It’s been a while since the last full Harry Potter game released for consoles, but fortunately, we’ll soon get to play Hogwarts Legacy, an 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, but despite that, details about the upcoming game are limited.
Following its official reveal during the PS5 event in September 2020, we did pick up on a few tidbits of information, though. And 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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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 is still far from being complete, it isn’t necessarily unusual to only get a cinematic trailer at this 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.”
— 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 recently, the game was delayed 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. At this time, the only thing we know is that Hogwarts Legacy is supposed to launch sometime in 2022 at an unspecified date.
Despite being revealed during the PS5 event, Hogwarts Legacy is a multiplatform game and will come to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Aside from that, no other platforms have been confirmed. It’s also unknown whether the game will feature a next-gen upgrade like many cross-generational titles have included recently.
One thing on the minds of many is how the previous-generation 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.
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.”
Based on the game’s marketing so far, Hogwarts Legacy is expected to be a single-player adventure. Warner Bros. hasn’t officially ruled out the possibility of a multiplayer component, and the trailer does depict multiple instances of what could be cooperative play — but at this point, it’s unclear.
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 single-player.
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 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 Fortnite, wherein 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.
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!
J.K. Rowling’s involvement
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 Legacy, Warner Bros. declined to comment.
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