From Red Dead Redemption to Breathe of the Wild , massively open world games have dominated popular RPG gaming. Since its announcement in 2020, there has been an ever-growing buzz of excitement for Hogwarts Legacy . The game published by Avalanche Software released almost 15 minutes of long-awaited gameplay footage on February 17 th during a State of Play livestream, as well as a clearer release date. The game has promised to let players enter Hogwarts and its surrounding area, exploring the fantasy realm in massive detail.
The trailer shows off the beautiful landscape of Hogwarts and its surrounding areas, including Hogsmeade Village. These areas can be explored on foot or by broom, with an extensive array of shops, beasts, and NPCs to interact with. The footage shows detailed shots of Hogwarts both inside and out, as well as Hogsmeade village. The world also promises a changing seasonal landscape with night and day cycles to match.
Players were given a glimpse at character creation and customisation. Face shapes and hair colours were shown off, demonstrating a wide range of options to choose from for your witch or wizard. Clothing items are also customisable through features such as crafting, as well as purchasing new items. Players will be able to choose from the four Hogwarts houses, but it is unclear as to how much of a role this will have in gameplay. The common area for each house was shown off in the trailer too.
Classes include Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, and Potions, just to name a few. Each class provides different mechanics and additional learning opportunities that both further the story and impact gameplay and combat. The trailer demonstrated an extensive amount of footage of the combat mechanics, demonstrating a wide range of spells to combine to suit your player’s unique style. Potions, fantastical beasts, and magical plants can also be utilised in combat and gameplay. Outside of combat, we’re also given a glimpse as to how practical magic will be implanted into gameplay. In a labyrinth like setting, suggested to be beneath Hogwarts, the player uses practical magic to move platforms to access new areas of the map. The combat sections of the trailer promise multifaceted and dimensional combat sequences with a wide variety of enemy types to face up against.
Customisation and unique gameplay are highlighted throughout the trailer. Various skill trees and challenges allow you to shape your own unique character, boosting the wide variety of abilities they may have. This wide range in variety for skills, abilities, customisation, and spells, promises a wide range of gameplay possibilities that should suit a massive variety of players regardless of their play style. Plus, no game based in the magical world of Harry Potter would be complete without flight. The trailer shows footage of players flying about on broomsticks and hippogriffs, suggesting variation and customisation in this mechanic.
Another key feature players are sure to love is the presence of companions. Through the people you meet during your time at Hogwarts you can learn a variety of spells, and even have them join you in combat. These characters have fleshed out stories to unlock through interactions.
The Room of Requirement has been cleverly integrated into game play. As a student starting late, the room presents itself as a personal hub to grow your own plants and potions to ensure you can keep up with your fellow students. This space is further expanded through the introduction of independent pocket planes, fully customisable to reflect you as a player and your personal game style. This space can also be used for your own fantastical beasts.
The possibilities of this game appear to be endless, with variety not ending solely in character game play. It is suggested in the trailer that players can embark on a darker path, suggesting multiple endings and wide-ranging gameplay.
Warner Bros have also addressed concerns regarding J.K Rowling’s role in the creation of this game. It has been stated that while this is based in the world she has created, the production has not involved J.K Rowling’s input. Hogwarts Legacy is due to come out this holiday season 2022. You can watch the trailer and gameplay footage here.