take a peek Hogwarts Legacy: We’ve played it, is this really the Harry Potter game everyone’s been waiting for?
Hogwarts Legacy is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated games of 2023. Suffice it to say that we’re eager to get our hands on the game to find out what sauce Warner and Avalanche Software have planned to feed us. So, does playing in the Harry Potter universe sound appealing? Our impressions after a good time playing.
Preview the conditions
We were invited to play for an hour on the PS5 in Hogwarts Legacy. Thus we discover three different stages of the game, namely the introduction, a part more focused on exploring the inside of the castle and a significant mission with Poppy outside of Hogwarts. After that, we also spoke with Kelly Murphy, lead designer and Moira Squier, lead narrative.
- Hogwarts opens you up
- You are a wizard, but not Harry Potter
- Get out your chopsticks!
Pre-order Hogwarts Legacy on PS5 with Amazon
Hogwarts opens you up
As an imposing logo emerges from the fog, the first notes of the familiar theme ring in our ears. No doubt possible, we have entered the world of wizards. And it’s quite amazing to see how quickly the magic happens. So yes, there is an element of nostalgia. A few moments also recall the adventures of the famous wizard that allowed us to discover Hogwarts for the first time. Pretty subtle nods that fans of the franchise are sure to enjoy. But the magic doesn’t stop there, far from it. The promise of Hogwarts Legacy is for us to discover Hogwarts castle (and its surroundings) in a different way. And from a visual and atmospheric point of view, it is a great achievement. Whether outside or inside the house, the decorations are particularly successful and well thought out. It exudes magic everywhere, from the entrance to the greenhouse to the little animations of objects. Hogwarts Legacy Castle: Hogwarts Legacy has its own little leg and this brief overview made us get lost there for hours. True, it’s a bit less attractive when you focus on details, like the sometimes frozen animations of faces or the rendering of hair. In general, we feel the technical limitations of a studio that has never worked on such an ambitious project.
But with this data in mind, the feat seems even more impressive. Especially since, against all expectations, the corridors of the castle are quite lively. Following the first gameplay showcase, this is one of the big concerns for players. Well the little time spent in the game has managed to reassure us at this moment. The entries from Peeves, the gossip that reaches our ears (which will change depending on your house according to the developers) and the little activities available here and there bring this school to life.
So definitely, the animations of the NPCs aren’t very varied and there isn’t always something going on. But you just have to let yourself be carried away by the music to enjoy the ride. And even our short trip outside the grounds of Hogwarts convinced us completely. It remains to be seen whether everything from the Hogwarts Legacy will invite us to adventure and exploration. Especially since it will take, according to the developers, about forty hours to complete the main story. And you can add to that the additional content that many have promised us.
And on the writing side, what does it look like? Well it looks pretty interesting. The completed mission served both story and character development. Moreover, everything we are shown is colorful and seems to convey the sympathetic tone already present in the books / movies. As you can understand, this first appetizer convinced us of the fascinating potential of the universe offered by Avalanche Software and Warner Bros.
You are a wizard, but not Harry Potter
The developers clearly told us in our interview: the goal of Hogwarts Legacy is for you to bring your own story to life within the wizarding world. In the idea, everyone should therefore meet there to modify their adventure according to their wishes. And it’s remarkably involved the very complete character creation tool. Honestly, we’re not surprised. The first gameplay showcase introduced us to this tool, which promised to be complete. But it’s still different when you see it yourself. Fifteen face shapes, twenty skin tones, fifty haircuts and heaps of possible colors… And then, there’s the style. In terms of appearance and avatar customization, Hogwarts Legacy is clearly one of the best examples to follow. And the same goes for the very inclusive aspect of the tool. If you are scarred, trans (given the controversy is important) or a member of any ethnic community, you can create a character in your image. The bet is therefore more successful for the Hogwarts Legacy!
And the customization doesn’t stop there. You can really change the look of your gear to live adventures in style, and it must be said that it’s pretty cool. Story-wise, it’s too early to tell how our choices will affect the rest of the game. But according to the developers, a few small decisions can change the way NPCs interact with you and others. , more importantly (especially with the use of black magic ), will affect the end of your adventure. What we saw, however, was that the Unforgivable Spells clearly changed the situation during the battle.
Get out your chopsticks!
If Avalanche Software’s first showcase reassured us about the game’s gameplay, this preview succeeded in dispelling some lingering doubts. First, because the fight choreographies are very pleasing to the eyes and that the information is well transcribed on the screen (makes you forget the slightly busy side). A counter system based on a very precise tempo punctuates the whole which then is as good to watch as it is to play. Only downside: the lack of precision in movements, some sequences and the tool to block the aim on one enemy in particular. In addition, the combat system requires a little time to adapt to fully master it and therefore is not the most accessible.
But once these few inconveniences are overcome, it’s a real pleasure to wave your wand at Hogwarts Legacy. In addition, the many spells allow you to adjust your fighting style greatly. And then the enemy’s protection system (sensitive to a single type of spell) will force you to adapt to it anyway. Add to that the possibility to interact with the environment (by throwing enemies into space, for example) and you get really engaging and interesting battles. It remains to be seen if they will keep this flavor throughout the game.
Overall, the game clearly has better gameplay than one would expect. In addition to the dynamism of battles, it is also possible to choose its strategy (stealth or aggressive). It doesn’t seem like much is said, but it helps give the Hogwarts Legacy gameplay that looks more advanced than expected and will therefore appeal to true fans of the license as well as curious players. Add to that the dark tone the title seems to take and you have a game capable of intriguing even the most hardened Muggles.
Avalanche Software has clearly done a tremendous job on Hogwarts Legacy, and it shows. This overview has really succeeded in clearing our doubts. The battle system is addictive and more complete than we imagined and the castle is far from empty. True, the title has some shortcomings technically speaking, but the magic of the title easily manages to make them disappear behind a commendable and attractive artistic direction. Right now, Hogwarts Legacy is all set to be the ultimate Harry Potter game that fans have been waiting for. If the proposal proves to be as solid as we’ve seen, Hogwarts Legacy could tempt players who weren’t fans of the universe to begin with. It remains to wait for the test to find out if the game is really capable of achieving this feat or not.
Pre-order Hogwarts Legacy on PS5 with Amazon
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