Caution: Video contains spoilers for the first hour of Hogwarts Legacy
Truth be told, I’m not the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan.
I didn’t read the books. I certainly can’t recall every detail from the movies. And I barely played any of the games back in the day (I think I was deep into my COD phase at the time). I don’t have a wand, nor a robe, and I didn’t even attempt to see any of the post-Potter movies.
I’m more than happy keeping my fandom fairly casual.
But the Harry Potter movies have always held a special place in my memories, especially since my younger sister and my nephew were so enamored with them. I have very fond memories of discussing my favorite parts of the movies and I’ve been lucky enough to visit Harry Potter world at Universal Studios a few different times.
Even though I’m a total casual, I was well aware of the Hogwarts Legacy game in development, and the controversy surrounding it. I was never too interested in the game, but some of the recent trailers piqued my interest enough that I decided to cover it for the February issue of Electronic Gamers magazine.
As part of the issue, I planned to look back at the Harry Potter movie and game franchise, and write a retrospective article about both the games and the movies. As part of my research for the article, I started playing through every version of The Sorcerer’s Stone across GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2. I forgot just how much I loved that first movie, and each version of the game told the story in a slightly different way that got me totally excited for Hogwarts Legacy to arrive.
I had forgotten that people who prepurchase the Digital Deluxe version of Hogwarts Legacy would be able to get early access to it, and when I discovered it was only $10 more than the regular version, it was a no-brainer. I purchased the Digital Deluxe version, and preinstalled the game on 2/6/23, the day before it was supposed to launch.
This morning, on 2/7/23, I woke up at 4am, and booted up the game for the first time, but I was unprepared for just how awesome and immersive the game would be. (You can see about an hour of my gameplay in the YouTube video embedded at the top of the article. You can also see the full startup process, including how many variations of my character I went through before landing on the final one.)
Without any spoilers (and don’t watch the video if you don’t want any spoilers)…
Seriously, it is even better than the trailers looked. The graphics are stunning, even just on the Xbox Series S, the environments are spot on, the dialog is well written and believable, and I can’t wait to dive into more of the game later today.
If you have even the slightest interest, I suggest you pick it up. You won’t be sorry.
Full review coming in the February issue of Electronic Gamers magazine.