Before we start.
Our team at Rapid Reviews believe in the importance and value of representation in all aspects of our work. We believe in the power of inclusion and diversity, and recognise the strength that comes from having differing backgrounds and perspectives. We wholeheartedly distance ourselves from all of the abhorrent statements and actions undertaken by J.K Rowling the original creator of the world this game is based on. We recognise the work and love that has gone into this game, by the creators and designers that choose to allow their work to stand alone and at a distance from much of the source materials themselves. We value the commitment they have undertaken to create an experience that offers representation across gender, cultures and backgrounds and truly stands as its own individual contribution.
Developer: Portkey Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 10th February 2023
A Wizarding World Like Never Before
Welcome to Hogwarts Legacy, a chance to experience all the wonders that Hogwarts (amongst other areas) has to offer. Starting out your journey in Central London, you’re quickly whisked off on a wonderous adventure full of excitement. You’ll soon find yourself at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Before you can begin your new life at Hogwarts as a new 5th-year student, you must first be sorted into either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. While you can choose your house directly through this, you may also link your Wizarding World account to the game. On this site, you can take a test to see which house best suits you, along with things like your wand and patronus (do it, it’s great). This can be done either on a desktop browser or via the app. Your results will be imported into the game and will help to guide your story (though you can choose differently if you so desire). Your path is yours to choose, should you be brave enough.
Throughout your epic journey, you’ll meet many interesting characters (not all good). From the clever Gryffindor Witch, Natasi Onai to the Headmaster, Phineas Nugellus Black (portrayed by none other than Simon Pegg). All the voice acting in this has been done superbly, not to mention accurately. With Hogwarts being set in the Scottish Highlands, many of the characters have Scottish (or otherwise British) accents. In addition to these wonderful characters, the first Transgender Witch has been introduced to the franchise. The development between the main character and the inhabitants of Hogwarts is absolutely brilliant.
The Wonderous Wizarding World
While you may be familiar with the Wizarding World from other areas of the franchise, Hogwarts Legacy takes it to the next level. You will find yourself immersed in the entirety of Hogwarts and its grounds, the village of Hogsmeade and more. The size of the areas for you to explore are enormous. Luckily you can travel around the castle using the Floo Powder network and the grounds using your broom. Or you can just run like me because I love getting lost!
Using the following 3D map of Hogwarts you use in-game, you can see the various areas of the castle – indicated by the flags. Within each of these areas are several more locations, many of which have fast travel points. It’s big, that’s all I’m saying.
On top of this, the detail is impeccable. From each individual stone in the walls to the books in the library, every part of this game is graphically incredible. While you can play this on the more graphic-focused mode for even more detail, I played it on the performance mode and was still blown away by the design (as well as the smooth frame rate). One thing that particularly stood out to me was the character design. Not only were all the movements very natural and smooth, the faces actually look good – the true sign of game quality!
We’re Off To See The Wizard
Now I promise this is spoiler free, so I won’t be covering any details of the story content. When you begin your journey, you are guided by an easy-to-follow quest menu. This helps you to keep track of your objectives and it breaks them into various sections (Main, Side, Etc). When you enable your chosen quest, you can follow the minimap or use the guiding spell to take you to your next objective.
The main story is full of mystery, excitement and adventure. There’s never a dull moment. When it comes to side quests, there is a big variety, some of which include the standard “find this thing I lost” and “fight me” missions. When it comes to these side missions however, I found that they didn’t feel repetitive or annoying. The NPCs gave you a reason to want to do them too (besides the rewards, duh). What was great is that while the side quests can be easily missed if you are focused, the characters will often call out to you or talk to you when you are near, indicating they have something for you. Certainly a nice feature when you’re as oblivious as me. Oh, and if you’re a completionist, good news! There’s SO MUCH stuff to find and discover.
Abra Kedabra… or is it Avada Kedavra?
A game about magic would suck without the… well, magic! Fortunately it’s in no short supply here. From the 26 learnable spells, to the magical creatures and enchanted decor, you’ll find magic at every turn. Now before you try and load the game and start Expelliarmus-ing people, you’ll need to attend class. This is one of the main ways to learn the spells and charms you’ll need throughout your adventure. You can equip a number of them at once, but not all of them – That would require a lot of buttons. Instead, several can be assigned and changed at your leisure. In a fight using Lumos? Might wanna switch that one out bud, AND YOU CAN!
Verdict From A Former Student
Having played a character in 2 of the movies, I found it thrilling to be able to once again experience Hogwarts. It brought back many memories and was incredibly exciting. I must commend Portkey Games for creating this masterpiece so well. I remember being in the courtyards, the Great Hall and more – and they look identical to when I was in the studio. Being able to have the full Hogwarts experience that every child wanted from the comfort of my office is an absolute delight. I think I’m going to have a hard time getting the controller off my girlfriend, I want to play more! All in all, if you were ever a fan of the Wizarding World, I implore you to get this title, you won’t regret it. Absolutely Faultless.
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5
You can buy Hogwarts Legacy on all major platforms, or from the Hogwarts Legacy Website
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.