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Hogwarts Legacy: Release date, gameplay, story and more

Hogwarts Legacy announcement trailer
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

After the trailer for a mysterious Harry Potter game leaked two years ago, Hogwarts Legacy was finally confirmed at Sony’s recent 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.

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. This is for the sake of making the game as good as it can be.

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.

Warner Bros. has been confirmed to be showing up at E3, but it was recently revealed that both Hogwarts Legacy and Suicide Squad would not be shown during the event. It's possible we might not see Hogwarts Legacy for the rest of this year. Sony hosted its PlayStation Showcase 2021, yet Hogwarts Legacy was nowhere to be found. Unless a surprise event is dropped later in the year, The Game Awards is the last good spot for it to appear.

Video game data analyst Millie A. claimed in a Twitter post that we'd see more of Hogwarts Legacy at The Game Awards this December, or some other time this month. 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.

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.

Hogswarts Legacy fan-made skill tree

(Image credit: u/tvnzim)

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.

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. 

Hogwarts Legacy announcement trailer

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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 Legacy announcement trailer

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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.