’s implemented in the right way.

For those that decide to venture off from the main questline, you’ll be rewarded for it in new gear to wear which will directly influence and change your player stats.

These stats are a good measure as to how your character stands up in more engaging combat sequences which at times can include enemy types that feel far more powerful than you’d ever be. So, I figured why not explore and get to utilize what I found for those later sequences.

I started to overcome a lot of the challenges the game was trying to hit me with and my character only became stronger as a result. I love this aspect in which I’m actively being rewarded for wanting to discover more. 

Although this is a strong point of the game, I wish the combat could’ve been fleshed out a bit more because at times it can get repetitive because some of the spells work a lot better than others especially on higher leveled enemies.

The key to this is really combining different spells to make the combat feel more dynamic and intriguing. Experimenting with them and being able to have unique sets of upgradeable spells to scroll through in the midst of combat is extremely useful.

Additionally, a variety of traits will only enhance the effectiveness of your spells and will determine your success in those encounters. I found that when I approached it from this angle I was able to have more fun not only fighting but discovering new enemy types.

Trust me you will find a whole lot of them in the vast open world that I have yet to even fully explore after nearly 40 hours played.

I managed to make my way through the environments either by broom or beasts that you’ll be given the chance to tame later on in the story.

Soaring through the sky couldn’t have felt more majestic and the music further enhances that experience. All I wish is that I could’ve enjoyed it even more because I found myself underutilizing the feature because of fast travel. Although fast travel is a god-send, I felt that it overshadowed the flying mechanics and its overall viability.

This amongst other minor knit picks I may have with the game are miniscule issues but I really can’t stress enough how surprised I am with what we got.

I was worried about Hogwarts Legacy and how it would turn out because the studio, Avalanche Software, wasn’t all too experienced in making AAA titles.

Despite that worry, this was an experience that I’ll never forget. I lost myself wandering the halls of Hogwarts castle and I was constantly craving for more, even with it being filled with content as is.

Fortunately, it provided that with its beloved storytelling and interestingly diverse characters that I met along the way. 

My biggest takeaway from Hogwarts Legacy is that it’s entirely fueled on the curiosity of the player and if you’re anything like me, then you’ll find yourself falling in love with everything this magical world has to offer just like I did.