Hogwarts Legacy (PlayStation 5) Review

By Lilly Kirchner 07.03.2023

Review for Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation 5

Hogwarts - does it really need an introduction? The world of magic and its school, thought to be located in Scotland, have taken on a life of their own a long time ago. It is so much more than books and movies - it is about the people who get lost in dreaming about Hippogriffs and Quidditch that make this phenomenon what it is today. Released on 10th February and developed by Avalanche Software, Hogwarts Legacy promises to make childhood dreams of soaring on brooms and exploring the grounds of Hogwarts come true. Can it really hold up?

As an open-world action RPG, Hogwarts Legacy may not be for everyone - until realising that there is a story difficulty mode, phew! Even those players that aren't well-versed in gaming, then, or panic at the thought of action gameplay, are being catered to - and those who love a challenge can, of course, choose from more difficult modes.

However, starting at the beginning, Hogwarts Legacy is the player's journey to Hogwarts, so character creation is a must. A variety of hair styles and colours, as well as skin and eye tones can be chosen. Purple eyes are even possible! Different voices can be selected, as well - and, in the end, the choice is yours, whether to be a witch or wizard. This has no influence on the character creation choices or decisions within the adventure itself, other than determining what dorm-room you will be living in. In other words, nothing is locked behind a specific gender or design, and there is freedom to create anyone, which is a truly welcome feature.

Screenshot for Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation 5

The story starts out a little bit bizarre - the playable avatar is a student that is about to start at Hogwarts in their fifth year. There is no real further explanation why this is the case, but a bit of prep work is necessary before attending, so a professor is willing to help. The story is set in the 1800s, but it should be said that this is a fantasy world in that setting.

​Long story short, after an unexpected attack and short escapade, the lead finally makes it to Hogwarts and gets sorted into a house, and this is where things get truly interesting. A house will be suggested during the sorting ceremony; however, there is freedom to choose another one should it be desired. Depending on the house chosen, only that house's dorms and common rooms will be seen - and they are beautiful. The designs and thoughts behind Hogwarts castle, the different common rooms, classrooms and grounds are simply amazing. Completely open-world, with the ability to explore everywhere, and what the developer has conjured here is truly magical. It is a dream come true, if the dream was to explore Hogwarts and its surrounding areas, that is!

Screenshot for Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation 5

Not only is Hogsmeade completely modelled and explorable, but the surrounding highlands, including little hamlets are, as well. Little details like talking portraits, humming suits of armour, arguing ghosts, secrets to find, puzzles to solve, decorations changed due to season of the year - all of this breathes life into the experience.

There are, unfortunately, the occasional copy-paste character models, or dungeon models, but this still doesn't take away from the overall feel. Load times are virtually absent, bar the occasional second to load when walking out a door into a different area in Hogwarts castle every now and again. This reiterates the feeling of a truly open-world title. It is possible to fly on broomsticks and certain beasts, brew potions, grow plants, raise beasts, and, of course, cast spells.

Where does the action come in, then? Well, naturally, there is an enemy, and because of that, there are camps that can be raided for treasure. There are also evil beasts that will attack and have to be fought out in the wild, and this is where the spell-casting and battle system will come in. It is surprisingly well-thought through, with an array of magic to choose from, and it is easy to use, especially in story mode. Of course, the number of spells to use at any one time is limited due to the number of buttons on the controller, but spell slots can be changed easily and quickly to equip different ones when needed, and it works well, overall. This is definitely true for story mode, which does require battling, but is simplified in a way that feels both easy and rewarding at the same time. Rewards can be collected from chests scattered throughout the world or defeated enemies and include money, potion ingredients, or clothing.

Screenshot for Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation 5

There are a variety of outfits to collect, to spice things up, and these can also boost attack and defence power and hold certain abilities. Luckily, the look of the outfit can be chosen freely - meaning that the strongest-but-terribly-ugly outfit can just be hidden by a more favoured appearance. Outfits are not confined to certain genders either, so people are free to choose what they wish their character to wear.

What about the story? The story is, indeed, intriguing and interesting. A wide variety of different characters are represented, not only including different nationalities but also members of the LGBTQ+ community to make this as inclusive an adventure as possible. Many characters have side-stories to explore, there are missions to fetch things and classes for learning new spells, as well as challenges. In-between, exploration knows no bounds. The main story can be completed relatively quickly, but it is definitely worth taking the time to explore some of the side content, as well.

Avalanche has really created something beautiful here. Everything looks and feels amazing. There are the occasional glitches, which are mainly visual, but there is nothing particularly game-breaking. Overall, Hogwarts Legacy a surprisingly wonderful title.

Screenshot for Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Apart from small glitches and occasional copy-paste character models, Hogwarts Legacy is truly something else. The magic is alive, and it is finally time to explore Hogwarts castle. Adding in a great battle system, interesting story and characters, and a magical masterpiece is born.

Cubed3 does not condone any disrespectful views or discriminatory behaviour. It must be made clear that this review is based solely on the gaming content, and not any recent or on-going matters regarding J.K. Rowling.

Developer

Avalanche

Publisher

Warner Bros.

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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