Hogwarts Legacy | The magic of nostalgia
Type of game
Duelling students in Hogwarts’ halls, planting Mandrakes, flying around the castle on a broom.
Hogwarts Legacy tries its best to capture the magic of the Harry Potter world. Avalanche Software‘s long-awaited open-world action role-playing game sends players into their childhood by recreating Hogwarts Castle and its secrets. Taking a peek into the 19th-century Wizarding World, the game tries to balance coziness with an action-adventure plot.
Living the Hogwarts Legacy magic
A group of teenagers exploring magic forests, ruined castles and discovering ancient relics. Quests in Hogwarts Legacy feel like a magical The Goonies. While not as tight-knit a group as the 1985 classic, the game’s characters share plenty of adventures. From saving a hippogriff from poachers to braving long-lost Hogwarts dungeons, players have their work cut out for them.
Avalanche‘s first game of this scale, Hogwarts Legacy‘s pride is the Castle itself. Fully explorable, Hogwarts has been crafted with care, recreating every room from the books and movies. The atmosphere oozes magic and a soundtrack that mixes the movies’ riffs with original tracks helps in immersing players into the world. Avalanche tried its best to give people who grew up with Harry Potter a place to relive their childhood. As such, the game’s first impact is a constant nostalgia trip. Players can challenge themselves to find their favorite Hogwarts spots, hang out in common rooms, or wander Hogsmeade.
A Potterhead’s first RPG
Given the popularity of Harry Potter, Avalanche chose to create a product that even non-gamers could appreciate. As a result, most mechanics and challenges are simplified versions of other open-world RPGs. For example, the open world exploration is similar to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, as there are camps to clear from enemies, exploration high points to reach and collectibles to find, but Hogwarts Legacy simplifies the map completion tasks, as, for instance, it doesn’t require players to find a tower-checkpoint to reveal the locations around them, instead a staple of the Ubisoft titles. Moreover, challenges and hidden secrets dot the map. They’re not too complex nor varied but are an entry point for newcomers in gaming. At the same time, Hogwarts Legacy offers dynamic combat that, especially on higher difficulties, can still offer a challenge to those well-versed in gaming.
Pain and responsibility
While Hogwarts Legacy is focused on creating a whimsical atmosphere, its plot deals with pain and acceptance. Through the main quest, players discover ancient magic capable of removing feelings of sorrow, anger, and fear from people. While it could be used to help a cursed friend, magic could easily destroy any emotion. Moreover, the removed emotions could be collected and used to grant power, allowing dark mages to commit evil deeds through them. While the game doesn’t delve too deep into the ramifications, it still shows how emotions like sadness or pain are part of life. Trying to create a world without them is useless and ultimately causes destruction, instead of healing.
Even though this was Avalanche Software‘s first large-scale game, Hogwarts Legacy broke every expectation. In just two weeks since its launch, the game had sold more than 12 million copies. In the UK it remained a top seller for numerous weeks. On Steam it gathered the highest player count for a single-player game, with only Cyberpunk 2077 surpassing it. While plans for DLCs haven’t yet been disclosed, this success, in addition to the imminent global release of the Chinese mobile game Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, spells a rosy future for the franchise’s gaming section.