There is a Harry Potter game for everyone of any age. Fans of the series would know that there are Harry Potter board games, card games, and even DVD games. Still, there is nothing like a Harry Potter video game, and Hogwarts Legacy is beginning to look like a prime example of this fact. Of course, this is only one of the few much-awaited PS5 games.
Portkey Games and Avalanche Software released the trailer for Hogwarts Legacy on September 16, 2020. The world has not stopped talking about it since. Its trailer does a good job of hiding key details of the game, though, so learn more about the story and gameplay of Hogwarts Legacy in this article.
As an added bonus, there is also a short section on other Harry Potter games you can check out on your app stores now.
Hogwarts Legacy Compared to Other Harry Potter Games
The Harry Potter books were (and still are) a worldwide phenomenon. Schools around the world have it in their curriculum, and every day more people discover the magic of Harry’s story.
Many projects stem from his stories. From Harry Potter theme parks to Harry Potter lego, there is a post-Harry Potter-book endeavor for everyone. Most of these projects also borrow elements from the movies, especially video games. Since video games are visual mediums, they had to reference a lot of aspects from the Harry Potter film saga.
Moreover, the plot lines of these video games would coincide with the events of the Harry Potter movies. While this was a treat for Potterheads, it also became a way for game developers to limit the locations, characters, and possibilities of their Harry Potter game.
This is not the case for Hogwarts Legacy.
Hogwarts Legacy Story
There will be no Harry, Hermione, or Ron in Hogwarts Legacy. For continuity’s sake, the three book protagonists are not in the game because Hogwarts Legacy is set in the 1800s. This is before their time in Hogwarts, so it is not like the game acts like they don’t exist. Story-wise, they just were not born yet.
According to the Hogwarts Legacy site, this Harry Potter game is an original story. The plot for the game is not written by J.K. Rowling but rather inspired by her work. Being an open-world role-playing game, the plot is as good as you make it.
However, there are shared characteristics throughout each gameplay. All players are Hogwarts students in the 1800s, navigating the world of magic and classes on it. Each student will be under a Hogwarts house, learning about spells, potions, and fantastic beasts.
As each player discovers more about the Wizarding World, they will also embark on a journey that puts their skills to the test. This, according to the game’s developers, will uncover a “hidden truth of the Wizarding World.”
Perhaps the most exciting detail about this new Harry Potter game is its gameplay. For a long while now, fans of the Harry Potter universe have wanted an all-access look into Hogwarts. Unfortunately, time, budget, and technological constraints made this impossible to do.
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action role-playing Harry Potter game. This will be the Wizarding World’s most immersive game to date because it will not be using past Potter characters.
In this Harry Potter game, you will study in Hogwarts and battle enemies big and small. It also does not limit itself to the school, as each character can travel in and out of the castle. Examples of these outside locations are Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest. Any Potterhead would know that these are eventful places for students and magical creatures.
Since you will not be with Harry Potter or his friends, you will have a unique Hogwarts experience all to yourself. This Harry Potter game gives you the chance to enhance your magical combat skills while hanging out with Thestrals, elves, and the like.
Not much else is known about the game, as Avalanche is careful with the details it releases. Still, what people do know now is that each player can choose their own Hogwarts house. For any Potterhead, this is enough to know how much control you have in Hogwarts Legacy.
Because of the current pandemic and other factors, it may be difficult to determine an exact date for Hogwarts Legacy’s release. Nonetheless, we can expect this Harry Potter game to drop sometime in 2021.
It is easy to think that Hogwarts Legacy coincides with the much-awaited PS5 drop in late 2020. While there may be truth to this, you might find comfort in knowing that this is not a Sony-exclusive release.
Hogwarts Legacy is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, XBOX Series X, and of course, the PlayStation 5. It does not stop there. PC players can get in on the fun as well because it is available for digital download. Whether or not this will be on Steam is a question for another day.
Controversy Surrounding Hogwarts Legacy
JK Rowling’s Involvement
Early this year, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling made what seemed to be transphobic remarks on Twitter, much to the dismay of Potterheads around the world. She found offense in the phrase “people who menstruate,” saying that these are supposed to be called women. This caused a media frenzy around the author, as well as a lot of thought pieces on her recent actions.
Because of this, developers on Avalanche faced an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. There was no telling what the reception was going to be for Hogwarts Legacy. Fans around the world have voiced their disappointment, and Avalanche would take a massive hit if they boycotted the game.
Portkey Games seemed to have seen this coming. On the “Frequently Asked Questions” tab of Hogwarts Legacy, the company clarified that Rowling has no direct involvement with the game.
Hogwarts Legacy takes inspiration from, and is based on, Rowling’s work as a world-builder. From there, writers and video game developers took the liberty to shape the Wizarding World themselves.
It is still unclear whether Rowling will be getting a cut from the game, especially if it sells well. Still, many feel divided on buying the game.
