Hogwarts Legacy Review – A Dreamy Return to the Wizarding World Worth Experiencing
Hogwarts Legacy is arguably one of the finest video game adaptations of a source medium, whether derived from a book or comic. It has successfully brought the Wizarding World to video games in a manner that leaves us in awe. The game, crafted with an uncommon level of love and care, is highly polished, save for a few unfortunate bugs. With the recent launch of the PS4 version, we had the opportunity to evaluate its performance on last-generation consoles.
Set nearly a century before the events of the Harry Potter movies, Hogwarts Legacy won’t feature the beloved characters from the films. However, there’s still plenty to anticipate in the game. The story, while not particularly unique when viewed from a distance, is an original narrative crafted specifically for the game, centered around a traditional good-versus-evil theme. This approach grants the developers creative freedom and places the player in the role of a new student who appears to be crucial to the unfolding events.
While the story may not impress if you’re merely reading a summary, the game offers a wealth of intriguing elements, including side content that delves into the lore of the Wizarding World. To simplify some game elements, the developers have chosen to start players as fifth-year students at Hogwarts. The game offers a high degree of customization, from the appearance of the main character to the abundant lore scattered throughout the game.
Visually, Hogwarts Legacy is a feast for the eyes. The game looks impressively robust as an open-world adventure on PC and current-generation consoles. However, the developers deserve praise for ensuring it runs well on the PS4 too. One significant drawback of the PS4 version is the load time. For the best and most seamless experience, you’ll need a PC with a fast SSD or a PS5/XSX. Nonetheless, the PS4 version holds up well in terms of performance and visuals compared to current consoles.
From the outset, Hogwarts Legacy captivates with its engaging gameplay. Players control a new student who embarks on a quest with his professor before joining Hogwarts, uncovering a dark past and an unknown threat. This opening prologue serves as a tutorial, allowing players to learn how to use spells to defeat enemies. The combat system is primarily spell-based, which some may find monotonous, but I enjoyed the quick-draw aspects. As players progress, they unlock more spells, expanding the potential for combat scenarios.
Hogwarts Legacy is filled with easter eggs and references to popular lore. While the story is entirely original with new characters, devoted Harry Potter fans will find much to enjoy. Even minor elements, like a shop, may contain features that elicit a chuckle. Excellent voice acting and dialogue help immerse players in the world. Players must attend classes daily while navigating the everyday life of a Hogwarts student.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the developers have not only successfully translated Hogwarts into a game but also made the surrounding areas explorable. Players can acquire a flying broomstick later in the game, allowing them to fly to any location seamlessly. Fast travel is available, but it may trigger a short load screen, a drawback on the PS4 where fast travel leads to longer load times, potentially disrupting immersion. However, I was surprised to find the game runs at an unlocked frame rate on the PS4 and PS4 Pro, which, while not a steady 60 FPS, is still better than the sub-30 FPS I expected from the PS4 version.
Despite its many excellent features, Hogwarts Legacy has some drawbacks. If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, the game, steeped in the lore of the Wizarding World, may not appeal to you. While these elements are easier to appreciate as a fan, even newcomers might find the game enjoyable. The combat, however, is a point of contention. While initially fun, the lack of diverse options and limited enemy variety can make combat feel monotonous over time.
Hogwarts Legacy is undoubtedly one of the best games released this year. It was a delightful surprise for me, as I had long dreamed of such a game. Seeing it become a reality prompts me to commend the developers, Portkey Games, and Warner Bros. for making it happen. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you won’t need this review to decide – just go get the game. If you’re seeking a decent open-world adventure, Hogwarts Legacy is a commendable game worth considering. It might even spark a love for the Wizarding World, encouraging you to delve deeper into it through various books, movies, and other forms of media.
Hogwarts Legacy Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
- Developer: Portkey Games
- Platform: PS4 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher