We take a closer look at the game in our Hogwarts Legacy review, one of the most successful adaptations of the Harry Potter universe.
Successful game adaptations always come to mind in popular book and movie series. So when we read a book or watch a successful movie series, we always enact a game project in our dreams. For example, although there are some examples, a much more successful Lord of the Rings game or a new Matrix game has always adorned our dreams. I also have a Tarkan dream, which I said “what a great game it would be”, but let’s not go into the details of it too much now 🙂
Hogwarts Legacy review / PC
Although we have seen different examples and direct film adaptations over the years, one of the biggest dreams of fans who read the Harry Potter book series or watch the movie series has undoubtedly been a successful Harry Potter adaptation. I’m sure many HP fans have dreamed of wandering through Hogwarts’ chasing corridors, wandering through its mysterious rooms, or riding a broomstick and breathing the atmosphere of a vast magical world. Even if I’m not a huge fan, this is something that comes to my mind from time to time.
Hogwarts Legacy, which we have hosted in our review column today, is exactly such a game. An adventure where Harry Potter fans will get lost, discover hidden surprises and become a true Hogwarts student. Honestly, I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan. I haven’t read the books, but I’ve watched the entire movie series. In this review, I plan to touch upon this aspect of the matter. Because if you are an HP fan, let me tell you from the beginning, this game will satisfy you greatly. So if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, can you still enjoy this game?
A magical world
Hogwarts Legacy is actually the signature of the Avalanche Software team, which is experienced in the open world but also caused us to have question marks in our minds. Although I approach this subject with a bit of prejudice, I have to admit from the beginning that the team embarrassed me in a way. Because Hogwarts Legacy has shaped its open world structure according to this universe and has been modeled completely appropriately.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which we can call the center of the game, has been designed in a magnificent way. I can say that a different surprise and activity awaits you in every corner of this huge building. They have reflected that atmosphere very successfully with moving paintings, wall decorations, water pools and students that fill the school’s interior. My favorite aspect of Hogwarts is that it is really as beautiful as it is portrayed in the story. In every corner you turn your head, you encounter a magical scene.
When you go up to the Astronomy Tower, a very different atmosphere greets you. Or, when you go down, you come across a flatter structure. Dozens of spaces to be discovered by the Main Hall and the Library section are packed into this huge building. Even though I’ve spent close to 30 hours in the game, I still see new things to discover at Hogwarts. The structure of the game is already built accordingly. You enter some areas that you have not entered in the later stages of the game, and you begin to understand how much more surprises this structure actually has. At the beginning of the game, even on a wall that you pass through, there can actually be a secret door. Moreover, besides the main missions, mini puzzles and stories are also distributed in various parts of this building.
Of course, apart from seeing the faces you are familiar with from the story, brand new characters or regions are also included. Characters such as Nearly Headless Nick and Fat Lady, which we can call the touchstones of this structure, appear before you. Apart from that, we often see Peeves, who we can call the troublemaker of these corridors. Sometimes it is chasing after juggling, sometimes it haunts you, or you can see it slide down the stair railings on your way to a random mission. The operation that activates this kind of playground has increased the dynamism of the game to an incredible level. There is even a ghost chasing her husband in the game. Likewise, as I said, you can interact with the tables. For example, as I was walking through a corridor, I heard someone calling me. When I looked back, a gargoyle head was lamenting, “There’s so much room, look at this hallway where they put me.”
If you like fantastic games, you can check our Wild Hearts Review.
Hogwarts, as you know in the story, has a constantly changing structure. I don’t know if it’s a reference to this, but it really takes a long time to memorize the castle. It is made so big that one of the best aspects of the game is to explore this castle. Already at the beginning of the game, you wander around the castle for a long time. Afterwards, of course, even if you go to the open world because it is at the center of the story, you still have to walk these corridors many times.
Speaking of the open world, this exploration and dynamic structure of the game is also reflected in its open world. A huge world awaits you and you encounter a different dynamism at every corner. The map structure of the game is divided into three parts as Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade and the open world, excluding the hidden parts. These three parts have their own unique map. Yes, Hogsmeade, which is one of the important points of the story, is also one of the important locations of the game. As we do many quests here, we can also buy items such as wands, brooms, and potions. The dealer logic is already spread across much of the playing field.
There are many locations in the open world, including the Forbidden forest. Apart from Hogsmeade, different residential areas are also included. I can say that a rich world awaits you when you say abandoned ruins, caves, small areas that you can explore by diving into the water. Moreover, as in Hogwarts, some puzzles and activities are distributed all over this world. For example, you can solve merlin puzzles or participate in broom races located at different points. Incidentally, Quidditch is not included in the game. At the beginning of the game, you get information that it has been delayed this season, but I can say that I sensed that there would be a DLC plan in the future.
Long time ago
Hogwarts Legacy takes place 100 years before the Harry Potter era. It goes back to 1890 and we see traces of much earlier, except for this period of the story. Even though we had to play a transfer student who is in his fifth year and learn even the simplest spells from the beginning, the story process is built in a structure that you will not get bored. Moreover, this story, in which the four great wizards who founded Hogwarts participated, was built in such a way that the element of curiosity is at a high level. We also have a bad character. Although Ranrok, who led the goblin rebellion, was portrayed successfully, I don’t know if it was because he was a goblin, but I couldn’t take him seriously while playing.
