There is no magic in this review

The Making of Hogwarts Legacy: From a Gamer’s Viewpoint to a Storyteller’s Journey with a Trans Character

Not limited by a book’s descriptions or film’s scenes, Hogwarts Legacy’s take on the enchanted place of learning is a massive, detail-drenched playground just begging to be explored. It’s packed with the expected gameplay elements — from main missions and side quests to optional challenges, myriad collectibles and countless character interactions — but it’s also brimming with secrets, surprises, call-outs, nods and Easter eggs.

The game has a $150 million budget and has been in the making for five years. The game already broke a record on Twitch for being the most-watched single-player game, played by streamers who got the game early. And it’s the No. 1 pre-sale this week on gaming platform Steam.

While he was the CEO of Super Data Research, Joost van Dreunen stated that open world style games are a big deal in the games industry. The game makers themselves have high expectations for the game, not just from consumers.

Warner Bros. has had 20 years of experience putting out Harry Potter video games — but those were based on the movies. Not every game in the franchise was a big hit.

Potter fans were excited to have the game delayed two times but then lost their enthusiasm. Video gamesnewyork, a video game store in New York City that sells modern and retro video games, has just enough games to satisfy their pre-orders.

At one point, I thought it would change my view on the Harry Potter world, but now I am able to see the problem from a different perspective.

The game has a trans character for the first time. Though the Hogwarts Legacy character Sirona Ryan does not explicitly say she is trans, dialogue in a scene suggests it: “[It] took them a second to realize I was actually a witch, not a wizard,” the character said.

Warner Bros. Discovery said it was a priority to create diverse characters in order to encompass all people who play the games.

Despite the controversy, gaming experts anticipate a blockbuster release — easily selling 10 million copies, according to some estimates. In some ways, the game is a re-branding opportunity for the franchise.

“It perhaps has room to develop something new, to iterate on the existing relationship with its fan base,” said van Dreunen. The franchise may be able to save itself from some of the cultural drag it has been experiencing if they make it into this big production video game.

What is the worst part of life? A review of Hogwarts Legacy (with an appendix by J. K. Rowling)

Yikes, y’all. I feel like I need a cigarette before I start this thing. We’re here to talk about Hogwarts Legacy, and to do that we need to discuss the whole mess. This one is gonna take a lot out of both of us and so you should pull up a chair, pour yourself some tea, wrap yourself in a blanket, and scream into a pillow. (Or get heavy.)

She made the ordinary seem extraordinary in her books. She created a place where strange kids would be told they were special and that children who had survived abuse was more than just broken. Since 2019 though, the once-beloved children’s author has—well, she’s had some opinions. People like me. We should or shouldn’t exist. She suggests that we are a threat to real women everywhere because of who we are.

When I was a kid, every word that flowed from J. K. Rowling’s pen wrote magic into my world, but now every word she puts out just hurts my heart. The voice that follows queer kids for a long time comes from being exposed to homophobia or transphobia as a child. We hear awful things about us from family and friends. We fight those voices all the time. When the author who taught you about accepting yourself says something, it hurts, but I hope she doesn’t understand. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

When one of those voices comes from the author who taught you about accepting yourself, a person you thought truly saw you and kids like you, it hurts in a way I honestly hope she never understands. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

No, I do not hate her. I feel it would be simpler if I did. Inside me somewhere, there’s a kid who still loves her despite everything. The kid is fond of people who hurt her. She never asks why and just wants to know how she can fix it. It’s difficult to tell her that there isn’t anything left to fix. We can’t return to places we’re not familiar with. Places like Hogwarts.


The Hogwarts Legacy of Azkaban: How Poverty and Peril took me to the edge of my own rough childhood

The first book came out. The gangly boy on the cover illustration. The school has a book fair. At the time, it was just another chapter book on the shelves beside the likes of Bunnicula and Goosebumps. I’ll be honest. It was not a Neverending Story situation for me. I was transported to a world of magic and mystery by not opening the cover. I liked it, but that was that. It was the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, that wrapped its world around me and drew me in.

It was the first one that felt dangerous to me. I felt like I saw what adult-level peril was like when watching these characters. In Harry, I saw my own rough childhood reflected. I shared his frustration with the adult world and that tight knot of anger he couldn’t really understand boiling away in his chest. I was familiar with what it was to go to school with clothes on and be made fun of for being a redheaded child in Ron. In Hermione, I saw my relentless and often annoyingly assertive sense of right and wrong, and how it often got her, and me, in trouble. After Prisoner of Azkaban, I was in deep.


