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The 7 Best And 7 Worst Things In Hogwarts Legacy

After much anticipation and a handful of controversies, "Hogwarts Legacy" has arrived. The game whisks players off to the titular school for witchcraft and wizardry and delivers a magical role-playing experience for fans of the "Harry Potter" franchise. "Hogwarts Legacy" is jam-packed with all-new characters and a huge amount of spells, but the real star of the show is the world that's being put on display.


For all its record-breaking success, "Hogwarts Legacy" also has more than a handful of missteps that detract from the overall experience. Maybe none of the game's mistakes ruin it entirely, but plenty of them will leave gamers frustrated or pulled out of an otherwise immersive experience. SVG's full review of the game gets into the nitty gritty of what it gets right and why some gamers might be okay sidestepping the entire experience, but for a quick rundown on the best and worst things that come along with "Hogwarts Legacy," look no further.

BEST: Character Creation

One of the major appeals of "Hogwarts Legacy" is getting to live out the fantasy of being a student at Hogwarts. Everything feeds into that aspect of the game, from the open world design to the class-centered sidequests. But when it comes to roleplaying, the process of making a character is key. Luckily for any "Harry Potter" fan dying to live out their magical dreams, the character creation system in "Hogwarts Legacy" is top notch.


There are a bevy of options for designing a character's appearance in the game. Dozens of hair styles can be mixed and matched with different colors. Everything from skin tone to face shape can be so intricately customized that creating your own face in the game is hardly a challenge (especially for anyone who likes to sit and play with the slides). There's even a pitch option for the player character's voice, though adjusting this amounts to essentially putting a bit of autotune on the prerecorded lines.

Possibly the biggest choice for a character in a "Harry Potter" game is which Hogwarts house they'll join. "Hogwarts Legacy" avoids the lengthy personality assessment that some fans may remember from their Pottermore days in favor of simply letting players choose their house. A little bit of the intrigue may be lost there, but it's all in service of giving players the exact character they want to play.


WORST: Performance issues

Modern AAA games can transport their players with expansive worlds, realistic characters, and mind blowing graphics — when they work. Far too often, games are plagued with performance issues that weaken the overall experience or ruin it all together. For instance, 2023's "Dead Space" remake had serious performance problems, and "Hogwarts Legacy" unfortunately stepped in to continue the trend.


As is usually the case, PC players got hit the hardest. Gamers who bought the "Hogwarts Legacy" deluxe edition were thrilled to have early access to the game, but immediately noticed a wide range of issues. No glitch broke the game outright, some critics noted regular FPS drops, characters phasing in and out of existence, and models stuttering as they moved, which definitely ruined the immersion of being a student at Hogwarts.

Days after the official launch, Portkey Games announced a patch aimed at solving all the problems players had reported. The patch made some improvements, but some players found that it caused new bugs and worse stuttering in their games. Along with all the visual glitches, PC players have uncovered even more bugs in the game, like a problem that causes Steam to take a screenshot every time someone presses a button on their controller. Console players have fared better, but that hardly seems like a reason to give the game a pass.


Steam is constantly taking screenshots while playing Hogwarts Legacy, it has amassed nearly 1 million screenshots now and seems to only take pictures during ALL inputs on my gamepad including thumb sticks, I do not have, nor have I ever had this issue on any other game ever...how can I make it stop?
u/Zenium7 in

BEST: Getting into classes

For diehard "Harry Potter" fans, the early hours of "Hogwarts Legacy" really are a dream come true. The game supplies all the stunning visuals and narrative intrigue that fans have come to expect from the Wizarding World, and the first look at Hogwarts is exactly as exciting as it should be. After getting sorted into a house and settled into a dormitory, players are sent off to attend classes with the rest of the students at the school.


Getting situated in all the classes for the first time is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable parts of "Hogwarts Legacy." Every class introduces a new set of mechanics or a new gameplay wrinkle for players to wrap their heads around. At the same time, each class progresses some aspect of the story just a little further, and all of them introduce new characters for players to get to know. Longtime fans are going to get to walk through some of Hogwarts's most iconic locations as classes carry them to the Defense Against the Dark Arts Room, the Divination Tower, the Herbology greenhouse, and more. 

The first moments in class really make "Hogwarts Legacy" come to life, and they help sell the roleplaying aspect of the game. As classes start, it seems like a world of new opportunities and adventures is unfolding. The game doesn't always live up to the promise of these earliest experiences, but that doesn't make them any less powerful.


WORST: Actually going to classes

The fantasy of being a student at Hogwarts begins to crack shortly after players are introduced to all of their classes. Despite the initial excitement that each class has to offer, they quickly devolve into a series of mundane tasks that slowly eke out benefits to a player's character. In some ways, "Hogwarts Legacy" might have effectively captured the feeling of being a high school student forced to slog through the day, but that's not a real positive point for the game.


