Hogwarts Legacy: the ultimate dream for many a Harry Potter fan. At least, that’s how it was marketed when Portkey Games and Warner Bros. first announced the title. Fans gasped, expectations soared. Can the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X game live up to that expectation?
To find out that answer, I played Hogwarts Legacy for about twelve hours on my PlayStation 5 last weekend. An extremely difficult and tedious task for the biggest Harry Potter geek they can find on the editorial staff. Especially when a game is then also so incredibly good.
Hogwarts Legacy on paper THE Harry Potter dream
The concept of Hogwarts Legacy seems obvious to fans by now, but still a quick recap.
Set in the late 19th century, Hogwarts Legacy puts you in the shoes of a fifth-year student taking his first steps into the magical school. You discover the impressive world, take classes and also unravel a great mystery.
Long story short: in theory, Hogwarts Legacy really does offer everything that many a Harry Potter fan has been looking for in a game for years. Pure marketing or does practice show that the glory days in that area are still ahead of us?
Jitters in my tummy because of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X
The first two Harry Potter films, and accompanying games, had something magical about them. No matter how well the story developed, the pure magic of the so-called Wizarding World was never matched. Until now.
Beautiful castle! Should they do something with it. (Image: Portkey Games / Warner Bros.)
Hogwarts Legacy has given me an incredible amount of jitters in my stomach in twelve hours. Obviously, the imposing world, intriguing story and gameplay work with it, but most of all, it’s the magic that does ’em.
In the shoes of your own created character, you feel the magic of Hogwarts. The giant spaces, hidden rooms and overall ambiance offer an enchanting experience. The concept felt like THE Harry Potter dream, the elaboration brings it to life.
Hogwarts Legacy practically does everything right
Surely the “problem” with Hogwarts Legacy beforehand was the sky-high expectations of fans. What does one expect when, as a developer, you exclaim that you can freely insert yourself into the world of Harry Potter?
What you do with that next, however, is what matters. Portkey Games and Warner Bros. have understood that incredibly well. The two parties seem to be doing practically everything right with Hogwarts Legacy.
Tada! (Image: Portkey Games / Warner Bros.)
In addition to Hogwarts and Hogsmaede, there is also a gigantic world to explore. You have the freedom to do that on your own or let the intriguing story guide you. Fine with that, the whole Harry Potter vibe is constantly noticeable. As a fan, very nice.
The combat system works incredibly well. You can attack enemies with a standard spell, but also use familiar ones like Expelliarmus or Diffindo against them. It may take a lot of searching at first, but it soon seems to become second nature. Battles are fast, action-packed and make you feel fulfilled.
While exploring the world around you, by the way, spells are also important. Lumos, Wingardium Leviosa and Accio come in incredibly handy at their own times.
Add to that the excellent lessons, flying on your own broomstick or taking care of magical animals and you know you have in your hands exactly what you dreamed of as a Harry Potter fan.
Fly on! (Image: Portkey Games / Warner Bros.)
Just like Harry Potter: chosen one with a feisty enemy
The story in Hogwarts Legacy is pretty darn fun, by the way. Of course, you are not just another student spending your time at the magical wizarding school. You’re another special chosen one with a special gift.
This time the story revolves around The Keepers: a foursome of mages with the ability to use ancient magic. Something that you, hundreds of years later, can also do. Unfortunately, though, there is an evil goblin who is targeting you for that reason.
It is up to you to unravel the story of The Keepers and complete the corresponding missions. This way you will develop yourself as a powerful wizard and make sure that the little evil goblin, and his dangerous followers, are no longer a danger to the world.
Sounds like a simple storyline, but there are several ramifications to the story that keep it interesting, presenting its necessary elements of surprise.
Lesson in bubbling (Image: Portkey Games / Warner Bros.)
More than one main story on PlayStation 5 and Xbox
What I personally like about Hogwarts Legacy is that it doesn’t just stop at this story. Indeed, after twelve hours of play, I’m pretty much on my way, but the game is only 11% complete.
That has to do with countless missions and tasks that the Harry Potter game has to offer. Finding hidden pages, handling problems and developing yourself in the skills involved in being a wizard make for a complete package.
This way you are not only dealing with what the story offers you, but you also take care of your magical animals or brew your own magic potions.
Developing, by the way, can be done in several ways. Of course, you earn EXP by completing missions or defeating enemies. This will raise your levels and also give you access to Talents: a development system that allows you to unlock new skills. Which one you get first is entirely up to you.
Hats off to Portkey (Image: Portkey Games / Warner Bros.)
Furthermore, your gear is also important. The better the cape, the more likely you are to be able to withstand dangers. By the way, keep in mind that certain outfits look ridiculous. You can customize the look in the main menu, which I would really recommend.
Hogwarts Legacy: the Harry Potter dream comes true
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X have Harry Potter fans to offer the ultimate experience. It comes in the form of the best open world game people like me (fans to the absurd) can get.
Hogwarts Legacy faced intensely high expectations and seems to have met them on all sides. There are still a few minor bugs here and there in the game, but personally that’s really all I can say about it.
The story is well put together, the gameplay is fantastic and the magic claps through the screen. I haven’t played a game with such a feeling in ages, and I really mean that. As far as I’m concerned, a must-have title for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, then. Even if you’re not a fan.