Vee’s Honest Hogwarts Legacy Review [NO SPOILERS]

After about 60 hours of Hogwarts Legacy gameplay and so much more to come, it’s time for me as well to sit down and talk about my experience, without any story spoilers of course. I never thought I’d have to say this when working on a game review, but I’m honestly just going to sit down and talk about the game itself, with no hidden controversy drama. I will, however, touch on my experience as a Hogwarts Legacy streamer on YouTube and Twitch for a bit, but that’s as far as it goes.

The first and the most obvious thing I want to talk about is the story, and don’t worry, I’m keeping all the details for myself. The overall impression is that the development team has completely moved on from and abandoned the idea of Harry Potter world, and has created an entirely new, equally magical environment that can stand on its own two feet, while still feeling relevant to every single Harry Potter fan out there with all the lore crumbs and Easter eggs spread throughout the game. Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, your experience will be complete and seamless, as there is nothing you’re required to know before starting to play the game. However, if you are a Potterhead, you will notice just how much of a love letter Hogwarts Legacy is to the original world, created by fans, for fans – and as you’re exploring it, you’re bound to fall in love with it once more. When it comes to the story itself, it’s a wonderfully written, easy to digest, emotional journey that tackles one of the most important aspects of human personality, throwing you deep into thoughts as you’re unraveling the main storyline, ultimately leading you towards creating your own legacy in this world. The main questline can be completed in anywhere between 20 and 30 hours if that’s the only thing you’re after, but considering only about 6% of people have beaten the final boss – at least on Steam, it’s clear that there is so much to this game than simply following the main questline, as it simply sucks you in and isn’t even sorry about it.

The second most important thing to most people, or maybe the first if you’re not a huge lore geek, is the combat. The magic in Hogwarts Legacy is unlike any other Harry Potter or magic-related game I’ve experienced before. The dev team has absolutely nailed it with the unique combat system that is deceptively easy, as you can immediately learn how to cast your spells and call it bland, but boy, does it start being fun when you figure out which spells go well together! Of course, if you’re not a fan of experimenting, you can simply roll your way through the game on an easier mode, while simply casting the more powerful combat spells with lower cooldowns, but engaging with this system is highly recommended, as the game offers so much when it comes to it. When I stream, combat is normally when I talk to the chat the most, but while playing Hogwarts Legacy, I’ve caught myself going eerily quiet multiple times as I was just out there enjoying my spells with a stupid grin on my face!

The combat isn’t the only thing that amazed me about Hogwarts Legacy. Along with it, there are plenty of systems that tie in together quite nicely, making it optional to explore side content, but extremely satisfying and rewarding if you do. From throwing combat plants at your opponents, to capturing beasts whose materials serve as gear upgrades and enhancements, gardening and brewing your own potions, and opening random chests to find special traits to improve your combat abilities, everything gets tied in together so nicely that you simply want to go out of your way and use all these systems even if you don’t feel like your have to. I mean, come on – throwing cabbages that can bite people’s ankles off? If that doesn’t sound like the pinnacle of fun to you, then I don’t know what else they have to offer here!

Let’s talk about the graphics and art style a bit. The game is visually the most stunning piece of modern entertainment I’ve ever experienced, and even if I had no prior emotional connection to the places recreated in this game, I still would’ve been in awe when it comes to their appearance. The art of the game is just stunning, but for me as a streamer with a more… erm, humble PC setup, I unfortunately didn’t quite manage to bring it to life during my live coverage of the game. While I was exploring off-stream, I was able to really crank it up and enjoy everything the game had to offer, visually and graphically, but while on stream, which was most of my playthrough, I had to sacrifice some of the quality for the sake of smooth gameplay, as it was almost impossible for me to do both at the same time at no detriment to the viewers’ experience. In the end, I chose performance over full graphical immersion, and while I don’t regret my choice, I wish the game was a little more accessible on PC. I talked to quite a few content creators who were covering the game on PC as well, and I don’t know a lot of people who were able to run their settings on High, and even turn on Ray Tracing without crumbling their hardware to dust. All in all, the game is a joy to play even when on the lower end of settings, but if you can, then by all means, enjoy and you know. Good for you and all that! 

