Hogwarts Legacy Review

Jessica Dillon
Published: 10th of March 2023, 11:50 PM GMT
Reviewed on: PS5


  • Breathing World Full of Magical Delights
  • Large Open World With Plenty of Collectibles
  • Interesting Quests and Plenty of Side Activities


  • Stiff Animations During Cutscenes
  • Some Strange Design Choices
  • Inventory Mangament

Final Verdict

8.5 / 10
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Hogwarts Legacy released for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, and PC on February 7, 2023, for deluxe edition buyers and February 10, 2023, for everyone else. This game was developed by Avalanche Software, who had worked on media tie-ins before, and published by Warner Bros. Gamers. The game itself is an open-world school RPG that takes place in the same wizarding world as seen in the Harry Potter books. Hogwarts Legacy is set around 100 years prior to the adventure of Harry and his friends.

You start the game as a fifth-year transfer student who is enrolling in Hogwarts later in life. This, of course, never happens, and you even have your very own special transport to the school, separate from the rest of the kids. Along the way, you get wrapped up in a conspiracy surrounding a goblin named Ranrok and a shady dark wizard named Rookwood. You also find out that you are destined for incredible things and are the only wizard in the world who can use ancient magic. The story focuses on learning about your power, and taking down the two aforementioned bad guys who wish to wield it.

Before things get too deep in the story, though, you arrive at Hogwarts, where you are sorted into one of four houses depending on the answers you give to a very judgmental hat.
Each house has a slight variation to the story early on, like Hufflepuff being able to visit Azkaban and Slithering focusing on the Black family. Outside of this and being able to access your common room, there isn’t really any reason to play through the game with the different houses unless you are an achievement hunter or a completionist.

The story itself is entertaining but does have a few patches where you might find yourself a bit bored, like when being forced to attend astronomy class and search for a telescope. It does have some genuinely fun moments, though, like riding a Graphorn and bulldozing all the enemies in front of you and going through the game’s various trials. At no point does the game drag itself down for long during the story, but it does sometimes lock progression behind “optional” side quests. For example, to progress to the next chapter, you must hit level 15 and also do a side quest where you learn Bombarda (one of the game’s many spells) from doing your homework.

A story trial during Hogwarts Legacy's late game.

This breaks up the story of the game and depending on your current level, and willingness to go out into the world to complete your current homework task can feel a bit unwelcome. Even with these tasks included, it generally will take you around twenty-five hours to beat the main story. In between this time and afterward, though, there is a huge amount of side content that you can indulge in. This content includes puzzles that are found with Merlin Trials and treasure vaults. Hidden chests, Demiguise moons, and tons of side quests are scattered around Hogwarts itself and the surrounding villages.

On top of your normal quest, there are companionship quests that let you get to know your characters’ canon friends a bit better. Some are more rewarding than others, like Sebastion Sallows’ questline that unlocks the Dark Art spells. Weirdly enough, Amitt, the Ravenclaw student, is left out, giving you only three companionship questlines to follow. This does make room for future DLC, but honestly just feels a little strange since he is part of the main story quests, just like Poppy, Natty, and Sebastian. These quests do a fabulous job of building up the lore of the world. Which at times can be a bit confusing if you haven’t read the books or watched the movies.

The game doesn’t break your immersion to describe what a Niffler is, and even for a non-Harry Potter fan like me, this was actually appreciated.

At all points, the game does a good enough job at guiding me to the quest goals that I wasn’t having to look up what strange wizarding item or creature I was seeking on the internet to find it. The side quests are a mix of activities such as hunting down enemies, destroying camps, finding items, and in some cases capturing beasts.

Hogwarts Legacy does well with its gameplay mechanics and has a pretty in-depth system. One such mechanic surrounding capturing, caring for, and breeding beasts is in the game, and this will give you ingredients you need to make certain potions. This will unlock right after you get your customizable Room of Requirement. This gives you your own space that you can decorate or place workstations to grow plants, make potions, and upgrade gear. By using potions and plants during combat, you can deal extra damage, heal yourself, or even go invisible. You can either grow the plants and make the potions yourself or head to Hogsmeade to buy them. There are also quite a few different mounts to choose from, and you can even purchase different types of brooms to ride, all with their different advantages.

