Preview

Hogwarts Legacy promises the magic of the Harry Potter world

Avalanche Software's upcoming title aims to bring the magical world of Harry Potter to video games in a fan-friendly experience.

The wizarding world of Harry Potter is just a few weeks away after a long period of development. Since its announcement as one of the titles that we could see in the presentation of the PlayStation 5, the path that this Hogwarts Legacy has had has been, to say the least, complicated. Taking into account the expected delays, to several controversies where its fan community is found by the controversial author of the series, the next title from Avalanche Software has had it all. And despite all this, this is one of the most anticipated titles of 2023, and Steam proves it. A few days ago, we played a preview version of Hogwarts Legacy to get a first-hand look at what awaits us in this magical world.

Welcome to the Wizarding World

One of the first aspects that surprised me was the way the magical world of Harry Potter was brought to a video game. Although we have already had the opportunity to experience the adventures of this wizard in the world of video games, touring the outskirts of the great school of magic and wizardry on a flying broomstick was one of the sensations that surprised me the most in this generation of consoles. The level of detail is amazing, and if you are a fan of the book series or movies, you will see familiar places from the franchise that will surprise you just by taking a ride. Whether it's the small town of Hogsmeade in the distance, the Quidditch pitch, or the large lake next to the castle, it's amazing what you can find.

If the exterior of the school had a surprising level of detail, the interior is where the video game magic really shines. Everything you would expect is there, from paintings that move, talk, and even play music, to stone structures that move. Touring the castle is amazing, and while we couldn't see everything we wanted to in the short time we had, what we did see faithfully recreates what we know and takes us inside as we've never been before, from the library to the greenhouse to even the bathrooms.

On the other hand, it is remarkable how the power of the new generation is used in the game. The preview was played on PlayStation 5 and the loading times were zero, except for a very short moment. It is surprising to open a door and there are no elements that appear out of nowhere because it is just finishing loading them.

The magic of combat

One of the most striking aspects of Hogwarts Legacy is the combat and the use of the magic of the wizarding world. As you might expect, many famous spells will be on our menu. Leviosa, Incendio, Accio, Flipendo, are some of the magic that we were able to use to attack during the various battles that we had, while Protego helped us to stop certain magical attacks that we were being attacked with. The player will have the opportunity to practice combat in the Hogwarts Dueling Club, so they will know exactly how to go into combat and not die trying.

Although at first it seemed that the combat were very similar, where you followed a sequence of "shatter the enemy's shield, perform combo attacks, repeat", later missions in the demo showed us that there is a great variety in the way you attack, use magic and your environment, for example using your magic to throw boxes at your opponents.

Although the magic system was limited in this demo, the few missions we played showed an interesting repertoire of magic to use, even getting to use Petrificus Totalus to incapacitate an enemy out of combat, or one of the Unforgivable Curses, Crucio.

Of course, magic is not only used in combat and can be used at any time and for any purpose. For example, in one mission we use Reparo to rebuild a bridge, or Accio to catch some flying book pages.

For now, the experience with Hogwarts Legacy manages to satisfy the wait for what is coming in a little more than a couple of weeks. However, there are still many things to review, such as the customization system, items, collectibles, and story. The potential of the game is there, but we will have to wait to know it in depth.

Hogwarts Legacy will be available for PlayStation 5, Xbox X|S, and PC on February 10th. PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions will be released at a later date.