This is not the first (nor the last) Harry Potter game that us wizard wannabes will ever encounter. We’ve waited for our Hogwarts letters when we turned 11. We collected all the stickers back in the day and lined up for copies of the latest book. We signed up for Pottermore almost a decade ago. We’ve taken all the Buzzfeed quizzes, memorized all of Hermione’s lines, and speculated which House we all were ever since we could remember.
Now that the OG 7 books and movies are over, and other richly-built fantasy world series like Game of Thrones have captured our hearts, are we still waiting for Hogwarts to happen even after all hype for the series has worn off?
As a true fan of the series (and not so much JK Rowling anymore), I say yes. Now that we have the technology to make a Harry Potter game that is truly an open-world action RPG and on par with Skyrim? Heck, yes! The good news is that the game’s publisher, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (under its label, Portkey Games), says that the problematic author is not directly involved in the making of this game, so no need to reconcile one’s dislike for the author with their love for the series.
Judging from the trailer which Dumbledore-like persona seems to be narrating, Hogwarts Legacy 2021 looks lifelike and vibrant—a far cry from the freemium games like Hogwarts Mystery and other games that require annoying microtransactions. I’ve played a lot of HP titles during my childhood, from Chamber of Secrets on the GameBoy Advance to the Goblet of Fire on the DS, and I’ve never had hope for a fantastic game until recently.
From what I’ve seen in the gameplay, you can cast spells in real-time and explore the massive Hogwarts Castle (and surrounding areas) in the 1800s, which is around Dumbledore’s time as a student. Note that we won’t get to hang out with the iconic trio: Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Very little about the actual story has been leaked, but so far, players are going to be sorted into a house and attend classes as a Hogwarts student. Predictably, we will learn how to cast spells, tame beasts, and brew various potions. There seems to be a feature called ‘talent’ that each student possesses. Moreover, students can upgrade this so-called talent of theirs.
The official website also gives us more clues into what the game is like:
“Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Only you can decide if you will protect this secret for the good of all, or yield to the temptation of more sinister magic.”
Does this mean we can choose between good, neutral, or evil ala Baldur’s Gate or Fallout 4? Can I run around screaming Avada Kedavra and kill at random? Or conjure silvery wisps of Patronuses to protect other students and earn points for the House Cup? Will choosing Slytherin affect my skill points? Will becoming evil turn my features snakelike as in He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? I have so many questions! I’m certainly more excited for a choose-your-own-adventure type of storytelling vs a linear progression.
Despite having 2021 in its title, the game release window could be anywhere from Late 2021 to Early 2022 (Bloomberg report states Late 2021). It’s not a PS5 exclusive, so it’ll be released for multiple platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Until then, let’s keep the magic alive, shall we? (Yer a wizard, ‘Arry!)
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