After the trailer for a mysterious Harry Potter game leaked four years ago, Hogwarts Legacy was finally confirmed at Sony’s September 2020 PlayStation 5 Showcase. The game is being described as an open-world RPG set in the Wizarding World, giving fans the opportunity to live out their most cherished fantasies within its unique lore.
Here’s everything you need to know about Hogwarts Legacy, including details on its release date, gameplay, story and setting.
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Hogwarts Legacy release date
Hogwarts Legacy was initially set to be released at some point in 2021, but after a recent delay, we won't be seeing it until 2022. The game will be released on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC. The graphical differences we can expect between these generational gaps is currently unconfirmed, but it’s probably safe to say Hogwarts Legacy will look better on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The game is being developed by Avalanche Software and published by Warner Bros. Games. Avalanche Software previously developed Cars 3: Driven to Win, so Hogwarts Legacy is a big step up for them as far as scale goes.
We didn't see much of Hogwarts Legacy during 2021, with it not appearing at E3 and not showing up at Sony's PlayStation Showcase 2021.
Video game data analyst Millie A. claimed in a Twitter post that we'd see more of Hogwarts Legacy at The Game Awards this past December. She hinted at the existence of a Wolverine-related property far before Insomniac's Wolverine received a trailer, so it's not unlikely that she possesses insider info. Unfortunately, this was not true. It doesn't necessarily mean she was wrong, as reveals and trailers get pulled last minute all the time.
Warner Bros. general manager Rachel Wakely had an interview with Toy World Magazine where she implied that Hogwarts Legacy would be launching second to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Since the film is launching in April, it's unlikely that the game will be launching during early 2022.
The Rowling Library recently spotted that the “The Art and Making of Hogwarts Legacy" by Insight Editions would be launching on September 6. This could mean the game is set to launch on that date or sometime before, as it would be unusual if an artbook for a game released before the game itself was out.
AccountNGT on Twitter claims that we'll definitely see more of Hogwarts Legacy in March. This is merely a rumor, but we're hoping it's true.
Hogwarts Legacy gameplay
During Sony’s PlayStation 5 event, the company revealed our second look at Hogwarts Legacy. The first time we got a glimpse at the game was when it originally leaked back in 2018. If you haven’t seen the original trailer, it’s definitely worth watching below.
In this trailer, there are a few interesting details to look out for. We get to see what character creation will look like, allowing players to change things like their face, skin color, eye color and body type. We also see how brutal the game might be, with the player character bursting through a door and impaling enemies.
However, this trailer was likely never meant to be shown to the public because of character creation menu possesses text that reads “[Menu_Face]” and “[Menu_SkinColor].” This could mean it was merely an internal demo meant to prove the game was making strides in its development. As a result, it’s difficult to say what has and hasn’t changed.
Thankfully, we no longer have to speculate about the leaked trailer; a Hogwarts Legacy announcement presentation in mid-September showed off parts of the gameplay and setting.
The new trailer is surprisingly similar to the original one, providing us a more cinematic look into the world and what we can expect. It teases players with potion brewing, taming creatures, mastering obscure magic, playing quidditch and attending lectures from some of the most powerful witches and wizards around the world.
On the Reddit page r/HarryPotterGame, a user designed a fan-made skill tree for Hogwarts: Legacy. This skill tree actually looks very similar to the one used in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, even down to the runic text below each tree.
While each skill isn't full developed in this fan-made skill tree, the one we can see allows the user to effectively go invisible by blending into their environment like a chameleon. I certainly hope Hogwarts Legacy has a complex skill tree, as it will allow for players to have a more personal attachment to their character.
Sony hosted a State of Play on March 17 focusing on Hogwarts Legacy, showcasing a ton of new footage. We saw character creation and how players will be sorted into a specific house. Players will need to attend classes, like charms, herbology, defense against the dark arts and more.
Players will get the chance to explore the castle of Hogwarts outside of classes as well. And the trailer promises giving us access to iconic locations that we've never gotten to see before.
The game's spells and combat system feature plenty of status effects and world-based actions. Players will need to master shield magic to avoid being victim to these attacks. The trailer goes in-depth on the many things we can expect out of Hogwarts Legacy's combat. There are also plenty of talent points to allow players to upgrade their spells.
And The Room of Requirement allows players to brew potions, upgrade potions and harvest plants. Players can even nurture their own magical beasts. And this space can be freely customized to reflect the player's tastes. Players can also travel outside of Hogwarts to collect materials and explore new areas. The game will also feature time of day cycles and climate changes as the school year progresses.
Hogwarts Legacy story
Hogwarts Legacy will revolve around player choice first and foremost, allowing the user to utilize their incredible abilities for the good of the world or giving into more wicked and sinister desires. Apparently, the game will use a customizable character who has unlocked some sort of “ancient secret” that has the potential to destroy the world.
After receiving a late acceptance into Hogwarts, the player will discover that they possess a far greater understanding of “Ancient Magic” than most of their peers. What the actual result of this will be is hard to determine, but we could see a large open world with tons of side quests.
According to a now-deleted tweet from DC Allen (which was saved by Comic Book), he hints at the ability to kill in the game. He also claims there's "a lot of evil occurring in the wizarding world," which could mean players will be able to engage with dark magic.
It's also been confirmed that "J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game" and that it's "not a new story from J.K. Rowling." However, this obviously does not change that she will be receiving profits from sales and publicity from the existence of the game.
Jason Schreier has confirmed that Hogwarts Legacy will have "trans-inclusive character creation, with body, voice, and gender ("witch/wizard") all separated." He specifically points out that "some members of the Hogwarts Legacy dev team had been pushing hard for this, uncomfortable with Rowling's position and rattled by the effects she has had on a game they've put a lot into."
Hogwarts Legacy setting
In Hogwarts Legacy, players will be able to investigate many of the exciting facets of the esteemed school. The world places the players in the midst of the 1800s, possibly having the player's journey span quite a few years. Not only will you explore iconic characters and locations, but the game will take players beyond Hogwarts itself.
I would love to visit Diagon Alley, which is the location where Harry Potter originally gets his wand. Areas like this were magical to me when I was young, so being able to explore them within a virtual world sounds like a dream come true, especially if they get the architecture and music just right.
Hogwarts will likely act as the hub area that players can freely explore and interact with many other non-playable characters. I’m hoping the game follows a slightly similar structure to Persona 5, allowing players to build up relationships with other characters within the world and decide which classes they want to take to increase their skills within a specific school of magic.
Harry Potter is an iconic franchise thanks to its atmosphere. For Hogwarts Legacy to truly shine, it'll need to capture that wholesome and fantastical feeling perfectly. We'll learn more about the game in the coming months leading up to its release so check back in on this article for further updates. And now that we're in 2022, we'll likely see more of the game during the months before its launch.