It’s been a while since the last full Harry Potter game was released for consoles, but fortunately, we’ll soon get to play Hogwarts Legacy, an action RPG set in the Wizarding World. Hogwarts Legacy is being developed by Avalanche Software (best known for the Disney Infinity series) and is being published by Warner Bros. Interactive under the Portkey Games label. It has been in the works for several years now, and up until recently, details about the upcoming game were limited.
Following its official reveal during the PlayStation 5 event in September 2020, development quietly went on in the background, until finally, a March 2022 State of Play event took place, giving us a slew of details about Hogwarts Legacy. Along with that, we’ve searched the internet far and wide to gather as much as possible about the upcoming Harry Potter RPG.
Here’s everything we know about Hogwarts Legacy.
As part of the PS5 event in September 2020, we got a first look at a slew of games, one of which was Hogwarts Legacy. Its official reveal trailer (seen above) depicts the game’s tone and visual style and gives us a look at what to expect from the Hogwarts castle itself. One thing to note is that the trailer features only cinematics — and doesn’t actually show gameplay. Though, considering the game was still far from being complete at that time, it wasn’t unusual to only get a cinematic trailer at that point.
A PlayStation presentation showed off the first look at gameplay, with details on how the RPG mechanics will work. The game will feature a skill tree, a party system, various gear to collect and upgrade, a rich combat system, and a massive castle to explore (along with areas beyond the castle walls). Aside from mechanics, the trailer also depicted the game’s visual style, which looks impressive. Characters border on realistic while still featuring a unique style as created by Avalanche Software.
The official Hogwarts Legacy YouTube channel posted two exclusive gameplay showcase trailers, each going into far more detail about how the game will play with commentary from the team.
Hogwarts Legacy is set to launch on February 10, 2023, for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. Last-gen consoles, such as PS4 and Xbox One, will arrive on April 4, 2023, while Nintendo Switch won’t see the game release until July 25, 2023.
Despite being revealed during the PS5 event, Hogwarts Legacy is a multiplatform game and will come to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and even Nintendo Switch. Interestingly, the Switch edition doesn’t seem to be a cloud-based game like Hitman 3 or Control and will seemingly run on the system natively. Given how good the game looks on consoles, it’s likely that Avalanche will need to make some concessions with the Switch edition to run properly.
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action RPG wherein you’ll attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In it, you’ll be sorted into one of the four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) and be able to attend classes to hone your magical skills. Players will be able to switch Hogwarts houses at any time, but Warner Bros. has not revealed how this will work.
The entire game will be open-world, including the entire titular school, Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest, and the Overland area. As a student, you will learn new spells, grow plants, befriend mythical beasts, and develop relationships with other students.
We also know that the game will take place during the 1800s, meaning Harry Potter won’t be around since he wasn’t born until the late 1900s. This doesn’t mean we won’t get some sort of flash-forward reference to Potter himself, but don’t expect to play as him in Hogwarts Legacy.
Here’s a brief official explanation of what to expect from Hogwarts Legacy’s gameplay, per Warner Bros.:
“[Players] will grow their character’s abilities as they master powerful spells, hone combat skills, and select companions to help them face off against deadly enemies. Players will also encounter missions and scenarios that will pose difficult choices and determine what they stand for.”
Enemies include Trolls, Dark Wizards, goblins, and other iconic creatures from the franchise. There is mention of a primary villain, but their identity is still unknown. We only know that they are somehow threatening the fate of the entire wizarding world.
Speaking of which, combat will play a major role in Hogwarts Legacy, functioning a lot like many fast-paced action games. But instead of using melee weapons to strike enemies, you’ll use spells to levitate your foes, manipulate objects that surround you, deal fire damage, or dish out other incantations to survive. It seems like chaining together spells will be a main component of combat, making the game feel fast and frenetic.
Beyond that, you’ll have a slew of talents to apply to your character, ranging from stealth-oriented abilities to different combat techniques and collectibles to find. There’s even a looting mechanic that involves finding different gear to enhance your witch/wizard, making it feel like a fantasy RPG.
Based on the game’s marketing so far, Hogwarts Legacy is expected to be a single-player adventure. Warner Bros. has officially ruled out the possibility of a multiplayer component, as part of a lengthy FAQ.
Hogwarts Legacy is on its way to shelves with an official date for all platforms now, so preorders are available. There are several editions to pick from, so check out our handy preorder guide to help you sort out which is right for you.
Following Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s transphobic statements on social media, many longtime fans were not happy and questioned supporting the upcoming game. In response to this, Warner Bros. devoted a segment to the game’s FAQ section that reads, “J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game; however, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World. This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”
In regards to Rowling’s backlash from fans, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said to Variety, “The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues. Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”
When questioned by Kotaku about whether Rowling would receive royalties for Hogwarts Legacy, Warner Bros. declined to comment.
In light of the recent State of Play presentation, many industry veterans expressed their viewpoints on the matter, taking a hard stance on Rowling and the things she’s said. Writer Jessie Earl wrote a thoughtful breakdown of the entire situation for GameSpot, detailing the repercussions of Rowling’s remarks.
Other outlets such as Fanbyte have outright refused to cover the game in a traditional capacity, instead linking to trans charities to support rather than build hype for the game.
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