Hogwarts Legacy Review

Dan Webb

Let me first preface this review with a wild admission. I’ve never seen a Harry Potter film. Nope, not even one… although I was dragged kicking and screaming a few years back to see the first Fantastic Beasts film when it landed in cinemas. While you might not think I’m the perfect candidate to review Hogwarts Legacy, the latest game from Avalanche Software, set in the Harry Potter universe, I would argue that I am perhaps the best. There’s no nostalgia, no preconceived notions. I’m stepping into the Wizarding World with fresh eyes.

Hogwarts Legacy, set in the late 1800s - a whole 100 years before some guy called Harry attended the school - tells the story of a new but incredibly unique student, you, who joins the infamous wizardry and witching school in fairly suspicious circumstances. Throughout the 30-35 hour campaign, you’ll be thrust headfirst into a whole host of nefarious situations, as an alarming secret and a terrifying uprising is seeping through into the daily lives of the inhabitants of Hogwarts and the surrounding lands.

The Scottish Highlands, and Hogwarts itself, are perhaps the most fascinating backdrop for a video game I’ve ever experienced. I know next to nothing about Hogwarts, but even for me, it’s a backdrop that constantly blows me away. Its attention to detail is second to none. 

It really is a place of magic, packed to the rafters with secrets and hidden doorways which open up into places you could barely even comprehend. Everything throughout the wizarding school is brimming with life. Hogwarts is a place chock full of statues and murals that move as you walk past them, paintings that have a life of their own, while the everyday chores in the school seemingly take care of themselves. You could spend tens of hours in Hogwarts just walking the halls, taking in all that this incredible destination has to offer. I imagine that feeling is tenfold to someone who grew up consuming everything Harry Potter related.

Your time at Hogwarts will be spent doing a whole load of different tasks, whether that’s competing with other students in Summoner’s Court, attending lessons, or helping fellow students. And that’s when you’re not trying to be the saviour of Hogwarts itself. That, of course, means learning new spells, learning how to fly a broom, and how to deal with fantastical beasts. The fact that Quidditch - one of the few things I do know about the franchise - doesn’t make an appearance, though, boggles the mind.

The spells that you learn can be used to unlock more secrets in and around Hogwarts, but more importantly, they play into the game’s combat. On the surface, the combat can feel a little rigid and simplistic, but as you unlock more spells, you’ll find a surprising amount of depth. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the combat is not only well-implemented, but it’s incredibly satisfying, and an absolute joy to behold. It’s not until you unlock various upgrades with your block, the dodge, and more Spell Sets, allowing you to switch on the fly in battle, that the game really starts to get going. 

At its core, Hogwarts Legacy is an RPG, with tons of mechanics to get stuck into. With a pretty accomplished gear system, fresh with transmogrification, and a fairly rudimentary perk system, there’s a lot to dive into. However, it’s not until you get into the Room of Requirement, that the game really starts to grow a life of its own. In the Room of Requirement, a customisable hub space for players, you can not only make it look like your little slice of Hogwarts, but you can also grow plants, concoct potions, and breed beasts - the latter giving you valuable resources if you tend to them, resources that you can use to upgrade your gear and add perks to said gear with. It’s an absolutely fantastic addition to the game, and has quickly become one of my favourite hub spaces in all of video games. My only criticism would be that you have to wait a fairly lengthy amount of time to unlock it - probably 10-15 hours. When you do get it, though, Hogwarts Legacy somehow gets even better.

When you’re not attending class or trying to save Hogwarts and the world from impending doom, there’s a massive open world to explore, chock full of side quests, dungeons and arenas to battle through, and puzzles that come in the form of Merlin Trials. Being able to summon your broom - which is absolutely delightful, in case you were wondering - or a flying mount out of nowhere makes tackling everything so effortless, as well.

Hogwarts Legacy’s game-world is brimming with interesting things to do, and stories to dazzle you. While the side quests aren’t exactly the most taxing, and usually involve killing enemies or fetching an item, their stories are often fairly entertaining, and the sheer variety of things you can do in Hogwarts Legacy means that you won’t mind that so much. One minute you could be using treasure maps to find treasure, diving for riches, following butterflies to yet more treasure, and when you get bored of all that, you can go to capture beasts and then breed them in the Room of Requirement. Any lack of originality in those side-quests is more than made up for in the game’s main story, which has some really iconic set-pieces, many of which you’ll remember long after the credits have rolled.

However, from a technical point of view, Hogwarts Legacy can be a touch all over the place. For the most part it’s fairly bug free, although it definitely has its fair share of bugs, whether it’s Professor Fig who seemingly always seems to have artifacting issues whenever you speak to him in his office, or Betty Bugbrooke in Hogsmeade who is pretty much invisible. It’s perhaps not as polished as we’d have liked for such a big budget game. Even playing on Performance mode, Hogwarts Legacy is unable to remain at a constant 60fps, while Fidelity mode definitely can’t cope at times. Having to wait at some doors in Hogwarts, for the next area to load, is an incredible immersion breaker. Hogwarts Legacy isn’t in a bad shape, far from it, but its distinct lack of polish is a touch disappointing. It does just slightly taint what is otherwise a wonderful video game.

Now, it’d be irresponsible of me to not address the abhorrent transphobic views that the wizarding world creator, J.K Rowling, holds, but that decision is on you as a consumer to make. Not us as critics. All we can do is look at the game that Avalanche Software has developed, and it is a very fine video game at that. A game so magical that you’ll be walking around just soaking up every last bit of it as you spend your time at Hogwarts. While Hogwarts Legacy is no doubt going to be in the running for Game of the Year at the end of the year, it really could have been an absolute classic had it been a little more polished.

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy is an absolutely magical video game, one that is packed with awe-inspiring moments full of mystery and wonderment. Come for Hogwarts itself, a magic school oozing with secrets to behold, and stay for the combat, the engaging story and the frankly astonishing Room of Requirement.

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The voice acting and musical score is absolutely brilliant, from start to finish. Even for the uneducated, you’ll recognise the iconic hooks. It’s a joy for the ears.


Hogwarts Legacy might not blow people away in the open-world, but Hogwarts itself is one of the finest video game buildings of all time. Seriously. There are, however, a few too many visual bugs for our liking. The character models look fantastic too, although the lip-syncing could do with some next-gen refining.Hogwarts Legacy might not blow people away in the open-world, but Hogwarts itself is one of the finest video game buildings of all time. Seriously. There are, however, a few too many visual bugs for our liking. The character models look fantastic too, although the lip-syncing could do with some next-gen refining.


While the game might drip-feed you mechanics for the first 10-hours - probably because there’s so many of them - when you finally have all the tools at your disposal, Hogwarts Legacy is fabulous. Even the combat, which I had reservations about, becomes a sheer delight.


An immersive game-world, jammed to the rafters with content, with a ton of variety and a really engaging story to boot, what more could you ask for? Well, perhaps some really iconic side quests. Other than that, utterly fantastic.


For the most part, the Hogwarts Legacy achievement list is pretty decent, with plenty of variety and a hint of creativity, pushing you towards seeing what the game has to offer. The "Collector’s Edition" achievement pretty much requires you to do everything though... which is a big ask!

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