Hogwarts Legacy is the ultimate roleplaying game for witches and wizards, especially for those who enjoy the main Harry Potter series – but nonetheless, a few gameplay elements in particular leave something to be desired. Overall, the game is a fantastic adventure full of exploration and an interesting story line, and it certainly keeps the player busy with heaps of side quests and collectibles. However, the otherwise magical experience can often be muddled by an underlying issue with lackluster RPG components.
The reasoning behind some of these more uninspired features in Hogwarts Legacy could possibly be related to an upcoming DLC. After all, it has become relatively commonplace for developers to exclude content from the base game, and then offer it to players in the form of a paid expansion. Some areas, like Hogwarts Legacy‘s best missable location, Azkaban, seem to have been built with this sentiment in mind. But with no current or confirmed plans for a DLC, these blunders start to seem less intentional and much more concerning for the health of the game.
Side Characters In Hogwarts Legacy Fall Flat
One element that Hogwarts Legacy could certainly improve on is the complexity of side characters. As the player walks around the school, they may hear some passing comments or the odd conversation between students, but for the most part, the NPCs stay still and silent. In fact, the majority can’t be interacted with in any form; not even prompting them for generic dialogue will work. Combined with the repetitive character models, this can quickly become off-putting. Of course, as filler characters, it’s expected that they aren’t important to the plot of the story, but they currently come off as simple lines of code rather than real, living students.
Even Hogwarts Legacy‘s companions, though they outshine characters from the Harry Potter books and films, could have been implemented a bit more dynamically. Although it’s nice to fight alongside the courageous Gryffindor Natty, meet magical creatures with Hufflepuff’s Poppy, and learn more about the dark arts with Slytherin’s Sebastian, these characters’ potential isn’t ever fully realized in the game, either. The player can’t talk to or interact with companions outside of quests (or if they can, it’s quite limited), and most disappointingly, they can’t be unlocked as true followers. So while all three have an interesting backstory, they ultimately fall short from a gameplay standpoint.
Hogwarts Legacy Should Have A More Impactful Time System
It’s also rather surprising that Hogwarts Legacy‘s time system isn’t more detailed. After all, the game takes place in a school, which would normally function under strict schedules in any other given situation. But while it makes sense that a fully-blown timetable of classes to attend each day would quickly become boring, the setting of Hogwarts Legacy would greatly benefit from at least some impactful mechanics regarding the passing of time. The most obvious example that’s sorely missing from the game is the ability for players to head back to their dorm rooms and go to sleep during the night.
If this interaction was possible, it could cultivate a more suspenseful nighttime environment. Being caught out of bed after hours would result in detention and oftentimes meeting the less friendly inhabitants of the castle in Harry Potter, but in Hogwarts Legacy, there’s no penalty for breaking the rules and roaming the halls in the dead of night. To make things even stranger, some NPCs (normally those offering side quests) will actually be out and about during nighttime, as well. This can be convenient at times, but it can simultaneously ruin a player’s immersion.
By having Hogwarts students go to sleep during the night, sneaking out of Hogwarts Legacy‘s House common rooms would feel a lot more significant, and students could get a lot more use out of invisibility potions and the Disillusionment charm. On the other hand, those who choose to abide by the rules could instead be rewarded with a temporary stat boost, similar to the Well-Rested effect from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, which lets players level up their skills faster.
Hogwarts Legacy Should Take Player Choices Into Account More Often
One of the more prominent factors affecting immersion in Hogwarts Legacy is the lack of player choices that actually have an impact on the game’s story. There are plenty of decisions that the student will need to make during their adventures, ranging from dialogue options to the multiple possible endings. However, some choices that would normally have serious repercussions on a witch or wizard’s life in Harry Potter can seem conversely irrelevant in this title. For example, even though there is one House that’s definitively the best in Hogwarts Legacy, there aren’t many differences between how members of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin experience the game.
Shockingly, the same applies to players who embark on the path of a dark witch or wizard. Canonically, casting any of the three Unforgivable Curses results in a formidable reputation and a lifelong sentence in the magic community’s most notorious prison, Azkaban. In Hogwarts Legacy, this isn’t the case whatsoever. Students who use Unforgivables like Avada Kedavra will still be more or less respected by their peers, and they’ll get to complete the main story just as any character would.
This can be a disappointing revelation for both sides. Players who joined the dark side to cause chaos and anarchy will likely wish that their evil actions had more of a visible impact on the wizarding world around them. On the other hand, players who avoided casting Unforgivable spells and were more apprehensive about becoming a dark wizard in Hogwarts Legacy may end up regretting their decision. If these options had a greater influence on the game’s world and story, students would probably feel a lot more confident and satisfied with the direction they ultimately chose.
Magic Is Missing From Some Hogwarts Legacy Locations
Last but not least, Hogwarts Legacy missed some exciting opportunities in the magic world’s most iconic locations. For example, it’s possible to visit the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, but for some odd reason, it’s impossible to sit down in the cozy pub and drink a frothy mug of Butterbeer. Such a small detail would go a long way, both with Harry Potter fans and those new to the franchise. It’s also disappointing that despite the existing Quidditch pitch, players can’t actually play the beloved sport – and Headmaster Black’s halfhearted excuse for canceling the season doesn’t offer much in the way of consolation.
By no means is the game missing RPG elements entirely, as some Hogwarts Legacy choices actually matter and can influence the direction of the game quite significantly. However, when looking at the larger picture, there are certainly some ways in which the experience could have been more immersive and meaningful overall.
More: Next Hogwarts Legacy Could Finally Show Us Japanese Wizarding School
Source: Hogwarts Legacy/YouTube
Editor’s Note: Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has been accused of transphobia by those in the LGBTQ+ community. Although not directly involved in the development of Hogwarts Legacy, Rowling does stand to earn royalties from the game. We would like to reiterate our support for trans rights and that trans identities are valid. Support services are listed below for trans people impacted by discussions of transphobia.
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