Hogwarts Legacy Review: Living the Wizarding Dream

The events of the Harry Potter franchise don’t constrain Hogwarts Legacy. In fact, the game builds upon the universe with an intriguing story and immersive gameplay.

I’ll admit, I was very sceptical about Hogwarts Legacy. While there have been movie tie-in games that have been decent (kinda), it’s the Lego Harry Potter games that have been the high point of the franchise in the world of video games. Those looking to venture into the wizarding world have been left a tad disappointed so far. I am happy to share that the dry spell is over and we finally have a game that would impress Merlin himself! Hogwarts Legacy is set in the universe established in the Harry Potter books but isn’t bound by the characters of the popular franchise giving it the chance to shine on its own with a compelling story and engaging gameplay.


The story of Hogwarts Legacy takes place in the late 1800s but the foundation of the plot is set far before that. You don the role of a new student joining Hogwarts as a fifth-year. Why are you joining as a fifth year? What’s so special about you? All these questions are answered in the opening of the game, something I won’t spoil here. It’s safe to say that you possess a gift for identifying rear ancient magic and it’s because of this (and not some scar on your head), that you embark on a quest to solve the mystery behind Gringots Vault no 12.

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Without spoiling anything the plot is actually pretty good involving ancient magic, goblins and families of high power. It treads a very well-balanced moral ground where the origin of the ancient magic was from the intention to do good but ended up being the source of evil. Overall, the story has good depth and lore and expands on the universe laid out in the Harry Potter books.


The gameplay in Hogwarts Legacy is as strong as the story. While you have access to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade from early on, a lot of the quests are locked behind spells you have to learn, encouraging you to follow the story for a whole before venturing into the plenty of side quests the game has to offer. The challenges of learning the spells go beyond just sitting in a classroom, presenting you with interesting challenges while mastering a spell. Considering the plethora of spells on offer, it’s nice that it is easy to map spells to the face buttons on the controller. Pressing the right trigger unleashes a generic attach spell. You can hold the right trigger and use the face buttons to unleash your specific spells. Specific spells are used to tackle specific enemies and break their protective shield. Each category of a spell is highlighted with a specific colour – green, red, blue and yellow making it easy to identify the type of spell you need to use.

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In addition to spells, you will also have potions that you can use in combat. You have a potion that can make you invisible or one that makes you solid as a rock, and so on and so forth.

The combat in Hogwarts Legacy is surprisingly strong and while I thought the wand be a replacement for a gun, (like your fingers replacing the gun in Ghostwire Tokyo) it’s actually more in line with the Witcher 3.

When it comes to traversal, you can walk all over the castle or Hogsmeade but why walk when you can fly? You take flying lessons and then unlock a broom that can be your source of travelling from one point to another. There are fast travel points as well scattered throughout the world and you need to “explore” a point before you unlock it for fast travel. The good thing is that you don’t need to be next to one of these points to fast travel and can do so from anywhere.

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The only downside to the gameplay is that there are no Quidditch matches, and this is a very small gripe in an otherwise fantastic gameplay implementation.

The gameplay has a lot of depth especially when you start using the Room of Requirements where you can grow your own ingredients for potions, tame Fantastic Beats and upgrade your gear. The sheer depth of gameplay outside of the combat and exploration is vast and will sink you in for hours.

Graphics and Sound

I played the PS5 version of Hogwarts Legacy and the game has five graphical presets to choose from

  • Fidelity Mode
  • Fidelity with Raytracing
  • Performance Mode
  • Balanced
  • High Frame Rate

I mostly played on Balanced as this takes advantage of HDMI 2.1 giving you higher resolution visuals at 40FPS. There is an option in the settings to cap FPS and I recommend you remove the cap if you have a VRR-enabled display to enjoy the game.

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The rest of the game looks quite stunning. It’s no Horizon Forbidden West, but it is still a pretty game. The environments, creatures and enemies you fight look detailed enough and even character animations during conversations are good. Casting spells also have a satisfying wavy animation.

The world too is immersive with Hogwarts filled with students, ghosts and moving paintings, akin to the Harry Potter movies. It looks like a lived-in castle with student chatter filling the halls. The same is the case with the grounds outside Hogwarts and in Hogsmeade as well. The only gripe I have with the visuals is that there is a pop-in from time to time and you are presented with a small loading circle before entering some rooms. I didn’t expect this, especially considering the superfast capable SSD on the PS5. Nonetheless, it’s a small gripe in an otherwise rich world.

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Speaking of the sound, you have the ability to customize a male or female character and while their voice actors do a fantastic job, do not use the slider to adjust the depth of the voice as that to me, just sounds off. Leave the voice at default.

Just like the cast in Harry Potter, Hogwarts Legacy is full of professors with unique personalities and each of them has his/her own quibbles adding some depth to their personalities as well as the story. Overall, the voice acting in the game is quite good.

The rest of the sound design from the swish of casting a spell to the background score kicking in when the action gets hot, all blends in well to add an immersive experience.

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Hogwarts Legacy is the game Harry Potter fans have been waiting for to fulfil their Wizarding dream. It has a well-told story with engaging gameplay and it is a visual treat exploring the castle, grounds, dungeons, and more. If you are looking for an immersive open-world game then Hogwarts Legacy is a great option and is in the league of open-world games like The Witcher 3.

Rating: 4.5 / 5


  • Great story
  • Immersive gameplay
  • Lots to do at Hogwarts


  • Pop-in can be distracting at times
  • Some loading screens hamper the fluidity of exploration
  • Cannot pause cutscenes

More info
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC
Reviewed on: PS5