Hogwarts Legacy is still a few months away from being released on February 10, 2023, but the steady stream of trailers, teasers, and gameplay videos has kept fans engaged. The upcoming action-adventure game is the first of its kind as an open-world, narrative-driven game set in the Wizarding World. Because it takes place long before Harry Potter was born, players will get the freedom to customize their characters and live their childhood dream of going to Hogwarts. You pick your house, go to classes, explore the castle, make friends, and of course, save the entire world from evil. It’s the complete experience!
Today, Game Director Alan Tew, Senior Environment Artist Boston Madsen, and Community Manager Chandler Wood joined Community Host James “XpectoGO” Whitehead for another gameplay showcase. The team explained how the character creator will work, showed off some of the combat, and gave us a tour of Hogwarts Castle.
The character creator is truly excellent. This game isn’t just offering a handful of preset characters with limited personalization options. First, there are a ton of “presets” that you have to scroll through because there are so many options. Then the customization really begins. There are several face shapes to pick from, a skin color slider, multiple hairstyles of different textures, and a hair color slider, all of which lets you pinpoint exactly what you want. The goal is to allow a ton of customizable options for anyone who dreamed about putting themselves in the game.
You can even customize your voice! There are two “voice tones” and a pitch slider, so you get to create the voice that makes you happy. That’s so unique! Finish up with your difficulty level, name, and dormitory choice (witch or wizard), and then you truly have created your own character. While you can’t go back and change core parts later, there is a barbershop in Hogsmeade that will allow you to change up your hairstyle at any point in the game. Picking your House will further customize your experience. You begin in your dorm room with brand-new music made just for your House.
Hogwarts is huge! Despite its size, no two hallways will look exactly the same. This is to help players with orientation, but it also gives this magical castle some extra personality. Every hallway will have a bit of its own personality. Visit iconic locations in lovely detail, such as the Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom with its recognizable staircase and large dragon skeleton hanging from the ceiling.
While there is a day and night cycle, your class schedule will not be based on time. Everything in Hogwarts Legacy is narrative-based, so classes are part of the plot or side quests. You won’t be running to class at certain times or missing your classes if you forget about them. That being said, they are important parts of the story, just like interacting with NPCs around Hogwarts. Different interactions will affect choice points throughout the game. Having multiple options for dialogue responses is another way you can make friends or enemies, learn about new quests, and affect your game’s outcome.
As part of the tour, we got to see the Clock Tower, where the Dueling Club meets. You can go there to practice combat on a training dummy in order to get the hang of the spells menu. If you’ve been curious about how many spells you can cast or how you will cast them, then this part of the showcase will be very exciting.
In the bottom right of your screen, there is a wheel menu with four diamonds, each functioning as a single-use spell, like a speed dial, or housing other spells to use in quick combination. The iconography on the top of the screen will guide your combos, so you won’t have this huge button-mashing list to remember in the heat of battle. You can slot up to 16 spells in your wheel menu easily, and you will have to work with all of them due to cooldowns on certain spells. Not too easy and not too difficult.
This showcase definitely makes us even more excited to get our hands on this game, just to have the chance to really explore. Hogwarts Legacy is available for pre-order now but will be released on February 10, 2023 officially. It will be available to play on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.