If you’re like me, you’re probably looking forward to 2023 and wondering what will be the next mega role-playing game and I have the answer for you, its Hogwarts Legacy, a new title set to launch early next year and I’m here to tell you about it, why it looks promising and if should you be interested! Let’s check out Hogwarts Legacy: 10 Things You MUST KNOW!
#10 – Game Basics
Developed by Avalanche Studios, and published by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, Hogwarts Legacy is described as an “immersive, open-world action RPG set in the world first introduced in the Harry Potter books.” That simple description alone is enough to instantly catch the attention of any diehard or casual fan of the books!
Keep in mind that Hogwarts Legacy will be a single player game, not an MMO, and will not have any online or co-op gameplay.
The game will officially release on
- February 10, 2023 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC
- April 4, 2023 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
- July 25, 2023 for Nintendo Switch
You can currently pre-order the game in one of three editions. The first is the Standard Edition, which costs $60 and comes with the Base Game, along with an Onyx Hippogriff mount. If you are purchasing this for a Playstation, you will also get access to the Felix Felicis Potion Recipe as well as an exclusive Haunted Hogsmeade Shop quest. Players who complete said quest and dungeon will also get exclusive access to their own shop in Hogsmeade where they can sell items and gear at rates better than anywhere else in-game
Next is the Deluxe Edition which costs $70 and includes the base game, the Onyx Hippogriff mount, and an exciting 72 hours of early access to the game! Again, Playstation owners will get their exclusive recipe and Hogsmeade quest. The Deluxe Edition also comes with the ‘Dark Arts Pack’ which includes a Thestral mount as well as Dark Art cosmetics and a Dark Arts Battle Arena.
Lastly is the Collector’s Edition, which will cost a pretty penny at $300. This will include all of the extra digital content available in the Deluxe Edition pre-order, along with a special Kelpie Robe cosmetic for your character. But what really sets this version apart are the additional, real life physical components you’ll receive in the mail. The game itself comes in a Steel Case, and you will also receive a Life-Size Floating Ancient Magic Wand with Book Base.
#9 – Character Creator
But before you can dive into the story and the mysteries surrounding your arrival at Hogwarts, you’ll first need to create your student character. According to Game Director Alan Tew, the developers put a lot of work into the character creator to give the players the opportunity to create any character or even represent themselves in game.
In the recent livestream gameplay, Avalanche Software gave us a much closer look at this feature. The first step will be to choose from a number of established presets. Once you choose a look that is closest to what you want, then there will be additional tabs where you can modify the character’s appearance further.
The Facewear tab lets you change face shape, skin color and has an option to give your character glasses. The Hairstyles menu is pretty self-explanatory, but there is a great variety of options for both male and female characters, and for color you can choose almost any color of the rainbow!
The Complexion tab allows for deeper customization of your character’s face, where you can choose to add freckles, moles and even scars. The Eyebrows tab lets you edit not only the obvious eyebrow shape and size but also lets you choose eye color.
The Finalize tab brings it all together, letting you pick between a couple of different character voices, set the difficulty for the game, give your character their name and choose their dormitory.
The only thing we don’t see here is choosing your character’s house. The developers have made clear that this IS something which players get to choose – it’s not random – but it is likely something the player won’t encounter until their in-game sorting ceremony occurs.
Also, if you decide later on in the game that there are certain elements to your character’s look which you don’t like, there may be an opportunity to change some of them after the fact. In Hogsmeade there will be a barber shop where you can change out the color or style of your hair, as well as some kind of tailor shop where you can change the look of your character’s outfit.
#8 – Story and Setting
Set in the wildly popular, magical world of the Harry Potter book series, the game takes place at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the late 1800s. Players will get to create their own student character and attend classes, learn spells, create potions and more as they immerse themselves in student life.
But there is also a deeper story thread to explore as the student finds themselves holding the key to an ancient secret which threatens the wizarding world. The player character is a new student at Hogwarts, but for reasons yet unclear is starting as a ‘late 5th year.’ They’ll have some catching up to do, both in their studies and in meeting and integrating with other students and the social life of the school.
The player character will come to find that they possess the “unique ability to manipulate powerful ancient magic hidden in the wizarding world.” This forgotten magic is now returning, and the player will have to uncover who or what could be behind the resurgence of this old power, as well as discover those who might be seeking to harness it for their own nefarious purposes.
#7 – Questing
Questing is a major part of any single player RPG – whether your character is working their way through the main story is or is picking up side quests. There are sure to be all kinds of quests – fetch quests are a staple of the genre, but other side quests may have you discovering deeper world secrets or providing you with more in-depth information about the larger narrative.