When it comes to voice acting, I was pleasantly surprised about the fact that the entire game has been voice acted – including you as the main character – and there wasn’t a single thing I had to read out loud while streaming, except for some random letters and field guide pages I found while exploring. The fact that our own character is voiced has helped me connect with her, feel what she feels, laugh when she laughs, and choose replies according to what I’d like to hear her say. The rest of the characters have done a wonderful job. I’m personally a great fan of British voice acting and the diversity of accents has made it incredibly easy for me to feel immersed, but the fact that some other distinct accents have been included has given this game a diverse vibe that I’ve never felt before in any other game. The inclusion within the game, for better or for worse, has gone so far that it ignores any and all historical facts about humans during the 1800s, and simply has everyone participating. Finally, I don’t think I can in good conscience talk about voice acting without giving a massive shoutout to Rachel Rath, the voice actress of Niamh Fitzgerald, whose performance has blown me away and made an initially cool part of the game extra special with just how incredible she is at portraying emotions through her vocal performance.

I previously mentioned side content as one of the most interesting aspects of the game when it comes to improving your combat experience, but that’s not all there is to it. Hogwarts Legacy might just be the only game ever I’m tempted to fully 100% at the cost of all the other things I’m backlogged with, as the side stories are just too good to miss out on. Apart from the usual side quests, which are all unique in their story and gameplay, there are three separate relationship questlines that you’ll recognize as important, and I got so drawn into their stories that I did them as soon as they opened out. They went all in on the character progression during these quest chains, and while I don’t mean to spoil anything to you, these are the exact quests that made me look at certain characters and realize I’d probably lay down my life for a friend like that in real life. (But I don’t have any friends like that, so I’m hoping to be around for a long time.) If you happen to choose Hogwarts Legacy as your next game, or you’ve already started exploring it, I highly recommend checking out the side content as well.

The music of the game is gorgeous, and if you have any wishes to experience the Harry Potter nostalgia through some familiar tunes and atmosphere, you are in for a treat. It’s not just the battle and the zone soundtracks that are amazing, it’s also the little sound effects every time you cast a spell, discover something, unlock a new flight path, or level up. It’s a cozy experience that I think you’ll enjoy no matter what!

This might be a bit of a personal issue for me, but I’d like to talk about my experience of using a controller versus the keyboard during my playthrough. I’ve historically been a PC gamer, and my keyboard is somewhat of an extension of my nervous system, but as I started playing Hogwarts Legacy, I became ready to put all of that aside, as the gameplay on keyboard was unintuitive at best. There were plenty of buttons and commands I struggled to memorize, and they were simply more intuitive on a controller – especially when it came to switching between the spell layouts. At the beginning of my playthrough, I had very little idea what I was doing and it was very challenging to even move around, but by the time I finished, I felt very comfortable and confident in my newly acquired skills, which speaks volume of the game’s accessibility for all the players already used to controllers as their weapon of choice.

Finally, I’d like to mention a couple of things regarding my streaming experience, and I left it for the very end, as that might not be something that’s relevant for most people who stumble upon this review. As much as I wanted to simply play the game and enjoy it without having to deal with the backlash, harassment or the community drama, I eventually spoke about it on stream, and scary as it was, it made a lot of difference – for both me and my viewers. I took a strong anti-harassment stance that I firmly believe in, and honestly, it improved my experience as a streamer. The community I’ve gotten to know while streaming Hogwarts Legacy has, for the most part, been a super pleasant, interactive crowd and anything bad that happened during me streaming it didn’t quite outweigh the good. 

Overall, Hogwarts Legacy has been a joyful experience for me, that I haven’t had in a very long time. It took me back to some happier, more cheerful and definitely less complicated times, back to the magical Hogwarts from the books and movies, and even to the imperfect but endearing pixely versions of Hogwarts from the older Harry Potter games. The game didn’t feel like a game – it felt like a world right out of a fairytale, and I don’t see myself not playing the game anymore. I am yet to fully complete my collection, start multiple playthroughs to experience the house-specific side quests, and visit the other houses’ common rooms as my own. To me, this is definitely a strong game of the year contestant and, even though I know Hogwarts Legacy winning Game Of The Year Award in today’s day and age is unlikely due to all the controversy around it, I’m just glad it managed to win so many people over because, at the end of the day, it’s a good game, and that’s all there is to it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Hogwarts Legacy. If you’ve already played it, would you recommend it to others? Leave your two cents in the comments! You can find my full Hogwarts Legacy playthrough HERE, should you want to check it out, but beware of the spoilers and tread through the lore bits carefully if you haven’t played yet. If you’d like to support my content and keep it going, you can do that on my Patreon, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more great stuff!


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