Everything we know about Hogwarts Legacy

It’s been a while since the last full Harry Potter game was released for consoles, but fortunately, we’ll soon get to play Hogwarts Legacyan action RPG set in the Wizarding World. Hogwarts Legacy is being developed by Avalanche Software (best known for the Disney Infinity series) and is being published by Warner Bros. Interactive under the Portkey Games label. It has been in the works for several years now, and up until recently, details about the upcoming game were limited.

Following its official reveal during the PlayStation 5 event in September 2020, development quietly went on in the background, until finally, a March 2022 State of Play event took place, giving us a slew of details about Hogwarts Legacy. Along with that, we’ve searched the internet far and wide to gather as much as possible about the upcoming Harry Potter RPG.

Here’s everything we know about Hogwarts Legacy.

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Trailer

As part of the PS5 event in September 2020, we got a first look at a slew of games, one of which was Hogwarts Legacy. Its official reveal trailer (seen above) depicts the game’s tone and visual style and gives us a look at what to expect from the Hogwarts castle itself. One thing to note is that the trailer features only cinematics — and doesn’t actually show gameplay. Though, considering the game was still far from being complete at that time, it wasn’t unusual to only get a cinematic trailer at that point.

The game’s official description per the trailer above is as follows:

“Experience a new story set at Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Make allies, battle Dark wizards, and decide the fate of the wizarding world.”

However, in March 2022, Warner Bros. and Avalanche Software gave us a 14-minute gameplay trailer, offering the most robust look at Hogwarts Legacy to date.

The new presentation showed off the first look at gameplay, with details on how the RPG mechanics will work. The game will feature a skill tree, a party system, various gear to collect and upgrade, a rich combat system, and a massive castle to explore (along with areas beyond the castle walls). Aside from mechanics, the trailer also depicted the game’s visual style, which looks impressive. Characters border on realistic while still featuring a unique style as created by Avalanche Software.

Release date

pic.twitter.com/9zqii6DZLm

— Hogwarts Legacy (@HogwartsLegacy) January 13, 2021

As shown in the game’s reveal trailer, Warner Bros. originally planned for Hogwarts Legacy to launch sometime in 2021, but subsequently delayed it to 2022. Per the game’s social media channels, it was delayed in order to give it “the time it needs.” It’s also speculated that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the development of many games, including this one.

Warner Bros. said, “Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us,” putting the quality of the final product first.

Then, during the March 2022 State of Play presentation, Avalanche announced Hogwarts Legacy would launch during the holiday season in 2022 with an unannounced date. Here’s hoping we get an official release date announcement in the summer of 2022 with no more delays.

Platforms

Wizard facing a troll in Hogwarts Legacy.

Despite being revealed during the PS5 event, Hogwarts Legacy is a multiplatform game and will come to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and even Nintendo Switch. Interestingly, the Switch edition doesn’t seem to be a cloud-based game like Hitman 3 or Control and will seemingly run on the system natively. Given how good the game looks on consoles, it’s likely that Avalanche will need to make some concessions with the Switch edition to run properly. We’ll likely find out more about this version in the coming months.

It’s also unknown whether the game will feature a next-generation upgrade like many cross-generational titles have included recently.

One thing on the minds of many is how the previous-gen version will differ from the current-gen build. Considering the size and scope of this game, we’re hoping the PS4 and Xbox One editions don’t hold back the full game on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Gameplay

Witch holding a wand in Hogwarts Legacy.

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action RPG wherein you’ll attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In it, you’ll be sorted into one of the four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) and be able to attend classes to hone your magical skills. Players will be able to switch Hogwarts houses at any time, but Warner Bros. has not revealed how this will work. Players will be able to explore the castle, along with surrounding areas like the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade Village.

While we haven’t seen official gameplay quite yet, the trailer depicts characters casting spells and battling against terrifying beasts, so it’s likely you’ll have many opportunities to partake in magical combat — against monsters or other witches/wizards. There were also sections within the trailer that showcase various creatures that could serve as companions, like the majestic hippogriff.

Considering the game is an RPG, there will likely be some sort of leveling system to enhance your character as you rise through the ranks at the school. It’s unclear how this will work exactly, but it will likely be tied to your classes and other performance-based sections of the game.

We also know that the game will take place during the 1800s, meaning Harry Potter won’t be around since he wasn’t born until the late 1900s. This doesn’t mean we won’t get some sort of flash-forward reference to Potter himself, but don’t expect to play as him in Hogwarts Legacy.

