Hogwarts Legacy, if you haven’t heard about this game in the last few weeks, you probably don’t have internet. The first question that presents itself is why am I writing a review for which only Donald Trump hasn’t already written one? Well the truth is that I love the Harry Potter universe and since the release of Hogwarts Legacy I have only had time to play it very transiently and thus have not been able to finish the game until now. It’s also true that I plan to play it a few more times but with how long everything is taking me, I’ve decided to make this review a few episodes to get it out at all while it’s still relevant.
You’ll find my impressions in the following text, and there may be a miniature spoiler here and there, but I’ll do my best to avoid big, story spoilers.
The game is set in 1890-1891, almost exactly 100 years before the Philosopher’s Stone. The main character arrives in the wizarding world in fifth grade, so it’s substandard, but from a story standpoint it’s a fairly enjoyable solution to the problem of eleven-year-olds battling dark wizards and magical creatures. The visual introduction is beautiful and the game wastes no time in introducing the player to the main story. Thus, a few minutes are spent outside Hogwarts learning the basic mechanics of the game, from jumping through the first fights to the basic puzzles.
Then it’s on to Hogwarts where you’ll join your faculty. There is a mini test in the game but Sorting Hat will respect your opinion should you not like the result of the test.
The game offers many side stories, some are sad, some are scary and some are easy to fall in love with. Don’t get me wrong, the writers are no geniuses, if you’ve read or played enough scifi and fantasy games, you can read ahead a lot of the stories. Still, they’re not too cliched to be distracting.
The main story is a well-crafted mix of mystery. Most of the characters in the main or side story are straightforward. The bad characters are bad from the start, the good ones are good. Definitely don’t expect a lot of big story twists. Still, the characters you’re supposed to like are very easy to like.
Overall, I would sum it up simply. The story is a beautiful extension of the Harry Potter universe, but even if you’re not familiar with that universe, it’s satisfying enough to enjoy the story
Gameplay, bugfgs and graphics
I played the game on PC, due to the limitations of my machine, I couldn’t get the full graphical highlights out of it. However, even on average settings the game is visually beautiful but you’ll have to suffer through a few visual bugs. Occasionally in a story scene the camera will take the bridge instead of the character who is narrating, so instead of seeing the facial expressions of a goblin, you’re looking at the facial expressions of a brick, but such glitches aren’t a problem that will affect the experience of the game.
What was incredibly irritating to me, until I learned how to work with it, is the targeting system during fights. Sometimes it flies as fast as it wants, other times it doesn’t work at all. To set the record straight, I played the game on the controller, not the mouse and keyboard, which several people said was a mistake, and I can say I understand why. But this is exactly one of those games that asks for that controller, and not just because it’s scheduled for every console that exists.
Outside of that though, the game is rewarding. The puzzles are interesting and work with the environment in a way that only a game full of magic can, because not everything is what it looks like, and many times you have to look at something from multiple angles, because when a puzzle is devised by a wizard, an ordinary door doesn’t always have to be just against a wall.
Hogwarts and its surroundings are, in a word, enchanting. The game offers dozens, even hundreds, of references to places and characters from the books. From the ancestors of famous wizards from books and movies to the ghosts themselves. If you want to discover all the secrets of Hogwarts, it will take you a really long time. But if you’re like me and want to complete the game 100%, you’ll be very disappointed. At least I was. The game is done in a pseudo RPG style, you earn talent points for levels and the maximum level you can reach is 40. However, you don’t get the last talent point hidden behind that level without completing the main story, which is a huge disappointment because I personally like to finish the last mission after I’ve completed everything the game has to offer. Another thing hidden behind completing the main story is the last side quest, it doesn’t take more than a minute, but don’t spend hours looking for what you skipped like I did.
But the game can hold you back in a nice way too. That is, until you figure out some of the secrets, they’re terribly frustrating but that “silly me” moment is terribly satisfying. My worst enemy, the bouncing chest with the eye on the lid, has something to say about that. Opening it is such a primitive thing to do that when I finally figured it out, I nearly cracked my head open with the palm of my own hand.
The difficulty of the game is rather below average. I haven’t actively played games for a few months because I didn’t have the time, but I like a challenge and so I played on the highest difficulty. It was challenging for the first hour or so until I got used to the controls and the poorly handled aiming system, but once I got past that, the game was stupidly easy. Fortunately, enemies are scaled to a certain level according to yours, so it won’t be long before you come to an area where you destroy everyone with a few flicks of the wand, but if you reach near max level, which you definitely don’t need to finish the game, the last mission will be a sad disappointment. The main bad guy is woefully weak, and even if you couldn’t handle him, the game offers you a set of elixirs that will destroy any enemy in seconds. Just don’t be lazy to prepare them in advance.
Finally, I will mention the inventory system, which several people are complaining about. The inventory takes two forms. One is for collectibles, quest items and raw materials for elixirs, this one is unlimited. The other is for your gear, armour, clothing or whatever else you’d like to call it, this one is limited to only about 20 pieces and can be expanded by solving a specific quest called “Merlins Trial” or “Merlin’s Trial”, these are scattered around the map with just over a hundred pieces and allow you to expand your inventory up to 40 places. I almost never had a problem with inventory space as I was uncovering nooks and crannies and going to the shop to sell unneeded items was always a no-brainer. And even if I happened to find more items than I could carry, throwing away a few green silly things would take a few seconds. However, I can imagine that if you’re in a hurry, space will be at a premium at times, which can cause you to run out of galleons, especially in the beginning.
I had a bigger problem with the Merlin test with the steam achievement, which requires you to complete all of them. This is because the game doesn’t need you to find every single one for the maximum backpack size, and once you complete the last one, the ones you’re missing stop showing up on the map. However, I’ll give you a helpful hint here. If you zoom the map out to the max, it will show you what you haven’t collected in each area.
All in all, if you love the world of Harry Potter as much as I do, the game will absorb you from start to finish and you will forgive its flaws. But if you’re just looking for a decent RPG to kick back and relax, Hogwarts Legacy can still be a great experience. I have a few people around me who know absolutely nothing about the Harry Potter universe, but thanks to this game, they’ve immersed themselves in its stories with a passion.
For die-hard Harry Potter fans: 9/10
For the casual RPG gamer: 7/10
I can’t wait for the sequel, which will hopefully bring some interestingly crafted metlobal.