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A new student gets a new wand from Ollivander's in "Hogwarts Legacy." Photo courtesy of IMDb.

REVIEW: Hogwarts Legacy is an enchanting open-world delight

Friday, Feb. 10 saw the release of the long-awaited and highly controversial “Hogwarts Legacy,” an open world role-playing game based on the “Harry Potter” novel series. The game sold 500 million copies through Steam on its release day alone, and for good reason: the game provides you with the opportunity to inhabit the world of “Harry Potter” in a sprawling, fun experience, even if it can be somewhat overwhelming at times.

The game starts with you as a new student at Hogwarts: there is a mystery afoot around your presence at the infamous school. It is later revealed that your character uses an ancient type of magic, setting in motion the subsequent events of the game.

There are many twists and turns throughout the story, leaving you wanting to come back in order to continue to connect with the different characters you meet. The story compels you to listen to every sentence and carefully analyze the characters you interact with.

The storylines for the characters is a big strength of the game. There are also a multitude of ways to interact with the characters in the game, whether it's through side quests, main quests or even outside of quests. They make it so that you can partner up with people through duels with other students and playing minigames with them.

The game has many wonders to discover especially with the scenery, compelling story and the fast-paced combat. The amount of detail a player will encounter when running or flying around is impeccable. Some examples include the way the light reflects in the water or the particle effects of water flowing down a stream.

Discovering new combinations of spells in the vast open world made the combat element of the game feel fun and exciting while also allowing the game to feel effortless and flow together. The game designers excelled in all aspects that players want in a game, encouraging you to come back and explore the world again and again.

The variety of gameplay also helps to keep the game from feeling too stale: From puzzles to eliminating enemies, from monster poachers to ancient golems guarding tombs, there’s nary a dull moment in the world of “Hogwarts Legacy.”

The sheer amount of content along with the variety is also an impressive feat. The main story could round up to around 30 to 35 hours, providing players with enough content to explore that could leave you with nearly 60 hours of gameplay.

Some of the weaknesses in the game come from the jump between console generations. Seeing as the game is largely designed for the current generation of consoles, the look and performance of the game on older-gen hardware is lackluster.

There’s a lot to explore in the game, but the amount of content can overwhelm a player not accustomed to such an expansive open world because you’ll never know if you will complete the game or not.

“Hogwarts Legacy” also faced controversy prior to its release due to its association with J.K. Rowling and her earning of royalties from the game. Many people who are transgender wanted the game to not be released due to her history of transphobic comments. For me, it’s important to separate the creator of the world from the creator of this game: Rowling’s actions are unforgivable, but she did not create the game. Those who did deserve to be recognized for their work.

Ultimately, “Hogwarts Legacy” is more than worth a playthrough, whether you grew up reading or watching the “Harry Potter” novels or movies or if you’ve never heard of a “patronus.” There’s a swathe of fun to be had for all who can dedicate their time to this sprawling adventure.

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Aldo Jurado is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @Jurado11Aldo 

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