Friday, September 18, 2020

Hogwarts Legacy - Maneuver Through The Hype

Okay watch this trailer then we will discuss. 

Finished? Are you pumped for this game? 

Calm down. 

While the graphics look admittedly amazing, I have to point out the one thing missing from this trailer before the hype overruns everyone like the annoying internet troll that I am: 

There is no gameplay. 

We don’t even get a hint as to what kind of game it is. Presumably it’s some sort of open world affair akin to Bully, but for all we know it could be a Cooking Mama clone with a Bejeweled style minigame and microtransactions to unlock eye color. My point is that all this trailer really gives us is that it’s Harry Potter and it presumably takes place long before the books, so it doesn’t have to deal with a lot of cannon stuff, a la Knights of the Old Republic, but that it. 

What I Want To See

Okay so maybe I just want them to rerelease Bully, because honestly that game was a perfect school-based sandbox, so I basically want Bully but with magic, but let’s get technical. 

*Open World

Open world Harry Potter games have been tried before with mixed results, the best probably being the Lego Harry Potter games, but if we’re going to go open world with this thing then I want open world. I want a layout of Hogwarts castle with secrets, collectables, and fun easter eggs as far as the eye can see. I want Hogwarts to feel like a place not just a box painted to look like Hogwarts. 

*Limited Combat

The trailer shows the Harry Potter brand zombies and a bunch of Hagrid’s favorite pets, but honestly if most of the game is fighting I’m out. One thing about the Harry Potter series is that while combat is important it’s not the focus of magic. Being able to figure your way through a combat with a variety of spells, like levitating an enemy onto a nearby chandelier, turning them into a ferret, or animating a nearby suit of armor to fight for you would be far better than the standard shoot spells until the bad guy falls down. 

*Character Customization

There’s arguments for and against custom characters in video games. Established characters like Nathan Drake and Aloy let the player experience that character’s story, making a potentially rich story driven narrative as we see a character change and grow throughout the game. However, as I’ve argued many times before, I don’t read Harry Potter because I’m interested in what happens to Harry Potter. The world Rowling created is to me a far more interesting character than most of her mains (Except of course Snape who is straight up Shakesperian). I then would want to play a custom hero, a self-insert to see how I’d personally do in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, what decisions I’d make and how I’d create my own story. As my contemporary Spencer indicates in his 5 Additional Harry Potter Story Ideas, this world has so much potential to be explored, so many untold stories, that it would be fun to tell one of our own. 

Please do it right.


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