In reviewing the game, I’m not going to be touching on the books or their author. While Hogwarts Legacy exists in the same IP, it is set 100 years before the books the setting is based on. The game was made by a team of hard-working developers with no affiliation to the books’ creator.

Hogwarts legacy is an action role playing game where you can create your own custom witch or wizard and join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a fifth year student. While the storyline is decent and does its job of holding the game together and giving a sense of progress, it is the spell slinging gameplay and many side and optional tasks that make it fun. The game gives you access not just to Hogwarts but a sizable region around it with forests, lakes, caves, villages and just about everything else you could hope to explore. The game has a great supporting cast of students and teachers which make up for the relative weakness of overarching storyline. In fact, it’s rare I’ve had such fun in being tempted away from the storyline into such a massive array of side tasks and quests.

The room of requirement, which you unlock during the course of the main quest chain, is really quite exceptional and gives you a secret base which you can put your own mark on and fill with all sorts of magical plants and creatures. I’ve been really enjoying tracking down new beasts to “rescue” and add to my collection. Both inside and outside of Hogwarts is full of tasks, puzzles, side quests and challenges with no area left feeling empty which is impressive considering the scale of the map. For those who are concerned, choosing your house at the start of the game doesn’t have any major impact on the rest of the game. You can join Slytherin and still be a good witch or wizard or join Hufflepuff and learn the unforgivable curses and start slinging them about. You retain all choice in your play style.

There are loads of collectables and the ability to collect fashion looks and overwrite the look of the gear you have equipped with other pieces, really adds to the customization options for your character. You seem trip over new gear everywhere you go, so collecting new looks feels effortless. There is an issue with a lack of inventory space in the early game but completing certain side challenges allows you to expand this as you play through the game, so it does get less noticeable as the game progresses. My only real disappointment is the lack of meaning full choices in the game. The choices you are given doesn’t seem to have much impact on future events or even, really, your relationship with the characters involved. Once the quest is done what happened seems to have been forgotten the next time you meet the character for the follow up.

The graphics really are quite stunning, from the game’s recreation of Hogwarts in all it’s gothic grandeur to the natural forests, swamps, caves and even coasts surrounding it, the attention to detail is just amazing. There are some truly breath-taking views to discover, whether you decide to travel on foot, broomstick or hippogriff. There is a tonne of content in the game which I haven’t even come close to completing yet. In terms of value for gametime, even at the high price of the PS5 version, I count it as very good value. The developer has announced that there is no DLC currently planned, so what you are paying for at the outset is the whole envisaged experience which is quite refreshing these days.

Overall, I have enjoyed my time at Hogwarts immensely. If you enjoy action-adventure role playing games then it’s hard not to recommend it. You get a lot of content for your money and while the main storyline doesn’t really astound, it’s more than made up for by the gameplay, characters, side quests and activities.