The developers have said that players will “encounter various quests and storylines that will influence the witch or wizard they choose to become.” While this might suggest that the game has some kind of morality system in place, in the case of Hogwarts Legacy this will not be part of the gameplay.
BUT. These player decisions will still have an impact! Recently Avalanche Software confirmed that player choices will determine the ending of the game and choices both large and seemingly small can influence these outcomes.
This also means that there are multiple ways the game can end, adding a HUGE motivation for fans to go back and play through the game again.
#6 – Classes
Students will be able to attend all of the most important, ‘standard’ classes at Hogwarts, including: Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, and Herbology. Attending classes is likely the primary way you will unlock or learn new spells and potion recipes, as well as how you may level up your proficiency in them.
Based on what we’ve seen in gameplay and trailers, the Defense Against the Dark Art class is also where we will begin to learn the fundamentals of combat. You’ll even get to see and use the same dueling stage that makes an appearance in the movies! More on combat later, but personally, I can’t wait to send my opponents flying through the air!
It’s reasonable to assume that there will be additional classes besides these which the player can attend. Flying on broomsticks is a mode of transportation which has been confirmed by the developers for the game and your character will be able to learn and hone their skills in a Flying class. As an aside, I am sorry to say that it has also been confirmed that Quidditch will NOT be a part of the game on release. I have hopes that maybe they will add it in with a future DLC – only speculation on my part, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
In a State of Play video from earlier this year, we also got a mention of a Care of Magical Creatures class. The developers have confirmed that players will be able to tame, mount and ride some magical beasts in Hogwarts Legacy and a class would likely be necessary to learn these specialized techniques. Other smaller magical creatures, such as the Mooncalf, have also popped up in the trailers, along with larger, dangerous beasts like dragons – we’re clearly going to need all the knowledge we can get!
#5 – Characters
Given the setting of the game in the late 1800s, you will obviously not come across any of the main characters from the original series of Harry Potter books. And even though wizards can have extraordinary long lives, it is unlikely that any of the Hogwarts professors will be the ones we have come to know and love (or hate, as the case may be!).
I will say that there is a super small, sliver of a chance that perhaps some professor – or a certain Headmaster – who is much older in the Harry Potter books could appear as a surprise student cameo in the game – but that’s entirely wishful thinking on my part and nothing that the studio has promised!
However, with Hogwarts being a magical castle that doesn’t mean there aren’t familiar faces floating around. And I mean that literally! Congenial Gryffindor ghost Nearly Headless Nick is seen speaking with the player character in the trailers, Professor Binns is (not) alive and well as he establishes his tradition of putting students to sleep in History of Magic classes, and resident Hogwarts hellion Peeves popped up on the recent livestream castle tour, causing trouble for some other unfortunate student. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that the other house ghosts will also be hovering around, and some you may only meet depending on what House your character is in, which could add something to the game’s replayability.
#4 – Companions
One important element of many single player RPGs are companions; characters you run into along the way who may join you on your in-game journey. In the best games, these characters are robust and 3 dimensional. They have their own unique personalities and often compelling backstories, which they’ll open up and tell you more about as you gain their trust.
For Hogwarts Legacy, we have four confirmed companions so far:
First is Sebastian Sallow, a Slytherin student. He’s described as being a charming and extroverted boy who won’t shy away from trouble. His twin sister Anne suffers from a mysterious curse, however, and like any true Slytherin Sebastian is willing to go to any lengths to find her a cure – even tampering with the Dark Arts.
Next is Natasi Onai, a Gryffindor student who is originally from Africa. She moved to the United Kingdom with her mother, who has taken a position at Hogwarts as the new Divination Professor. This will give her a powerful common thread with the player character, as they both adjust to the new, magical environment at Hogwarts.
The third companion is a younger Hufflepuff student named Poppy Sweeting. She has a bright and sunny personality but is shy and more comfortable around her beloved magical creatures than she is around other students.
And the most recently confirmed companion is Ravenclaw student Amit Thakkar. He loves Astronomy and already has plans to become a famous wizarding historian. Despite being something of a bookworm, Amit won’t hesitate to help a friend in need, even if it means he might find himself in over his head.
There hasn’t been any more information about how these companions will work in game – can you only befriend the student from the same house as your character? Or can you befriend all four? Are there other possible non-student, or maybe even non-human companions? It will be exciting to discover the answers to these questions and how they may affect the game’s replayability.
