Hogwarts Legacy Review

Hogwarts Legacy is the Harry Potter game we all dreamt about when we were younger, but the technology of the time held our collective dreams back. Well, I can say with confidence that Portkey Games and Avalanche (not to be confused with Avalanche Studios who bought us Just Cause) have developed the game of our dreams and then some.

The game is set in a pre-Harry Potter and Voldemort world allowing the developers to write a story of their own that does not limit them to the stories found in the books, which is a refreshing change as we no longer have to play the same story again. The game is instead set in 1899 and flows a student who has joined Hogwarts in their fifth year during the Goblin Revolution (those who have actively played, watched, and/or read any of the Harry Potter books will have heard of the Revolutions spoken about during the History of Magic Classes), and while in some aspects this does not make much sense as the student has not learnt all the fundamentals of magic, the game does a good job of filling this in with the Professors giving you extra tasks and homework to catch you up to the rest of the fifth-year class. These extra tasks take the form of side quests, which while not necessary to complete will benefit the player greatly as this is where you learn spells and abilities you would not learn in the main story. These extra spells greatly enhance the combat as well as help you with the MANY collectible quests in the game.

The game does not start you straight away in Hogwarts instead you are introduced to the world and the game mechanics of the game. It is also during this introduction that you can create your character. The character creator is limited in the number of hairstyles, face shapes, eye shapes, hair colours, etc. though it is not terrible as you do have some freedoms. Such as hair styles, voices, and clothing are not limited to whether you are a witch or a wizard and later in the game you can alter some aspects of your appearance at the in-game salon (for a fee of course).

What would be deemed by some as the most important choice in the game is your Hogwarts house, while selecting your house does not change the main story at all it does unlock house-specific NPC interactions, as well as the house-specific common rooms as you will not be able to get into any of the other houses common rooms. The game does the sorting in 3 ways, the first being you can link your Wizarding World account to the game as this allows you to import your house and wand. The second is the standard questions where the Sorting Hat will ask you questions and depending on how you answer which house you will be placed in. The last happens after both the above-mentioned situations, in which you can just pick the house you would like to play in.

Hogwarts is visually one of the most stunning games I have ever played and it captures the rolling hills of Scotland and its beauty in such a way that I feel I am back there, and since you are not just limited to the castle, its grounds, and the forest, the developers where able to create different landscapes and areas to which you can explore to your heart’s content. This is made even more fun once you have unlocked the broom and flying mounts as you are free to explore almost everywhere on the map from the air. There are some areas, such as above Hogsmead which are deemed no-fly zones and have a magic barrier over them preventing you from flying over. The castle itself is also stunning, while in the movies and games for Harry Potter, we were made to believe that the castle was damp, dark, cold, and somewhat empty of furniture. In Hogwarts Legacy, the castle feels more like a French Palace in areas, with stunning decorations, instruments playing to entertain the students, cats wandering the halls, students going about their days, and much more! It just feels lived in and like a school than an old forgotten castle.

The combat is very similar to that of the Batman Arkham games. In which you are given prompts to dodge and block over your character’s head, with the attacks being fairly limited at the start due to your lack of spells, but once you have unlocked spells and upgraded them in the skill trees with your talent points (you receive a talent point each time you level up). You can link the spells together to create powerful combos. Add in the magic plants that you gather that you can throw out, you can do massive amounts of damage. And yes, you can learn the 3 Unforgivable Curses in the game though there are consequences to using these.

One of the biggest issues with the game is the lack of Quidditch, though this will depend on the person as I personally hated Quidditch in the Harry Potter games. Though you do still get your flying fix with skins for your broom (the skins do not affect your broom’s performance), upgrades for your broom and the flying trials and tasks, so you will not be limited to just flying from point A to B. Yet there are rumours that Quidditch may be added as a DLC. Along with your broom, you can also get handles for your wand allowing you to customize the look of it, again the skins do not affect the power of your wand.

One of my favourite aspects of the game is the fact that you can magic your clothing to look how you like, and make some aspects invisible allowing you to equip all the most powerful armour in the game but still allowing your character to look fashionable (once you see the dragon eyeglasses you will be thankful for this). What is also great is even if you sell or destroy gear you no longer need or do not want your character memorizes the style and look, and you can use it on any item.

The game also makes use of the Dual Sense controller on the PS5 with haptic feedback for when you cast spells, the controller vibrates in time with the clock in the clock tower and the best is when you pet the cats the purrs come through the controller.

While you can see that the developers have poured their hearts into the game there are of course a few bugs and glitches that pop up throughout. This is mainly small stuff such as students appearing out of nowhere (beware though Peeves will do this as well just to give you frights), items popping in and in one case I had a cow floating above a dragon’s head as it was flying around. There have though been issues where my character got stuck in rocks, tables, and chairs and I had to fast travel to get out of them. As well as a major issue where Professor Sharp’s Assignment 1 quest was being confused with the Flight Test quest. So, while I was trying to do the professor’s quest it kept cutting to the speaking prompts for Flight Test, I would then get stuck in a table and unable to complete either quest. The fix I found was to do the Flight Test quest first before moving on to Professor Sharp’s quest.

Another downside to the game is that it suffers from open-world fatigue and collectible fatigue. There are a lot of items and things to collect from descriptions of statues and flying pages, plants, potion recipes, spell crafts, magical creatures, etc. You will spend a lot of time traveling from one area to another to collect or find items to complete the collectible list. There are also many puzzles throughout the castle and Hogsmead, from mirrors to cabinets and the Merlin trials. These I found to be quite annoying after a while.

Along with the above collectibles and puzzles, there are also a few mini-games, and while some are easter eggs to the original Harry Potter games (how you learn your spells is almost the same in Hogwarts as it was in the original Harry Potter games), there is one I find most unnecessary. That being to unlock doors, chests and locks, gone are the days where you can just cast Alohomora and the padlock will open; now you have to play a mini-game.

Overall, Hogwarts Legacy is a visually stunning game into which a lot of love and care was put into it, and it works extremely well as an RPG. It will have a lot of replayability with there being the four houses, the combat is fun and entertaining (you get to turn enemies into chickens) and the story is intriguing as it’s something new and not the same story we have played hundreds of times before. While it does have some issues and downsides, these do not take away from the overall game and experience. It is a fresh take on the world many of us grew up with, but it has not forgotten its roots as besides from the spell-casting mini-game there are many easter eggs to the Harry Potter stories and previous games (my favourite being the giant chess pieces from Philosopher’s Stone). If you are looking for the Hogwarts game of your dreams or just a good RPG, I would highly recommend Hogwarts Legacy. Thank you Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Koodoo for the press kit and review copy of the game. You can watch the unboxing video of the press kit here.

You can purchase a copy of the game from Koodoo for PS5 and Xbox One/Series S/X

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  • Visually Stunning
  • Fun Combat
  • Turing your enemies into chickens


  • Some bugs and glitches
  • Open-world and collectables fatigue
  • Lock-picking mini-game
  • Lack of Quidditch