Hogwarts Legacy Review


If you grew up in the 90’s/early 2000’s there’s a good chance you were either a fan of, or at least knew of the Harry Potter series. PotterMania was everywhere at the time and the books were even part of my school curriculum. Along with the release of the movies, I found myself quite the fan of the universe, it’s characters and plot. Thus when Hogwarts Legacy was originally announced, me, along with many other Potter fans said this was the game we’ve always dreamed of playing. There have been numerous other games for the franchise but none let you explore the world described in the books and live the experience of being a student in the magical school of Hogwarts in the same way that Hogwarts Legacy does. If you’re looking for a really solid single player experience that let’s you role play your Hogwarts dreams to the fullest, Hogwarts Legacy is probably the game for you.

Hogwarts Legacy Review

In Hogwarts Legacy, you play as a custom created student that is enrolling in Hogwarts during the late 1800’s, putting this far before the events that took place in the book series that inspired it. Your character is joining the school as a 5th year student which is quite out of the norm for a witch or wizard to join school so late unless they’re transferring from another wizard into school so it’s clear right off the bat that there’s probably something pretty special about your character. The story does kick off with quite a bang, getting you invested in your personal story as well as that of your immediate accomplices and has implemented some clever systems and story reasons for why you’re joining school late and how to bring you up to speed with your fellow students.

You’ll be creating your own custom witch or wizard to play as in the game and I was quite impressed with the customisation provided by the character creator. You’ll be able to tweak just about every aspect of the character’s appearance to your liking and the game offers a diverse range of skin, hair, build and facial feature options to tweak. I was also quite impressed by the visual fidelity of the character models in the game, both with the options you have to select from and also those used for the other npcs. Hogwarts Legacy is all round pretty gorgeous to look at.

Hogwarts Legacy Review

Hogwarts Legacy is huge on customisation. Not just around the appearance of your character and common room. It features an RPG style loot system that allows you to change your equipped items of clothing to upgrade your character’s strengths and resistances as you discover and unlock higher powered magical gear. Your outfit, cloak, headgear, face wear, robes, mount, broom and wand can all be individually customised from the character menu, and it’s something you’ll be changing frequently as you’ll continually find bigger and better gear as you play through the game. Some of it though does look really silly and broke the look of the character I was going for, so I really liked that the game allows you to make any of the equiped items invisible or transmog them to appear as a different piece of gear but maintain the abilities of the original item so that you can still play the witch or wizard you want when it comes to appearance.

Upon actually getting to Hogwarts you’ll go through your sorting ceremony and be sorted into your Hogwarts House. This is guided for the player by answering a couple of questions about themselves but if you don’t like the outcome you do have the option of manually selecting a preferred house. This determines which dorm you reside in, your common room, context for some character interactions and in some cases quests that can be available. It gives you a home base to share with your fellow students and further reinforces the feeling of a school and having support from other student of the same house and a place in the school that feels like yours.

Being set many years before the events of Harry and his battle with the Dark Lord, Hogwarts Legacy contains a completely original main story to play through. It explains why your character is special, the link to ancient magic, a nefarious plot involving goblins and is a pretty solid heroes journey style story. It has a lot of parallels to the story of Harry from the books, some of which I liked, such as this tweaked version of him being a different ‘chosen one’ but some scenes, such as the wand selection at Ollivanders play out too similarly to how it was for Harry making it seem far less unique and special and like I’d already seen it before.

Hogwarts Legacy Review

Where Hogwarts Legacy becomes incredible is with it’s recreation of Hogwarts and it’s surrounding areas. It’s amazing to be able to traverse the whole castle seamlessly and venture to nearby towns such as Hogsmeade to get a better understanding of the layout of the world and context for where everything is, as even the films have cuts between scenes that fail to represent how large the castle of Hogwarts and the surrounding are. It’s also great to be able to have the experience of being a student in this school we know so much about just from the books, but now we’re right there in it attending classes, learning and upgrading spells, practising skills and playing games and especially completing quest after quest for the teachers and other fellow students.

The game isn’t all about just attending classes and having fun with other students though. There’s a main story that features quite the nefarious plot and involves quite a number of large scale confrontations and battles. Combat in Hogwarts Legacy feels great. Flinging spells and combining them to create some devastating combos feels really great. And if you’re a player that has been interested by the game purely for a love of the franchise rather than a love of combat focussed games, Hogwarts Legacy does feature multiple difficulty options that tweak how hard these encounters are so that if you’re a player that wants to focus solely on the story, these battles won’t hold you back too much.

Hogwarts Legacy Review

Hogwarts Legacy also has plenty of side objectives to pick up and complete along the way while you’re progressing the main storylines as well. It’s another one of the game’s strengths because unlike many other open world games with RPG elements, the side quests are often just as enjoyable and fun to do as the objectives in the main story. Hogwarts Legacy utilises multiple gameplay systems to make these side objectives diverse too featuring missions based around collecting items, solving puzzles, finding secrets, broom flying, clearing enemies from an area, strengthening spells among many others. This range of things to do helps the game feel fresh moment to moment and I often found myself distracted by doing side objectives instead of progressing the main story because they’re just so fun and can be achievable in little time, allowing you to just tick them off along the way while progressing the main quest line.

For lovers of music, you’re going to get a kick out of the score in Hogwarts Legacy. The music puts you right into the world of Harry Potter. It’s very inspired by the scores of the films and the soundtrack in Hogwarts Legacy has many tracks that feature phrases from the film scores and blend them into original compositions to create new music that feels very familiar and also fitting for the Harry Potter universe while also being original pieces of music backing your adventure through this magical world.

Hogwarts Legacy was almost the perfect Harry Potter game for me. It’s arguably the best video game we’ve ever received from the franchise thus far but I was still let down in a couple of areas. Being that the game was pitched as ‘you can be the wizard you want to be’ I really would have loved if the game featured branching paths or actually had story diversions based on my decisions or my actions I took throughout the game. It would have made me feel that my character had a bigger impact on the world and those within it if there was more narrative choice available. Regardless of your moment to moment decisions, the main story still plays out the same way and there’s no consequence or impact outside of a few dialogue lines thrown out by some characters for playing a dark wizard and utilising the spells that have been widely referred to as ‘unforgivable’. I would have also loved if the game had included capabilities for Quidditch. It’s a massive part of the series, would have provided some great competition between myself and the other students and their houses and the flying mechanics and quidditch pitch are already in the game. Fingers crossed it may come in a future expansion or a sequel.

Hogwarts Legacy Review

Final Thoughts

If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter universe, this is the game you’ve been awaiting for years. It really let’s you live the life of a Hogwarts student, and experience exploring the Hogwarts castle and attending classes all for yourself. There’s plenty of Easter eggs about for fans of the series, and with so much engaging side content, the game will keep you entertained for a long time to come and captures the feel of being a witch or wizard flinging spells to take down enemies perfectly. I’d love to see what a sequel could offer if the team are given the chance, because they’ve almost hit perfection on their first attempt with the Harry Potter IP.

A PS5 review code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

If you want to see more content like this and never miss one of our frequent gaming and anime giveaways come and on Twitter.


Played On: PS5

  • + A great representation of the wizard in world
  • + Looks visually gorgeous
  • + So much interesting side content
  • + An engaging original story

  • - No diverging paths based on player choice
  • - Really wanted some Quidditch action

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.