#3 – Room of Requirement
The Room of Requirement becomes a valuable and important gathering location for our heroes in the latter half of the original Harry Potter series. Many fans will remember that the Room of Requirement was a secret known only to a few in the castle, for the room would not appear unless a person nearby was in great need of it. And depending on that specific need, it would transform itself into whatever would fulfill that pressing wish.
From what we’ve seen in gameplay and trailers, it appears that the player character will discover the Room of Requirement at some point with the help of a House Elf named Deek. True to form, the room will magically perceive the need our student has for catching up on their studies – as well as the possible need for a secret hideaway as they sink deeper into the plot of the game – and provides them with a space to improve their magical skills.
From what we’ve seen in trailers so far, this includes a potion station, a potting station, along with planters in which you can grow magical plants for their ingredients, and what appears to be a magical loom which can help weave new and improved gear.
A vivarium can also be discovered and used to nurture and raise your own menagerie of magical creatures. In fact, this new doorway appears to lead to an even larger outdoor space which you can customize with additional structures to reflect your character’s personality and the type of magic they have chosen to specialize in. This new dimension of the Room of Requirement is something I can’t wait to see more of!
#2 – Exploration
While likely not the same kind of hugely open world game such as Skyrim was or Starfield plans to be, Hogwarts Legacy will still have lots of areas for exploration and self-discovery in the game. On the game’s website Avalanche Software states that players may “Freely roam Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest, and the surrounding Overland area.”
The recent livestream from Avalanche Software takes viewers on a tour of Hogwarts – teasing us mostly with hallways and the entrances to all the larger spaces we can’t wait to visit, but even an abbreviated tour demonstrates the vast extent of the castle.
The player will likely start out in the dormitories and common room area for their particular house, and once out into the castle itself will have many classrooms to visit, along with the library, greenhouse, observatory, dungeons, offices, the Great Hall, the moving staircases and more.
Outside of the castle the player will find a courtyard space, Quidditch pitch, the owlery, and the Forbidden Forest. How big the forest is and how deep the player character can travel into it remains to be seen, but I know I and many other fans would be excited to meet the centaurs and other magical creatures which call the forest home. Though I must admit that I’m very thankful that it’s too soon for Hagrid to have let Aragog loose in the forest!
Hogsmeade will also be available – not only will this location play a part in the main story, but there will be a variety of shops available for you to buy all kinds of different magical items. From a magical bookshop, to potion ingredients and recipes at Pippin’s Potions, seeds for growing magical plants, a wizard tailor shop for your gear, and even a branch of Olivander’s, going to Hogsmeade won’t just be a fun student field trip but a necessity for your character.
#1 – Combat
All of the class time and studying you’re putting in at Hogwarts has to culminate into something, right? And that’s combat! We get a glimpse of not only a training session but a multi-NPC duel. Breaking down the HUD, you can see the use for four spells, along with a potion for healing, combos when landing multiple consecutive attacks and two bits of UI which were not discussed. Just above your health bar is a blue flame which appears to fill during combat and this could possibly be a ‘super’ or an ‘ultimate’ once filled.
There are over 20 slottable spells which you can learn over the course of the game, and these diamonds on the right are where the player can switch them in and out, as needed. You can have up to 16 spells in 4 diamonds or a combination of spells which the developers wanted the player to rapidly access a variety of spell combinations.
These spells also have cool downs which seem to go by fairly quickly and each spell will have an advancement system which has yet to be shown. During the combat training, we got a glimpse of combos and using a basic attack, or light attack, in conjunction with abilities. The combat seems to be a mix of light or basic attacks frequently with stronger spells interspersed, maybe similar to a game like New World or Elden Ring. Combat isn’t entirely light attacks or entirely spells but a blend giving the player something to do using frequent cool downs and where timing matters.
The next portion of the fight shows a group of students battling using a spell called Protego, which gives you a big shield of projection. The enemy players have this spell as well and the colors symbolize the spell you need to cast in opposition in order to break that shield and allow for damage. You can start to see that the combat is much more robust and action oriented than a simple button masher.
Another mechanic you’ll also see is when an orangish box pops up around your head just before an incoming attack. This allows the player with quick reflexes to react, and counter this attack. You can see the back and forth, eb and flow of combat, the pacing and the sheer fun.
This is what has me the most excited for the game and I think you should be as well. For years I’ve wanted to roam Hogwarts and not have to pay $5,000 to travel to Florida. Now I can do it, with my own character, my own adventure and create some fun and unique builds along the way.
All information is based on pre-release sources. We’ll update it as soon as the game launches on February 10 2023
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