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Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy game


Release Date

ESRB Rating




Bob Hoose

Game Review

As the title suggests, Hogwarts Legacy throws open the flying carriage door to transport players to the wizarding school of Hogwarts, where they’ll be students for a year. And it tips its steeply pointed hat to nearly every gaming desire a fan of the books and movies may seek.

No, you won’t find Harry or Hermione in Hogwarts’ hallowed halls: The game is set in a different timeline. But that offers up a similar story feel while stripping away all those Harry Potter canon constraints. So the tale can center around you and your adventures.

A player creates a male or female avatar of his or her choice and is welcomed into Hogwarts as a new student joining the fifth-year class. That puts all the pressure on you and your obvious magical skills to try and quickly catch up to your classmates so that you’ll be ready for the end-of-the-year OWL (Ordinary Wizarding Level) exams.

From the sorting ceremony on, you begin attending classes on charms, conjuring, creating potions, and working with mandrake roots and magical beasts and the like. There are scores of side-quests; castle ghosts to placate; a shapeshifting challenge in the headmaster’s office; hidden rooms to find; a hippogriff adventure;  and even some broom flight to enjoy. (But sorry, no Quidditch.)

Pretty quickly on, though, your educational pursuits must share time with some extracurricular activities—the save-the-world-from-evil kind. It turns out that a dangerous and powerful goblin called Ranrok has been causing all sorts of havoc while he searches for repositories of ancient dark magic. And it just so happens that you are one of the rare few who can actually see traces of this powerful stuff in the world around you.

With the help of a few Hogwarts profs and four deceased-but-still-spiritually-conversant wizards from the past, you must face four special trials, find important memories and piece the story of that dark magic together, all while somehow keeping the deadly stuff out of Ranrok’s sharply clawed mitts.

Game mechanics and systems swirl around lots of exploration, puzzle-solving and magical combat. There are secret doors to find, dungeons to tackle and discoveries to scratch out both in the labyrinthine corridors of Hogwarts and in the open world and forests around the castle.


For all of the ways a game like this might fall flat, Hogwarts Legacy is very good at delivering the charm of the Hogwarts experience with delightful sights and sounds. And that includes an enchanting underscore and wand battles that produce entertaining battle animations and spell effects. The story and many activities aren’t necessarily deep or complex, but they do give players a clear sense of author J. K. Rowling’s magical world.

Several characters bravely step up to face threats and protect people and beasts. (We free a captured dragon and return her egg, for instance.)

There’s quite a bit of adventure to seek out here and side quests aplenty. Players also have the ability to create their avatar from a wide variety of representative races and appearances—applying a masculine or feminine voice of their choice. …


The above-mentioned avatar choices open the door for potential transgender-appearing protagonists as well. (There’s also one possible transgender character in the story mix—though no direct statement about the character’s gender is ever made.) 

Of course, the action here centers around fantasy magic: magic spells, potions, conjurings and wand-waving battles. In a few cases, magicians use magic to pull dark, squiggling chunks of “pain” out of a person’s body. In one of those, someone inhales those painful bits as if snorting a drug. The ghosts, witches and wizards are broadly depicted, but any witchy focus and celebration might well raise questions for a concerned parent.

Players give magical battle to enemy wizards and a variety of mythical creatures such as trolls, massive skeletons, dragons and gigantic spiders. There are blasts of flame and zaps of energy, explosions, destroyed scenery and cries of pain. Evil and threatening peril abound around the goblin Ranrok, and characters are killed (including someone we’ve drawn close to). Close examination can sometimes reveal a bit of blood after a death.

A young student is offered a “butterbeer,” which is depicted as being lightly alcoholic. Uses of the words “b–tard,” “d–n” and “h—” are heard on rare occasions in the dialogue.


There is indeed quite a lot of magical fun to be found in this Harry Potter-related game. But Hogwarts Legacy’s spells, magic and story are sometimes dark and deadly, too.

Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.