Hogwarts Legacy – An ode to the wizarding world
Does Hogwarts Legacy give Harry Potter fans what they’ve been waiting for all these years – an open world Harry Potter adventure? It seems like their prayers have been answered.
The world has been talking about Hogwarts Legacy ever since it launched on February 10. Who wouldn't? It is the one Harry Potter fans have been wanting for years. J.K. Rowling's first entry into the world of magic debuted in 1997 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and the Wizarding World has fascinated people ever since. The Harry Potter films brought this magic world to life with fans able to witness magic, spells, curses and more in live action.
So, when Portkey Games announced Hogwarts Legacy at the PlayStation event in September 2020, fans were ecstatic. It was the first proper Harry Potter game since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which was released in 2011. However, with excitement came skepticism. Would it be able to give Harry Potter fans what they've been wanting all these years – an open world Harry Potter adventure? It seems like Hogwarts Legacy has managed to answer that question.
Hogwarts Legacy: An immersive wizarding world
The Wizarding World of Hogwarts Legacy is an ode to Harry Potter books as well as films, giving players not just a peek, but a chance to live in the Wizarding World. Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG which is the largest Harry Potter video-game adaptation to date. Taking place nearly a century before the events of the Harry Potter books, Hogwarts Legacy gives players and fans alike a chance to delve into the world of magic and experience Hogwarts in the 1800s.
Many open-world games in recent history have fallen victim to having a vast but empty world. But this isn't the case with Hogwarts Legacy. Like Rocksteady's adaptation of the Arkham Asylum series, this is the biggest, most immersive and certainly the best adaptation of the wizarding world to date.
From getting sorted into houses, exploring common rooms, joining the dueling club to mastering the spells, everything you've read in books and seen in films has come to life. There are even unforgivable curses such as the famous Avada Kedavra to fulfill your hidden Slytherin fantasies.
Players get a chance to explore popular areas from the Harry Potter lore such as Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest and more. As a wizard, you not only engage is wizarding activities like learning spells, brewing potions, growing plants, and tending to various magical beasts, but also delve into a dark world of goblins, trolls and dark wizards on a journey which will bring you face to face with the malevolent wizard threatening the world.
Although it might seem that Hogwarts Legacy is the perfect game, it has its shortcomings. The most glaring one is its engine. Despite being launched on the current-gen consoles (with a legacy console version to arrive later), it still runs on the Unreal Engine 4 which is nearly 8 years old. That could be probably due to the game being in development before the announcement of Unreal Engine 5. Although the game looks visually stunning, especially on a 4K HDR display, it would've been nice to see UE5 implemented on the latest-gen consoles.
Though the game runs fine on consoles, the PC port of the game has been plagued by several issues such as crashing, stuttering, bugs and more. As is the case with other Unreal Engine 4 games, stuttering is the most troubling issue to players with voice acting going out of sync as well as consistent stuttering, no matter which PC or graphics card you run. Although the game's minimum system requirements recommend Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470 paired with an Intel Core i5 660 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400, gamers with much more powerful hardware have suffered from the same issues.
You can't please everyone, and that certainly seems to be the case with Hogwarts Legacy. While the open-world RPG has mesmerized Harry Potter fans, some players also feel that the game tries to do too much. With a plethora of side quests, mini games and environmental puzzles, the game can feel too overwhelming, especially to those who are new to RPGs.
One of the most critical shortcomings of the game is the absence of Quidditch. Although broom flight for traversal and broom race challenges are part of the game, Quidditch is not playable. And although it could potentially arrive as a future DLC, it would've been nice to experience the most popular sport in Hogwarts from the start.
Although Hogwarts Legacy is less than a month old and people are still just starting out their journey into the wizarding world, future plans could do well with the original characters being integrated into the game. Moreover, a Quidditch add-on could engage players even more.
Avalanche Software has an amazing opportunity to take on the likes of GTA Online with Hogwarts Legacy. There's massive potential for a multiplayer where wizards could explore Hogwarts, engage in duels, master the art of spells and more together.