As opposed to a game like "Persona 5," in which players actually sit in class and answer questions, "Hogwarts Legacy" treats its classes like side missions. This does give players a bit more freedom in choosing which objectives to pursue and when to tackle them, but it also basically turns every class into a series of fetch quests. Finding items and completing simple objectives to progress every class isn't necessarily boring, but after the initial elation of being a Hogwarts student wears off, classes begin to feel like a chore — just like in real life!

BEST: Exploration

It will probably surprise no one that getting to explore Hogwarts and its surrounding areas is one of the highlights of the game. The world surrounding Harry Potter and his friends has always been one of the franchise's biggest draws, and "Hogwarts Legacy" gives players more access to that world than any game that's come before.


Hogwarts itself is fully realized, and the team at Portkey Games did an excellent job in not just recreating the layout of the castle, but also making it feel lived in. The halls and classrooms are filled with students, teachers, and ghosts going about their lives – or afterlives – players can easily sink themselves into all the hubbub. Around every corner there's something new to be discovered, and stumbling into a major location from the books or movies always feels like seeing an old friend.

The castle is the focal point of the game, of course, but it's far from the only area that players get to explore. Certain missions will take players away from the school grounds, and there are plenty of opportunities to go visit Hogsmeade. The town is every bit as vibrant as the castle, and touring the streets and shops never gets old. More than anything, the game's world keeps pulling you back in.


WORST: The checklist

It's good that exploration in "Hogwarts Legacy" is so enticing on its own, because the game's mission objectives get stale fast. Setting aside the "Harry Potter" tie-in, the game basically follows the exact same formula that has plagued open world games for years.


After getting acquainted with classmates, professors, and Hogwarts itself, players will slowly begin finding their map loaded up with more and more side objectives. While intriguing at first, it takes just a small scratch of the surface to discover that these quests are a bit repetitive, taking players through the same item hunts and targeted combat encounters that most gamers have experienced a hundred times before.

Having a lot to do unfortunately isn't the same as having worthwhile things to do. Some players many enjoy bouncing from objective to objective, but many are going to feel some "to-do list" fatigue as they wander from one portion of the castle to another, slowly removing map markers with little to no impact on the plot.


BEST: Customization

"Hogwarts Legacy" puts customization in the foreground from the get-go, and that doesn't change as the game keeps chugging along. After creating their character, players will get to trick out their witch or wizard in the finest robes and equipment that their questing can uncover. There's a constant drip feed of gear that keeps up throughout the entire game, and even though inventory management and can occasionally become a hassle, the ability to consistently improve stats while also paying attention to your character's sense of style is a welcome feature of the game.


Customization doesn't just end with the player character. "Hogwarts Legacy" also gives players a sense of ownership over the castle itself. Not too far into the game, players will gain access to the Room of Requirement, which will become an integral part of character progression as the game continues. The Room itself can be modified and improved to the point that it would put Dumbledore's Army to shame, and there's nothing quite like having a personalized clubhouse inside Hogwarts.

WORST: The illusion of choice

"Hogwarts Legacy" does its best to immerse players in the game and really make them feel like they are a part of the Wizarding World. From character creation to the incredible detail of Hogwarts itself, the game's standout elements all try to deliver an immersive experience, but there's one area where the game falls incredibly short in this regard.


Role-playing games are all about making choices that affect the way the story unfolds, but like the best professional magicians, "Hogwarts Legacy" offers its players false choices that only ever lead to a predetermined outcome. Small interactions and scenes play out differently based on a player's choices, but the overall arc of the game follows a completely on-the-rails path up until the end of the game.

One of the most dramatic "choices" that players are forced to make is whether or not to take advantage of the Unforgivable Curses. Obviously choosing to indulge in the Dark Arts has some effect on gameplay (particularly in combat), but the choice has no impact on the game's overall story. There are essentially two different endings in "Hogwarts Legacy," and a simple binary choice at the very end of the game shunts players into one or another. This feels like a massive missed opportunity for the game.


BEST: Combat

The "Harry Potter" franchise has always offered great characters, interesting worldbuilding — and lackluster battle scenes. The books rarely spend time focusing on magical combat, and the handful of fights in the movies tend to make spellcasting look like multicolored gunfire. That was reason enough to be concerned about the way in which "Hogwarts Legacy" puts magic duels front and center, and it makes the success of the game's combat system all the more surprising.


Combat encounters are going to keep players on their toes, and only the sharpest witches and wizards will get through them unscathed. Players need to use all their spellcasting knowledge to break enemy shields and blast away their foes. Spells are equipped to different slots that players can swap between during battle, meaning that a true master can sling as many as a dozen spells in a single fight. Most encounters won't require that much versatility, but the option is there, and the spells have genuinely different uses. Toss enemies up in the air with Leviosa, freeze them with Petrificus Totalus, or blast a fireball at them with Confrigo. Be the wizard you always knew you could be.

