This is your Hogwarts Legacy, so you want to make sure you look the part! From different hair types and hair colours, to scars and freckles, to a sliding voice scale, you can make yourself into the ultimate Hogwarts student you’ve always wanted to be. And we couldn’t resist putting on a pair of half-moon spectacles that reminded us of a favourite Hogwarts headmaster of ours...
We remember the days of the early noughties Harry Potter PlayStation games, where we could only run so far out into the Hogwarts grounds, itching to go beyond. Now, we can! Hogwarts Legacy has paid great homage to the Scottish Highlands, complete with stunning landscapes and lush greenery across different seasons. It’s certainly not just about the castle. Although the castle is also incredible, obviously.
Speaking of the castle, we were positively giddy with delight at all the references we spotted that harks back (or should that be forwards?) to Harry’s era of Hogwarts. Although we are in the late 1800s, Hogwarts is an ancient wizarding school full of protected history, so it’s not surprising that some of the mainstays of Hogwarts are there during the era we’re exploring. One big mainstay? Peeves the Poltergeist, who pops up out of a corridor to sing a little song for us, as is his way. We also spotted the bathroom that will one day become Moaning Myrtle’s old haunt (!) which comes with an enchanted mirror. Something for the hardcore fans – we also bumped into a talking bust of Ignatia Wildsmith, the inventor of Floo Powder.
The developers of the game themselves have admitted that they keep getting lost in Hogwarts – so Merlin knows how well we’ll be able to navigate the famously labyrinthine castle. Even with a brief play-through, it’s clear to see how much detail is in every nook and cranny of our beloved school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with every portrait, statue and fountain designed with love and care.
When we were playing - we learnt quickly to speak to every character you can hanging around the castle – you never know who might have a little side-quest for you. We also recommend casting Revelio at any given opportunity, to unveil any secrets.
Unleash your inner Auror by perfecting your combat skills in the game – whether you’re practicing at Hogwarts or going out in the wild to take on real foes. There will be spells you’ll recognise immediately that will come in handy for duelling or approaching people stealthily (such as Petrificus Totalus if you want to take someone down, Neville Longbottom-style!) and the game also encourages you to combine spells for maximum gains. We suddenly have a little sympathy for Professor Lockhart’s lack of talent in Dueling Club – it is quite the challenge to get this skill right!
Walking is a Muggle’s game – this game gives us the chance to do what we’ve always wanted: fly gracefully around Hogwarts on a broom. And, friends, it is just as satisfying as it has looked in trailers. You can also go hang out on the Quidditch pitch of Hogwarts too, which will no doubt make you feel nostalgic for the Harry Potter-era matches!
Fancy a dip? If flying and strolling down the Hogwarts corridors isn’t enough, you can also take a splash in the Great Lake too. Let’s hope we don’t bump into any of ze Grindylows.
The characters that you meet along the way in Hogwarts Legacy will be paramount to your adventure. In our demo, we got to meet Poppy Sweeting, a kindly Hufflepuff Hogwarts student who was very supportive during our gameplay, assisting in casting spells during one of our quests with her, which... spoiler, may have involved a dragon.
Extremely. Important. Detail. Or should that be… im-paw-tant? The wizarding world is, of course, full of incredible enchanting magical creatures, many of which you’ll get to meet in this game – from dragons to Nifflers. But we did get over-excited at meeting this little cat along our Hogwarts adventures too. And yes, we did indeed pet them.
Hogwarts Legacy is scheduled to launch worldwide for PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on February 10, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One will launch on April 4 and Nintendo Switch on July 25.