Friday, April 19, 2024

Hogwarts Legacy Review

(Guest post by Preston)

4 out of 5 stars

As a child, my parents thought video games were a waste of time and killed brain cells and did not permit gaming systems in the house. I did play some games on PC but even that was limited. They referred to Nintendo and “pretend-o”. Over the years, they relaxed and my older siblings started bringing systems into the house like the Xbox and the Wii. My parents knew it was in the house and just ignored it. When dating my wife, she bought a Wii and we would play Wii Sports and Wii Fit on Saturday mornings together. Now, married for 9 years and finally into my career, we recently purchased a Nintendo Switch with Hogwarts Legacy being one of the main games we were planning to buy when it was available. It has certainly not been a disappointment.

If you’ve never been exposed to J.K. Rowling's world of witches and wizards, be ready for a magical experience. Don’t expect Hogwarts Legacy to be an adventure quite like the Harry Potter book series in video game form. Comparing Legacy to the original Harry Potter-based PC games, there is much greater opportunity to explore and complete a wide range of side quests and activities while working through the story quests.

’s story did take me by surprise and I had to “get over” the shock of it at first. Rather than a student being accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when they turn 11, the main character is accepted as a student at the age of 15. One’s character is brought to the school individually by a staff member and the story begins in transit. Once getting over this oddity, the story progresses in the midst of magical animal poachers, a goblin rebellion, and other dark wizard activities and is actually quite intriguing. Many of the side quests are also unique and exhilarating, not to mention the differences in quest progression depending on which Hogwarts house is chosen at the start of the game. That being said, if you don’t like spiders, you may prefer to follow the butterflies and look for a happier game.

Gameplay is fairly uncomplicated with the typical jump, dodge/block, and spellcasting abilities with a tool wheel for using potions and dangerous plants. In Legacy’s world of magic, however, the number of spells one can use is very limited with only about 24 spells, some of which can only be used in a specific location (the Room of Requirement). Luckily the potions and plants, including venomous tentacula and Chinese chomping cabbages, add another dimension not typically utilized in the Harry Potter book series or games.

The Legacy world itself is quite large with much to explore including 3 main areas of Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade, and “the world”, all with their own pros and cons. Loading time in Hogsmeade is a pain as every time you enter or exit a building the game has to reload, which is not a significant problem in the Castle or the world. The mini-map in the Castle is challenging as well as it does not account well for multiple floors and finding where things are on the map can be challenging. Other than a large world for exploration, another great aspect of Legacy is the Room of Requirement. Once unlocked in gameplay, you can use this room as a personal hub for designing a large room, brewing potions, growing magical plants, and raising magical beasts whose fur or feathers help upgrade one’s gear and strengthen the character. Being an animal lover myself, I find catching, raising, and breeding magical beasts especially fun (and the baby creatures are adorable).

Like everything in today’s world, Legacy is not devoid of diversity (take that as pro or con, however you decide). The game includes at least 3 LGBTQ individuals, although interactions with these individuals can be very limited if you choose for them to be so. My wife didn’t even notice any of the characters until I pointed them out. Obviously no transition or homosexual activities are portrayed in the game; but, for those who (like my wife’s grandmother) are vehemently against anything of this variety anywhere in life, you may consider avoiding Hogwarts Legacy

Overall, Hogwarts Legacy provides a large world of exploration with clever quests, magical battles, an easy to understand gameplay, and hours of enjoyment. I would certainly recommend this game to anyone, except my parents.

No comments:

Post a Comment