Presented by Omne by FWD.
This is a review of the open-world action RPG Hogwarts Legacy developed by Portkey Games released in February 2023, by Steven “Heartbreaker” Cropley. Steven is ONE Esports’ U.S. Editor who was a competitive gamer turned esports and gaming editor. He regularly streams too, and had livestreamed his Hogwarts Legacy run on Twitch.
Venturing into the world of Harry Potter is something many fans have wanted to do since they first set eyes on the pages of J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Lucky for them (and myself), Hogwarts Legacy has given us that opportunity.
The ability to become a student at the legendary school of Hogwarts, partake in the wizarding world, and discover mythical beasts would make nostalgia overflow for any fan of the series.
With that said, I want to make it clear that this game is and would still be enjoyable for folks who haven’t read the books or seen the movies. Having not done so might make you a bit giddy at certain moments, but it only adds, it doesn’t detract.
In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the world, story, characters, and combat. So grab ahold of your broom and let’s begin.
Hogwarts Legacy review: This is the game Harry Potter fans have longed for
A story and world that engages – 3.8/5
In a world with deep lore, it was to be expected that the Portkey Games team would be able to find the right string to pluck in terms of story. The game brings you in as a fifth-year transfer student who has a whole lot of catching up to do.
While there isn’t a great explanation for that, they do relatively quickly make you feel unique in the world. Your character’s ability to see what is later confirmed to be ancient magic makes you one of only a few who have ever lived to be able to do so.
This is a large premise of the game where you seek out additional information about this magic, it’s capabilities, and ultimately why “the keepers” are trying to keep it safe.
I found myself truly feeling like a player in the world, getting to know individual characters and places in the world. Hogwarts Legacy left me wanting to explore and do side quests, which is something many games fail to make feel rewarding.
The other side of that, however, was that many of the voice lines were very, and I mean very, repetitive.
“Seems all roads lead to Hogsmeade,” anyone?
The story does a great job of making you feel engaged with interactions, fantastic storytelling, and plenty of cut scenes. The game makes you want to know more about what has happened and what’s to come.
Another thing I have to mention is the sheer amount of things to collect, areas to explore, and decorating to be done. Trust me, there is plenty to do.
There are still some holes in the details, however, and for that, I’ll give the story a 3.8 out of 5.
New characters with old ties – 4/5
Hogwarts Legacy is based roughly 100 years before Harry Potter leaves Privett Drive, and yet there all plenty of callbacks to characters that fans of the series came to love from the books and movies.
Last names like Weasley, Black, and more are heard time and time again, and you even get to interact with the relatives of some of the beloved cast.
That said, there are still plenty of new characters introduced that build their own legacy. Eleazar Fig, for instance, plays a monumental role in the game and your story and offers plenty of depth.
I will reiterate, that while nostalgia will leave a smile on your face when hearing some names, those who aren’t familiar with the series won’t feel like they’re missing anything.
Overall I think the depth to the keepers, the villains, the characters you help with various tasks, and more all have their own unique personalities. They give you a look at all sides of life at Hogwarts and the surrounding landscape, whether for good or for evil.
The characters in Hogwarts Legacy earn a 4 out of 5 for me. I wish I got to know a little more about some characters, but overall it was fulfilling and each character felt like their own person with their own story to tell.
Combat in Hogwarts Legacy is better than expected – 5/5
I think I speak for just about everyone when I say we were all quite skeptical about the combat. From the trailers, a ranged-only and spell-slinging combat system, some were worried it wouldn’t flow or feel engaging.
After a few encounters, this worry was gone. The combat is fast, fluid, and engaging.
The spells build upon each other and make you consider what order to use them in, how they best help you in specific scenarios. There are even enemy weaknesses to think about!
I loved the process of learning various combinations that would leave my opponents floating in the air for long periods of time, with abilities like flippendo or wingardium leviosa, before ultimately being decendo’d into the earth to finsh them off. Pure joy.
The combat in Hogwarts Legacy is simple and yet rewarding. The animations are fantastic, the spells are responsive, and the world not only reacts but can be used to help you.
Overall, the combat was the biggest surprise of Hogwarts Legacy for me and brings in a 5 out of 5.
Would I recommend Hogwarts Legacy? If you couldn’t tell already — absolutely. It’s a game that will keep you engaged for many hours with fun stories and a vast world with tons of side quests, collectibles, and achievements.
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