Of course, as the main story progresses, we should not disrupt our daily work as in the Harry Potter story. Throughout the story, we attend classes in both main quests and side quests and unlock new spells and potions. So much so that there is even a Room of Requirement room, which you can build entirely yourself in the game. You can arrange everything from potion tables to wall decorations, from the structure of the room to the atmosphere.
Of course, as a story, going much earlier than the time that many Harry Potter fans know and memorize left a very wide area for the production team. The team made good use of this void they created and filled it in a way that would suit their own world. Moreover, while doing this, they did not harm the structure of the world, namely the inspired works. Since it’s already a magical world, you don’t find anything strange you come across. But this system does not harm the structure of the Harry Potter universe. At this point, I can say that they have preserved the fine line they are on very successfully.
At the beginning of the game, there is a detailed character creation sequence. Then, after a series of events, of course, you put the voting hat on your head. Here, after very obvious questions, the class you will go to is determined, but if you are not satisfied with the result, you can change it as you wish.
Avada Kedavra (read with Voldemort voice)
One of the aspects of Hogwarts Legacy that I love is that it adapts its dark structure beautifully to that magical world. Even at the opening of the game, it hits that structure in your face. When you see someone being caught in the air by dragons, you think “wow”. Moreover, in the spells in the game, the team did not get used to being cowardly to make it look like a fairy tale. Many types of magic are featured, including the three forbidden spells of this universe. In addition to the spells you learn according to the story, there are also spells that you unlock in side quests. As you unlock these spells, you can play on PC or console, and you can place spells on different sets as you wish. It is also easy to use in terms of control. It’s confusing at first, but when you unlock all the spells and place them according to your wishes, you start making combos faster.
Blocking and resisting attacks has been satisfying. Combo structure is very important in the combat system. In other words, it is possible to make different combos and increase the number of hits by combining the main spells with straight hits. Of course, there are also counter spells that you need to use according to the defense of the enemy. For example, if the shield opened by the enemy is red, you need to make flaming attacks on him in the style of Incendio or Confringo. Or if it’s yellow, you can break the shield with spells like Leviosa. Such different structures have succeeded in putting the combat system into a dynamic structure.
If we include the main spells such as Revelio, which we use mostly in the open world, and Protego, which we use in defense, there are 33 different types of magic in the game. The combat system can get monotonous from time to time, but they somehow managed to overcome this monotony with new spells and improvements. Five minor skill trees are featured: Spells, Dark Arts, Major Abilities, Stealth, and Room of Requirement. You can make improvements here with the experience points you gain as you level up.
The exploration structure of the game is mostly based on finding new items. In fact, I can say that this is the most important detail that I dislike in the game. I can say that it simplifies things a bit, especially on the open world side, in terms of side quests. So, more entry-level side quests like find me that ring, take these potions there, are interspersed in this open world. Although the stories of the important characters are branched out, you do not encounter such a structure in the open world side of the game.
On the other hand, you find a lot of equipment in the game, and after a while, this situation starts to lose its importance. At the first merchant you find, you’re selling hurriedly or if you don’t have room in your inventory (inventory can be improved with Merlin quests), you start breaking items. The result in the structure of task and discovery begins to lose its value over time. You realize that progress in this magical world is the real fun rather than the outcome of the quests. Of course, it is necessary to set aside the quests that you have learned a new spell or opened as necessary in the story (such as the Broom).
Hogwarts Legacy managed to satisfy me in terms of music. From time to time, the sequences taken from John Williams’s wonderful tunes erase the rust of your ears. Apart from this, the music and ambient sounds that strengthen the atmosphere of the game are also fed into the game in a nice way.
Visually, I want to divide the game into two parts. First of all, the artistic direction of the game is really successful. Hogwarts is already decorated with incredible details on its own. Even when you see the dragon moving on the wall and breathing smoke from its nose, you feel what a beautiful craftsmanship is there. With paintings and embroidery, this meticulous structure has spilled over into the world of the game. The map design is successful, you can see the wholeness of the world more clearly when you float in the air with a broom or Hippogriff. I can say that most of the time I even found myself wandering around and looking left and right.
On the other hand, our character can climb on some boxes or high ledges in missions. But when you do the same thing in a normal area, you cannot do it. In other words, I can say that the game guides you rather than releasing it. For example, while you can jump and hold on to an area much higher than your height in the mission, you cannot climb onto a small safe during normal exploration moments. If you try to do this, your character can sometimes get stuck and fall into a bug.
You can check more details on the official website.
On the other hand, there is an important optimization problem in the game. Of course, this is a situation that will be resolved over time, but even though I use RTX 3080, I often encountered FPS drop problems. Of course, it is possible to optimize it with some changes in the graphics settings, but the world of the game is so beautifully designed that you want to get the maximum visuality you can normally get with the system in your hand. Especially the ray tracing effect has a very important structure for the visuality of the game. When you open it, you clearly notice how much the corridors of Hogwarts have changed. Without forgetting, the game also has DLSS and FSR support, but despite that, the optimization problem is evident. Although it has become much more stable with the first day patch, I have to say that there is still a problem that needs to be solved.
Hogwarts Legacy review: Conclusion
As a result of our Hogwarts Legacy review, the game has a ton of details to tell, especially the dialogue choices, but I would like to leave the other details to you, as in the exploration dynamics of the game. The team was well fed from the source materials and freely built their own worlds by sticking to them. We have a very successful adaptation before us. If you are a Harry Potter fan, I can say that you will love the game already. Even if you only watched the movies like me, there are tons of details that will connect you and make you enjoy the game.