“Hogwarts Legacy” video game review
This review of Hogwarts Legacy will strictly be a review of the video game. The Mesa Legend does not condone or support the views of J.K. Rowling in any shape or form. You can support those affected by said views by visiting https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Hogwarts Legacy attempts to capture the magic of exploring the world of Harry Potter, resulting in an adventure that excels in some places and disappoints in others.
The game released on Feb. 10 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, the game has enjoyed incredible financial success after its launch.
According to SteamCharts alone, a site which tracks how many players are active on a game on PC’s Steam platform, Hogwarts Legacy averages just under half a million players daily.
That is not even accounting for the players on the other consoles, which surely result in high numbers as well.
Overall, this game has launched successfully as it possibly could. However, does this game live up to the acclaim it has gotten thus far?
This review will be separated into three parts. Performance, Gameplay, and Story. All will be graded out of 10, leading to an average total of the three categories at the end,
For the sake of this review, this game was reviewed through the PC version, running on High settings with Ray Tracing off.
To be completely honest, the story remains nothing special.
Of course, with it being set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, those who enjoy the series’ fantastical adventures will find that this game remains faithful to the source material in almost every regard.
Briefly, Hogwarts Legacy sees you, the player character, as a fifth year transfer student, who suddenly gained magical powers late in their childhood,
The introduction of the game sets up the big mystery of the game,. why does the player character have the ability to see “ancient magic”.
Afterwards, you get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses.
After settling into the castle, you are free to go about your day, completing side stories, tackling the main quest, or just focusing on creating your own adventure.
It’s a simple story, which has its benefits.
With it being set in the Harry Potter universe, fans are sure to pick out plot points or easter eggs that reference the franchise throughout the main campaign.
However it remains a very simple story experience at the end of the day, perhaps by choice. Regardless of that, however, with the story being so average, a score of seven feels most appropriate here.
This is where the game excels in almost every facet.
For those who grew up with the Harry Potter series, many can relate to the idea of wanting to explore Hogwarts and the surrounding areas ever since the movies captured how magical they really were.
With Hogwarts Legacy, that dream becomes reality. Exploring the castle and the grounds surrounding it is an absolute joy through and through.
Everything about it, from inside the castle’s exceptional attention to detail, to the breathtaking visuals outside, it’s an overall incredible experience seeing the Wizarding World this good.
Whether it’s going to classes and brushing up on your magic skills, exploring the castle’s walls to find every collectible the game could offer, to even being able to fly on not only your broomstick, but be able to tame and ride certain magical creatures, there is no shortage of things to do.
There’s one point in the game especially where it hits home how special the gameplay truly is, that being your first experience riding on a hippogriff.
These creatures are a personal favorite in the series, with them being related to a key plot point in the third book in the Harry Potter series.
Naturally, wanting to ride one has always been a childhood dream.
The wind whizzing by you, the clouds whispering all round, the sun setting in the distance and the sprawling landscape beneath you grows smaller and smaller as you ascend to the skies.
It is certainly the high point of the game.
Unfortunately, the glowing praise from the previous section is a bit soured by how the game performed, more specifically on PC.
Of course, if you stood still and admired everything in its beauty on ultra settings, it’s a breathtaking sight.
However, once you start trying to move around the castle, or a heavily populated location of the game, it begins to show its biggest flaw, that being its middling frame issues.
This may vary from person to person, as the thing with PC gaming is that no two setups tend to be the same with different graphics cards, cooling setups, monitors, etc.
To find that this game chugs along at a snail’s pace performance wise at certain sections, most notably while you are in your house’s Common Room, is very disappointing, to say the least.
Now, some may say turning down the settings would be able to fix the issue, however the performance issues rear their ugly head once again.
Even using the medium preset settings resulted in jittery frame rates, while sacrificing one of the game’s best calling cards, its stunning visuals.
This is not even mentioning the fact that Ray Tracing, which takes the visual looks of a game to the next level, was not turned on during this review.
Imagining how much more the performance would have tanked because of this feature is just another telling example of how rough this game chugs along at times.
Most of this remains true after a post-launch update as well, which intended to fix some of those issues.
This, of course, may not be the case on consoles, as those systems are what those games are optimized the most for. However, as this is being done on the PC, the low grade will remain.
In the end, a game being held back by its performance on the higher setting is not the worst thing in the world, as it is more than playable after the tweaking of some settings.
The game itself remains a wondrous gameplay experience getting past all of its performance issues.
Whether you are a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, or a fan of games that involve exploration, this game definitely hits the mark on that front. The attention to detail specifically is top notch.
And while its story may not be its strongest suit, that remains subjective at the end of the day. It’s that performance that, If the game did not run as bad as it did, the overall score would be higher than it is.
Those looking to purchase the game can find it for $59.99 on Steam, and $69.99 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S online storefronts.