In 2018, rumors around Hogwarts Legacy surfaced. This is because of a video posted by “RastaPasta” on YouTube that leaked footage of the Harry Potter game.
The video released dire video game elements such as character choices and possible gameplay locations. From there, people knew that a new Harry Potter game was going to be released. The question from then on was when.
The prospect of an upcoming open-world video game made waves in the Harry Potter fandom. Never before have they seen characters modeled after themselves, nor a free-for-all wizarding experience.
At the time though, people did not know what to believe. People speculated on the title of the game. One can imagine the stress Warner Brothers was in for a game this big to leak years before its release. As rumor mills circulated, the developers at Avalanche kept working—publicly hiring writers with a background in British culture and role-playing games.
This leak is water under the bridge, as Portkey Games still got the massive debut they wanted. Millions of people have seen the trailer for Hogwarts Legacy, with some even saying it is a sure success.
It is a rare occurrence to have a video game level focused on one specific movie/book series, but this is the case for Portkey Games. Founded by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in 2017, Portkey Games will exclusively churn out Harry Potter games for the time being.
For fans of the series, knowing what a “Portkey” is is like breathing air. If you do not know what it is, a “Portkey” is an unassuming “muggle” (non-magic folk) item that transports you to another world. Basically, it is not what you think it is: it can be a normal boot or a trophy. By using it, you can go wherever it is programmed to send you.
Portkey Games, like portkeys, want to transport you to another world through video games. Although, before Hogwarts Legacy, they had two semi-successful releases only.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
While the hype around Portkey Games surrounded the release of Wizards Unite, their first official release is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
This game is set the year Harry Potter survived Lord Voldemort’s killing curse. However, this is pretty much the last you hear of Harry Potter as you start your school year at Hogwarts.
At the wizarding school, you have your classes, hang out with your friends, but also meet some enemies. Because of this, you learn how to duel and uncover the secrets of a series of “Cursed Vaults” along the way.
You will meet students Rowan Khanna, Jacob Khanna, Merula Snyde, and Ben Copper. Learn how their stories relate to Hogwarts’ mysteries.
Released in April 2018, Hogwarts Mystery is a mobile app available to only iOS and Android users. Unlike Hogwarts Legacy, Avalanche did not develop Hogwarts Mystery mainly because it is a mobile app.
Portkey Games partnered up with Jam City to bring us Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Of course, the game was not without the real Harry Potter cast, as it featured the voices of Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Warwick Davis, and more.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
By 2019, Portkey Games was ready to release its much-awaited spin on the Pokemon Go genre. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was available for download for millions of people worldwide by June 21 of that year. It was developed in partnership with Niantic, the minds behind Pokemon Go.
The newfound success of the Fantastic Beasts franchise prompted the release of Wizards Unite. This Harry Potter game uses augmented reality to help you find and battle with fantastic beasts around your location.
As you travel around your town, you will find magical items and creatures you can interact with. You can also stop by local landmarks like inns and greenhouses to gain “energy” or potions. Similar to Pokemon Go, your character moves as you move.
But who is your character? Well, it is your choice.
You get to choose your character’s Hogwarts house, wand, and profession. After doing this, you can also design an avatar for your character. This makes it so much easier for you to track yourself as you travel around town.
Story-wise, there is no added and decreased value from the Harry Potter series. This Harry Potter game is reserved for your augmented reality adventures only.
Should You Buy Hogwarts Legacy?
Obviously, there is still no telling how game-changing Hogwarts Legacy is going to be. Portkey’s previous releases boasted all magic but beyond average gameplay. Hogwarts Mystery, while commended for its plot, had too many microtransactions for players to remain interested. Wizards Unite is the opposite: it did not have a plot, but it is a game you can keep playing.
Another consideration for Harry Potter fans around the world is J.K. Rowling’s rift with the transgender community. Some have even gone as far as calling for a boycott on Hogwarts Legacy. The trailer release was the developers’ way of testing the waters. They knew that the controversy surrounding Rowling can hit Hogwarts Legacy’s sales where it mattered.
Pushing these considerations aside, and basing only on Hogwarts Legacy’s trailer, there is no denying that the game looks great. If things go as planned, it can be the ultimate Harry Potter game of our time.
Its visuals, deep-running plot, and open-world features are every Potterhead’s dream. Whether you agree with Rowling or not, the world she made is special and unique. Her world views or Portkey’s previous track record cannot take that away from you.
Yes, you should still consider buying Hogwarts Legacy. A team of game developers worked hard to bring us the Harry Potter game we have all been clamoring for since the series began.
The choice to buy Hogwarts Legacy is ultimately yours to make. If you are not sure of Portkey Games’ potential, you can download their games on iOS or Android first. This will give you a feel of their capabilities. But keep in mind that Hogwarts Legacy is their first console game, so it will be much bigger in scale.
Open-world role-playing games are the best fit for intricate worlds like Harry Potter’s. Hogwarts Legacy will be a lot of fun, whether you are a fan or not.