WORST: Enemy variety

The thrill of slinging spells in combat is definitely one of the best parts of "Hogwarts Legacy," but at some point in your first playthrough, that excitement is likely to wane. While there are countless different ways to approach every combat scenario, there aren't nearly as many different kinds of enemies to actually use those spells on. Once the "been there, seen that" feeling begins to settle in, fights start to get much more repetitive.


In theory, there are tons of enemies in "Hogwarts Legacy," ranging from animated suits of armor to dangerously unpredictable trolls. In practice, players will find themselves fighting the same goblins, spiders, and poachers over and over again. Those enemy types make up the backbone of all combat encounters, and it doesn't take too long to get burned out on fighting them. Boss battles help mix up the combat here and there, but their flaws eventually begin to show, too. Don't go in expecting "Elden Ring"-caliber bosses. Most bosses have just a couple of moves that they'll use in a fight, and unfortunately some smaller bosses even get reused throughout the game.

BEST: Spells

Maybe it's no surprise for a game based on "Harry Potter," but the spellcasting in "Hogwarts Legacy" really is phenomenal. And while we've already covered how great spells are to use in combat, the game makes an important distinction: Spells aren't just weapons, and they aren't simple tools invented for specific purposes. They really feel like an everyday part of the world in "Hogwarts Legacy," and discovering new opportunities to use a particular spell is an absolute joy.


Many of the best combat spells serve double duty as exploration tools. Accio can retrieve items that are out of reach, while Leviosa can help reveal new paths for investigations. Spells like Alohamora or Lumos are straightforward adventuring tools, while spells such as Repairo, Transformation, and Disillusionment — the last of which serves as handy camouflage — will require some creativity from the user. "Hogwarts Legacy" provides constant opportunities to try out new spells, ultimately delivering the feeling of being a real magic user. In this sense, the game makes players feel like they can truly shape the world through their actions.

WORST: No Quidditch

"Hogwarts Legacy" manages to include so much of what fans love about the "Harry Potter" franchise that it's hard to criticize the game for its omissions, but when the game is missing something as integral as Quidditch, it's impossible to ignore. The game of Quidditch has been a part of "Harry Potter" from the very beginning. The sport is a big deal in the Wizarding World at large, but it's even more important at Hogwarts, where every house has a dedicated team that plays throughout the year.


To be fair to Portkey Games, including Quidditch in "Hogwarts Legacy" would have been no small task. The developer would have needed to code an entire sports mini-game just for the sake of one side activity in the larger story. On the other hand, Quidditch is arguably an essential aspect of "Harry Potter," and including it might have elevated the game to a whole new level. The story explains that Quidditch has been suspended at Hogwarts for a year, but that's a flimsy excuse, and it makes every broomstick-flying segment a torturous reminder of what could have been.

BEST: New characters

There are so many familiar places to visit in "Hogwarts Legacy," but there aren't that many familiar faces. The game takes place in 1890, about a hundred years before the events of the main "Harry Potter" series and decades before the "Fantastic Beasts" films take place. Just about every character in the game is brand new, and getting to know the other Hogwarts students and professors keeps the game engaging well after the quests get stale. 


"Harry Potter" has always been about character-driven stories, and the characters here are definitely memorable. Professor Fig introduces players to the game, and he takes on a sort of mentor role as the story progresses and they help the player uncover new magical secrets. Sebastian Sallow is a fellow student and Slytherin with a deep hatred for goblins and a willingness to use the Unforgivable Curses. He might seem like a typical villain archetype at first glance, but as players get to understand Sebastian more, some may find him to be one of the more sympathetic characters in the game. 

From professors to students, the cast of "Hogwarts Legacy" is populated with characters like these. Many of them feel like real, complicated people with intricate backstories and motivations, and sussing out all their intentions — or just hanging out between classes — is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. 


WORST: All the controversy

The controversy surrounding "Hogwarts Legacy" can't be avoided. The game does many things right, but it can't really escape the larger discourse. J.K. Rowling's various controversies, including her history of inflammatory comments about the trans community, have permanently tainted the entire "Harry Potter" franchise for a large section of the fanbase. The game might have added a trans character, but many have adult fans of the franchise have argued that it's not enough for the game to get out from under Rowling's shadow.


Even without Rowling's politics, "Hogwarts Legacy" has found ways to stir up controversy on its own. The game's main story centers on a goblin rebellion, and it's received pushback from fans and critics alike for seemingly reinforcing antisemitic tropes in its depiction of goblins. Others feel that the game has side-stepped some of those stereotypes, but argue that the idea of trying to battle against a working class uprising feels a bit shady.

These controversies may or may not be dealbreakers for all gamers, but they also cannot be completely ignored, even if you love "Hogwarts Legacy."