Here’s a brief official explanation of what to expect from Hogwarts Legacy’s gameplay, per Warner Bros.:

“[Players] will grow their character’s abilities as they master powerful spells, hone combat skills, and select companions to help them face off against deadly enemies. Players will also encounter missions and scenarios that will pose difficult choices and determine what they stand for.”

During the March 2022 State of Play presentation, Avalanche Software gave an in-depth look at the moment-to-moment gameplay. In it, players will begin their journey as fifth-year students, with the option to fully customize their witch or wizard, complete with a Sorting Hat ceremony and all. From there, you attend classes such as Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, and Potions, where the goal is to hone your skills.

Combat in Hogwarts Legacy.

You’ll then use the skills you’ve learned to uncover secrets within the Hogwarts castle itself, but the journey doesn’t end there. There’s a massive area to explore outside the castle walls, with dungeon-esque areas to overcome and famous locales such as Hogsmeade Village to visit. Within these areas are a variety of enemies to defeat such as goblins and other witches/wizards, so you’ll definitely need to hone your spellcasting skills.

Speaking of which, combat will play a major role in Hogwarts Legacyfunctioning a lot like many fast-paced action games. But instead of using melee weapons to strike enemies, you’ll use spells to levitate your foes, manipulate objects that surround you, deal fire damage, or dish out other incantations to survive. It seems like chaining together spells will be a main component of combat, making the game feel fast and frenetic.

Beyond that, you’ll have a slew of talents to apply to your character, ranging from stealth-oriented abilities to different combat techniques and collectibles to find. There’s even a looting mechanic that involves finding different gear to enhance your witch/wizard, making it feel like a fantasy RPG.

Multiplayer

Two characters in Hogwarts Legacy.

Based on the game’s marketing so far, Hogwarts Legacy is expected to be a single-player adventure. Warner Bros. has officially ruled out the possibility of a multiplayer component, as part of a lengthy FAQ.

It might seem obvious, but Hogwarts and the Wizarding World make a lot of sense in a multiplayer context. We can picture traveling through dangerous dungeons with friends or dueling against opponents online. There’s a lot in the world of Harry Potter that would make sense when playing with others, but for now, we should just expect Hogwarts Legacy to focus on a single-player component.

DLC

The Sorting Hat ceremony in Hogwarts Legacy.

Since we don’t know much about the base game, all we can do is speculate about possible DLC that could be added at a later time. Perhaps the game will feature seasonal events or additional cosmetic items to enjoy — or maybe even extra companions or spells to use that could be added after launch.

If the game does eventually feature an online component — whether it’s designed for single-player or multiplayer — there could be some interesting games-as-a-service elements added, much like Destiny or Fortnitewherein you can complete daily challenges that keep you coming back. Again, the possibilities are endless, but it’s too early to say for sure at this point. Currently, DLC plans have not been revealed.

Pre-order

Flying on a Hippogriff in Hogwarts Legacy.

Hogwarts Legacy is still far from being complete, so it’s not surprising the game isn’t available to pre-order just yet. We’ll update this article when Warner Bros. announces the pre-order times or release date. As it stands, we’ll have to wait for more info. Hermione’s Time-Turner would come in handy right about now!

Controversy

Following Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s transphobic statements on social media, many longtime fans were not happy and questioned supporting the upcoming game. In response to this, Warner Bros. devoted a segment to the game’s FAQ section that reads, “J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game; however, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World. This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”

In regards to Rowling’s backlash from fans, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said to Variety, “The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues. Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”

When questioned by Kotaku about whether Rowling would receive royalties for Hogwarts LegacyWarner Bros. declined to comment.

In light of the recent State of Play presentation, many industry veterans expressed their viewpoints on the matter, taking a hard stance on Rowling and the things she’s said. Writer Jessie Earl wrote a thoughtful breakdown of the entire situation for GameSpot, detailing the repercussions of Rowling’s remarks.

The best thing allies can do in discussing the #HogwartsLegacy State of Play today is to use the opportunity to draw attention to the harm Rowling & GC folks cause trans people. This isn’t to say don’t enjoy the game, but Rowling herself opened the door to the discussion. Use it.

— Jessie Earl (@jessiegender) March 17, 2022

Other outlets such as Fanbyte have outright refused to cover the game in a traditional capacity, instead linking to trans charities to support rather than build hype for the game.

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