Hogwarts Legacy Review – Positively Charmed (PS5 and Xbox Series X)
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Hogwarts Legacy Review – Positively Charmed (PS5 and Xbox Series X)

Title: Hogwarts Legacy | Reviewed on PS5 and Xbox Series X | Reviewed by Kelly Stretch | Edited by Nick de Bruyne

Hogwarts Legacy has done what no other franchise game adaption has managed – it’s brought the magic.

I have loved Harry Potter since I first got my hands on the books many years ago, even attending midnight book releases as the rest of the series was released, and I got my first detention for being found reading Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix under my desk in Maths class.

In other words, this franchise, the world, its lore and its characters are near to my heart, and have carried me through some tough times. Also, I need to be upfront and honest and let you know that Ravenclaw is the only viable house and the rest of you all suck.

All Aboard!

Hogwarts Legacy made me really wary.

I only watched the reveal trailer, and I’ve stayed away from the hype train and anything else about the game since then. When the code landed in my inbox for review, I allowed myself to feel the hype, and for once, this adaptation, this virtual exploration into an imaginary world, has been done justice.

I have spent multiple hours with the game now, sometimes just staring at my screen, soaking in a world that has previously only lived (to this extent) in my imagination.

Upon further reflection

I haven’t found a single thing that goes against how I imagined it, if anything, the world is brighter and more alive, bursting with canon and lore. Hogwarts has the four houses (and dorms, including the common rooms of your dreams), the great hall, the staircases, classes, the library, the room of requirement, dungeons, and of course, the grounds.

The best thing? It is beautiful. It’s detailed. It’s massive.

Stained glass windows reflect against the stone floors and the light flickers across your hair when you walk past them. Owls flutter about. Peeves giggles hysterically as he whizzes down a passage. Students mill around in their uniforms and chat. The portraits move. It feels like a never ending maze, and you’re likely to find a puzzle, side quest, or collectible around every other corner.

I have been absolutely enchanted by this game since the moment it began.

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Grounds for dismissal

If an absolutely perfect Hogwarts isn’t enough for you, Hogsmead is just down the valley, through the castle grounds, past the forbidden forest. Zonkos, The Three Broomsticks, and even a branch of Ollivander’s. If you felt the game would be remiss without Diagon Alley, Hogsmead makes up for it.

You can shop to your heart’s delight for clothes, recipes, ingredients and more.

There is of course a storyline, which has nothing to do with Harry, Ron or Hermione, but there are some recognisable surnames as you progress, which always brought a smile to my face.

Floo Fighters

As I mentioned before, side quests and collectibles are also present, and completing them gives you galleons or other cosmetic rewards. Since the castle really is a bit of a maze you get a handy guide, which magically guides you to your currently tracked quest which I found really helpful.

There is also a fast travel system, which is of course based on the floo network.

You grow your repertoire of spells by attending classes with professors, all of whom are interesting and as eccentric as their chosen teaching subject. XP is gained by completing these quests and so you progress through the game.

Once you have learnt a spell, you can map it to one of your face buttons, and trigger that spell with a quick combo of R2 + X or whatever you may need at the time. In some puzzles you just need to “simple” cast, others need a specific spell or sequence of spells.

Watch the first 45 Minutes of Gameplay on PS5

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Use the force, Harry

Combat is smooth and not overly difficult to grasp. If you find yourself in a duel with an enemy witch, wizard or fellow student, you may need to break their shield with accio or levi-O-sah, so the game calls for many uses of the spells you learn – in both an offensive and defensive way.

Spells look amazing and feel good to cast, not to mention, they are really satisfying to use when solving puzzles.

I could go on and on, speak about the transmog features – because a witch or wizard must always look their best – spells, duels, creatures, flying, but I also feel that the game needs to be experienced with some parts left to surprise and enthrall the player.

Worthy of a Distinction

Don’t mistake the game for perfect, there are things I would change, for example, more space for gear, an easier way to sell things, and a more streamlined menu, but I don’t think that any of these take away from the overall excellent game that Hogwarts Legacy is.

I leave you with this, if you want a light-hearted, safe for the whole family, enchanting and beautiful experience, Hogwarts Legacy is 100% worth your time and hard earned money.


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