The potion for all Potterheads: a review of Hogwarts Legacy


Used under fair use from Epic Games

“Hogwarts Legacy” brings a new generation of gamers eagerly exploring and discovering everything that this fabled realm has to offer.

Anirudh Seshadri, Managing Editor

For years, the mesmerizing world of the “Harry Potter” franchise has enchanted fans worldwide. With Hogwarts’ enchanting castle walls and Hogsmeade’s picturesque scenes, J.K Rowling’s magical universe has transcended beyond a mere fictional series and transformed into a cultural phenomenon that has left an indelible mark in our hearts. Now, with the “Hogwarts Legacy” action role-playing game, enthusiasts can explore the mystical world in a new way. Touted as the most eagerly awaited “Harry Potter” game ever, “Hogwarts Legacy” assures a spellbinding and unforgettable escapade deep into the core of the wizarding realm.  

After several years in development, fans highly anticipated the February 2023 release of “Hogwarts Legacy.” While the game captures the essence of the Harry Potter universe, it distinguishes itself from previous Potterhead video games. It does not include Harry Potter or his friends but a fresh cast of Hogwarts professors and students like Natsai Onai, Mahendra Pehlwaan and Sebastian Sallow. The game’s timeline is set a century prior to Potter’s birth, precluding many of the well-loved figures from the franchise to make an appearance, although Nearly Headless Nick, ghost of Gryffindor house, plays a part.

The level of character customization in “Hogwarts Legacy” is praiseworthy, as players can create a protagonist corresponding to their own personality and preferences. The game’s narrative structure allows players to engage with various plot elements and decision points that impact the game’s conclusion.

“The game also did a great job including the essence of the Harry Potter series, with an experience system that rewards players for finding field guide pages or descriptions of magical items and places,” senior Vikram Thirumaran said. “These field guide pages are filled with references from the books and the movies.”

Every location and character is created with the utmost authenticity, and despite utilizing older technology, the game’s visuals are impressively comparable to modern hardware. The in-game environment also teems with detail, exhibiting great lighting that is sure to impress players with its impressive realism. The game has some glitches in animations but still mind-blowing for fans.

“Going into the game, I did not have many expectations as to world-building,” senior Pranav Tallapaka said. “Yet, the graphics and spell-casting exceeded expectations and rendered really well, which allowed me to explore not only the wizarding world but also the real world, such as the cities and areas where the original book series took place.”

In addition, the game’s detail is remarkable, particularly in Hogwarts Castle’s secrets and chambers that players can explore. The castle’s famed spots, each painting, staircase and hidden rooms are located exactly where they are depicted in the series, contributing to an immersive experience. Furthermore, the game features various hidden treasures and easter eggs for fans to appreciate and enjoy.

The game begins with a wizard visiting a Muggle street, akin to the first book and movie’s opening scene, where the player can eventually journey to Hogwarts through a different route from the Hogwarts Express. At Hogwarts, there are lessons like feather levitation, noisy mandrake repotting and broomstick flying, all echoing familiarity. Locations like Hogsmeade and Azkaban appear, and players can also collect magical creatures in a bag, alluding to the film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

“When I entered the common rooms, I felt a sense of immersion in the world of the game and of Hogwarts,” Tallapaka said. “It also brought with it a sense of exploration and excitement with the opportunity to explore past just the castle.”

The Harry Potter universe has perennially engrossed the hearts and intellects of enthusiasts spanning the entire globe. Now, in “Hogwarts Legacy,” players embark on an enchanting odyssey and transport to the core of the wizarding domain like never before. The level of detail is truly impressive, from the spellbinding spell-casting mechanics to the realistic depictions of the Hogwarts castle and its inhabitants. “Hogwarts Legacy” proves that the magic of the Harry Potter universe is very much alive, with a new generation of gamers eagerly exploring and discovering everything that this fabled realm has to offer.

“I would definitely recommend this game to other Potterheads as the game in itself is nostalgia from our youth, which previously no other wizarding game could really invoke,” Tallapaka said.