Combat with poachers in Hogwarts Legacy.

Spell casting and combat itself are also fun, with tons of combos to try. You can use Accio to pull your enemies in close and then burn them with Incendio. If you like a bit more strategy, then you can even transform your enemies into exploding barrels with a spell and then use them to kill others within range. You have a decent amount of combat spells with your fire-based magic and dark curses dealing damage, while the other three types support you. Dodging is easy. You can roll away from physical attacks and use Protego to negate standard ones. Due to the smooth combat, no part of the game feels too difficult.

As you level up, you can unlock talents that give your spells more power or additional effects, such as creating more ancient magic. Outside of combat, there are spells for repairing, sneaking, and even finding collectibles. Revelio will likely be your most used spell in the game as it’s used to locate collectibles, follow footprints, and figure out puzzles when you are exploring dungeons. You can even use this spell while flying around on your broom to see the various locations sprinkled around the map. Luckily, the flying system itself works extremely well, making it a pleasant way to quickly get around the large map.

Using Revelio to spot new map markers.

One strange thing you will run into during quests is choices. While there are different endings to the game, this is decided in the last cutscene and has nothing to do with your actions during the actual game itself. You can bully other students, steal someone’s beloved pet Niffler, and extort villagers for higher rewards with absolutely nothing coming of it. Likewise, using the three unforgivable curses does absolutely nothing. While you can’t expect your world to slowly darken like what you saw in the Fable games, it feels as though there should be some repercussions for these actions. Even a system where you have slightly worse luck or lose health due to your sanity dropping for using Avada Kedavra on so many people would be a nice touch.

When walking through Hogwarts, paintings will move, suits of armor will attack each other, and there are a lot of small touches like moving foliage to make the world feel alive. Along with this, the music is also enjoyable and feels completely on point during all aspects of the game. The tunes can easily get stuck in your head and work to help the overall ambiance of the game.

Outside of the story and quests itself, the world that Avalanche Software has created for Hogwarts Legacy is magical.

The voice acting is also top-notch, with an enjoyable performance from every actor in the game. Sadly, there are a few things that might hold the game back for you despite all the positives mentioned above.

For starters, the game works on a loot-based system. Of course, completing puzzles will get you a higher rarity of gear, but it’s always randomized, which will divide some players. In addition, your gear slots feel up incredibly fast even after you expand them, as there are chests around every corner. This had me constantly interrupting what I was doing in the game to sell or take apart gear. Your inventory itself is properly sized, so it’s a bit strange that the gear system is so restricting.

Poppy meeting a dragon in Hogwarts Legacy.

The animations of the characters in the game can also feel off, especially during cutscenes. Your character often has a cartoonishly huge grin across their face that looks just a bit creepy. When this isn’t their expression, the reactions characters have to dialogue are underwhelming at times, with stiff facial animations. This is a bit sad, as the game does well in all other graphical departments. There aren’t even many bugs on the PlayStation 5 to ruin your experience, and while slight clipping may happen, the game runs like a dream.

Even with the few problems mentioned above, Hogwarts Legacy is a fun open-world game worth your time. The story is entertaining enough to invest in, the world feels like a place run by magic, and for collectible loves, the open world map is an absolute dream. You don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy this game either, as the world is inviting to all gamers whether they grew up with the series or not.

Final Verdict

8.5 / 10

A Magical Adventure


Hogwarts Legacy offers an enjoyable open-world game for both those familiar and unfamiliar with the wizarding world. There are dozens of hours of entertainment to be found in the game and quite a few enjoyable storylines to indulge in.

Score Breakdown
Gameplay 8 /10
Sound 10 /10
Graphics 8 /10
Story 7 /10
Value 10 /10
Jess has been working in the game industry for eight years. She has covered a variety of games with a focus on JRPGs, indies, and MMORPGs. Her favorite game to work on is Genshin Impact, as she has been with the game since day one. From interviewing voice actors at major conventions to speaking about streaming on national radio, Jess has been around the industry. She even studied game design as part of her art studies degree in college, to create a well-rounded understanding of the industry she loves.


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