Putting Hogwarts in the Game: A New Look at the Harry Potter Experiment in Open-World Action RPGs

I thought I’d spend a lot of time in this section nitpicking. Over and over, I have grievance with how this game is different from the source material, how dated it is, and how every character feels like they’ve been waiting for you to come by and put a quarter in. There are no nits to pick, just lice.

The Sorting Ceremony and Grand Hall are some of the familiar places that have been accounted for. subtler inclusions, like the moving paintings, and other fan-focused touches you will encounter at every turn are also included. The environments, encounters and interactions left off the page and limited to our imaginations are the unknown elements that make this the definitive Hogwarts experience. For every well-established nook, there’s a new cranny just waiting to be discovered.

In the quarter century or so since fans first fell in love with the Harry Potter franchise, there have been no shortage of opportunities to interact with the series’ iconic characters and locations from behind a gamepad. Faithful followers of “The Boy Who Lived” have enjoyed everything from the early book-based action-adventures to Lego entries, to a title dedicated to Quidditch, but they’ve never had the chance to fully live out their Wizarding World dreams.

The core Gameplay experience is an exceptional one, but it’s also woven into the fabric of the beloved franchise. The result isn’t simply a solid action RPG with a pretty Potter paint job but an authentic, immersive, cinematic interactive experience that’ll have longtime fans raising frothy mugs of Butterbeer in celebration.

Potterheads may want to make their way to the other areas of the wizarding world, such as the Forbidden Forest, because it is easier to pull yourself out of the school’s hallowed halls. These areas not only enjoy the fullest realizations they have ever witnessed, but they are also fully explorable, filled with critical objectives, and packed with opportunities to author their own Potter-like adventures.

If you’ve played any number of open-world action RPGs over the last few years, Hogwarts Legacy’s formula will feel comfortably familiar. Like recent releases, Horizon Forbidden West and Gotham Knights — or any of the last three Assassin’s Creed entries — it contains a massive map filled to the brim and beyond with activities to keep you busy. Its inclusion of combat, crafting, questing, Collectibles, character progression systems, puzzles and other expected elements might seem like a list, but none of it feels phoned in or thoughtlessly implemented.

It’s a minor side quest, but it’s also a meaningful representation of the game’s larger ability to consistently turn the potentially mundane into the, er, magical. Other examples include the stat-based gear system, which doesn’t apply boosts to the usual chest plates and helmets but might find you benefiting from a damage buff while wearing a very Potter-like striped scarf or enjoying some extra defense thanks to a smart pair of spectacles.

Just as mixing a Wiggenweld concoction in Potions class translates perfectly to crafting your typical med pack, learning spells and other combat skills as part of the Hogwarts curriculum makes for the ideal marriage of gameplay and source material. The classes have a balance of leaning into the license’s charm but also providing you with butt-kicking abilities. The moments of in-class antics, eccentric professor introductions, and personality-packed in-class antics are what fans get in the books and films. Instead, they perfectly support your progression path, as you learn and upgrade spells and other skills.

And while many casts are reserved for non-combat purposes, such as puzzling and lock-picking, your arsenal’s still busting at the seams with wand-spawned skills that’ll benefit you when surrounded by unsavory sorts. If you are looking to thin out a cave’s arachnid population or teach human adversaries some manners, you are encouraged to mix and experiment with your evolving bag of monster-slaying tricks.

Combining multiple magic types with tossing in Chinese Chomping Cabbage is a way to make sure you survive the fight, even if you don’t like your favorite spells. The central narrative mystery and Powerful Ancient Magic add to the already existing layer, which can turn the tables on menacing mythical monsters.

Some of the series’ signature magic is also missing from the supporting characters and, more so, your relationships with them. Strong friendships with peers — and even close bonds with professors and other adult characters — have always been as important to the franchise as its fantastic beasts. The bonds and friendship forged between you and the larger cast of colorful characters don’t always deliver the emotional depth of the source material. You often feel like a lonewolf hero with lots of close acquaintances but no real ride or die relationships.

It is hard to ignore major omissions, such as the absence of Diagon Alley, which seem like missed opportunities. When the elements could arrive at a later date via DLC or sequel, it’s not unfair to fault the developer for not including them. Still, it’s difficult to hop on your broom and not imagine how cool it’d be to hit the figurative gas and hurl yourself toward a Golden Snitch.

Petting zoos: The nostalgic tale of Hogwarts Legacy and PS5 pet pranks in the soothing purr

While the feature in Hogwarts Legacy allows you to gather and care for a variety of magical creatures, it also serves as more of a collectible petting zoo than a game. One fan will surely appreciate it, but I would have traded my most powerful wand for the chance to fight alongside a creature companion. On the plus side, you can pet every cat you encounter, an act made all the more comforting by the soothing “purr” emitting from the PS5’s DualSense controller.

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