“A New Wizarding Tale”
June 15, 2023 at 8:48pm
By Jason Stettner
It’s time for a fresh start within the Wizarding World. Within Hogwarts Legacy you begin as a late starting student and you quickly get to making your mark. It’s something that’s easier to just go along with and I’m sure you’ll have fun once you embrace the quirky yet somewhat serious attitude.
It does have some darker tones to it, but this is very much about the excitement and wonder of exploring the world surrounding Hogwarts. It’s an entirely fresh narrative and scenario, taking place well beyond any realms of the Harry Potter books so everything comes across as new. You become your entirely own student and start adventuring about the grounds.
You’ll go on various main missions or also just explore and take in a variety of side quests. There really are only a few side ventures that are really worth taking in, such as the ones regarding interactions with key companions but there certainly is lots to do.
The main narrative is quite chunky being well over twenty hours if you don’t partake in extra content but you’ll likely end up doing so. There are some light bits of level locking, but they won’t take you much to complete in order to get rolling again.
As I noted you are a student and you will take in some classes, that aspect I wish was expanded upon slightly. At the same time, it was enough of a taste that I was satisfied. You will literally get to enjoy a full year of being a student which is a lovely time.
There’s even ventures down to Hogsmeade you can do at any time and a vast world beyond the very well detailed area of Hogwarts itself. The outer areas are filled with combative spots or other things to take in, but honestly it feels a bit overly large as that stuff feels a tad too much like busy work.
That’s a lot of the outer areas. You’re either fighting a brief group of enemies, gathering collectibles or doing a puzzle. That aspect gets repetitive, but it really is just sort of secondary content as the main narrative is the chunk that will most entice and delight you.
They really did do a great job with the story here as it offers a lengthy tale alongside many unique characters to meet and places to visit. You’ll get to know about the history of the castle and some of the deeper secrets hidden back way long ago. It really is quite a magical tale and one that keeps it fresh the further the journey goes on.
The world of Hogwarts Legacy is extensive and large in scale, filled with many activities to take part in. There are many roaming creatures and things to collect within that space as well. The castle of Hogwarts itself is beautifully recreated with so many iconic spaces to visit, and secrets to explore. It’s also tailored to you right from the start where you get to pick what house you represent.
Then your starting area is unique and some aspects of the game are adjusted based on that very preference. The outer environment also varies greatly from season to season, and with weathering as well. It might be night and starry or maybe the day with some rain. The environment really is rather lovely and distinct enough as you visit the varying parts.
You pair that with piles of particle effects during your interactions. The design of combat in this is really quite excellent and exciting. You’re unleashing a fury of spells, which you are gaining as you progress in the story. These range from dark curses to lighter fun things such as making stuff levitate about. The spells will be how you tackle enemies, solve puzzles and be able to explore.
Speaking of puzzles there are these challenge rooms you periodically explore, think Breath of the Wild. They were neat, not too difficult but did slightly change the pace of the story a bit in a weird way. Anyways, you get to unleash some really interesting powers and it’s neat to see this is perhaps a really great magical RPG even outside the realms of whether you’re into the universe of Harry Potter. It’s just a good, fun game to play. Being magical you’ll also not just have to walk everywhere, thankfully.
You’re able to use a broomstick or other fun creatures that you gather over time. Which also makes me want to mention that you can collect creatures sort of Chao Garden wise to breed them and what not which is neat. You actually get a whole room where you can customize and do stuff within such as potion making. The game really is vast and rather deep with content.
When it comes to the performance of the game the Xbox Series X version is filled with choice. You get everything from ray tracing to performance or even fidelity choices. High frame rates or a balance and it was nice to have so many options in how one could choose to play. I went for performance mode which looked visually solid enough and had good enough performance. There were certainly some dips, but all things considered I was pleased with it.
Hogwarts Legacy provides a magical adventure set within a beautifully well detailed Hogwarts, it really does make the school year come alive in an exciting and interesting way. It features a lengthy narrative that gives you through a full seasonal experience.
You get to meet many exciting characters and explore the grounds surrounding the legendary castle. It really is that sort of Hogwarts experience within a game. They certainly did hit that sense of wonder you likely found from the books or games and it’s a delightful time.
I did find some of the outer activities a tad bland but honestly you don’t really have to spend any time interacting with them if you don’t want to. There are so many other things to take part in from lengthy main side stories to exploration to taking care of animals. The game constantly had new exciting things to share with me and it was fascinating to see that expand over time.
The magical combat is another great area of the game filled with dynamic usage and many easy ways to access a plethora of spells. By the end I had an incredible selection of unique and very distinct spells to unleash upon foes or anything unlucky enough to get in my way. This really was a charming adventure to go on.
I think it’s perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series but also just a really great role playing game for those that maybe just want to go to a magical school. You really don’t need any prior franchise knowledge to enjoy this one and can essentially forget it’s part of something else if need be. That in itself is a very hard task to manage and they certainly did hit the mark for it very well.
So with that I think it’s a magical journey worth taking. You get to truly go on your own adventure in Hogwarts and make that what you want it to be which is exciting. I had a grand time and I hope this concept does get expanded upon further down the road as this was an exciting adventure to have. It felt new, distinct and exciting.
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Hogwarts Legacy Review on Xbox Series X
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