The controversy surrounding Hogwarts Legacy pales before the tremendous expectation that he has achieved with everything shown to date. Just a few weeks after its launch on February 10, a few days ago we were able to go to the offices of Warner Bros. and try a demo guided by the developers of the title themselves.
After about an hour at the controls, trying out story missions, combat, and exploring with a broomstick around the grounds of the school of witchcraft and wizardry, it’s not hard to say that we can be before the game dreamed by the fans of the brand. Checking that all the ambition poured into the trailers is real has been, how could it be otherwise, magical.
Hogwarts Legacy is being Developed by Avalanche Software, specialized in open worlds as well attested by his wonderful work in the Just Cause saga. We are facing an open world in which we will live a story designed to expand the lore of the brand, focusing this time on topics such as ancient magic or the rebellion of the goblins. According to the developers who accompanied us, ancient magic is the most powerful of all, responsible among other achievements for the creation of Hogwarts itself; we ourselves will be able to use some spells belonging to this interesting branch of magic.
Secondly, goblin rebellion It is an event that occurred in which these beings rose up to fight against the discrimination they suffered from the magical society. This particular event is one of the most controversial. However, it seems rash to me to judge a story (especially in a youth adventure context) by its approach before seeing its execution and solution. Also, in the demo they have not been the only enemies we have faced; we have fought, for example, against other Hogwarts students, although the latter in the context of challenges for duelists.
We played several very well differentiated sections, although we cannot talk about some of them. The first part was a section of history and introduction in which we learned the basic controls and the bases of the plot were established. Afterwards we were able to explore a part of the Hogwarts grounds and some rooms of the castle itself; there we check how you can fly freely (except indoors) with the broom, in a simple, fun and spectacular way.
From the land surrounding the school to its different patios, the river and many other areas that we had restricted. We don’t know what the full map will be like, but what we were able to explore it looked impressive graphically, and at no time did it show slowdowns or load times, not even when changing zones entering Hogwarts. Lastly, we had an action-focused story mission where we could experience the title combat at a mid-game point, with quite a few spells unlocked. We will delve into this aspect later in the text.
We can’t talk about what we’ve seen in the demo in relation to the story, but I did find that it raises interesting mysteries that they could well constitute another film of the brand. The characters, the animations, and their dubbing into Spanish (including lip sync), bordered on an excellent level, especially considering the immense amount of detail that populates the world of Hogwarts Legacy. It should be noted at this point that the version we have played ran on a PS5.
Both in the guided missions of the story, with amazing prints, scenarios and magical resources, as well as in the open world to explore, we find beautiful graphics and a world full of life and secrets. Walking around Hogwarts, we will not only see students giving us missions or mini-games: there will be people sitting and chatting while eating Bertie Botts lozenges, teenagers unconsciously testing magic on the grounds, fountains and statues more alive than they seem… and, Of course, all the paintings that we have found inside Hogwarts were moving. The level of detail in what we have seen in these minutes, not only in terms of elements on the screen and the level design itself (which also), but In terms of references and affection for the brand, it is simply overwhelming.. It has been really difficult not to get carried away by the illusion and lose yourself in its world instead of following the path marked out by the demo. It looks like a game that a Harry Potter fan might just enjoy watching thanks to all the secrets he hides.
Coming to talk about the combat system, I have been amazed at how agile, fun and even complicated it can become when we face several enemies at the same time. The combat is controlled in a similar way to how we would in a third person shooter, but with hack and slash elements such as the counter attack that we can unleash with the Protego spell and even a combo system. We will have a basic attack spell with which to reach the rivals, but also several wheels of four spells each, which I imagine can be configured at will in the final version of the title.
The level of detail, the references and the love for the brand is simply overwhelming.
Hay various types of spells at our disposal: Some will be used to perform contextual actions, such as repairing structures, and others will be used for combat or solving puzzles. Within these categories, the spells are classified by color, with the red ones, for example, totally intended to attack the opponent. The enemies we face will have protection spells or barriers of different colors; To knock them down and be able to defeat them, we will have to destroy said barriers using the spells that correspond to their color. However, it will not be the only way to defeat them. If we know how to use Protego at the right time, we will bounce the spells of the rivals; we can also use stage elements to launch them. But without a doubt what I find most interesting is the system of combos and synergies.
There are spells that damage, others that stun, but there are also spells that trigger specific consequences. Knowing what order to use the spells in can give you some really deadly and impressive combinations; for example, you can wait to counter a spell to remove the opponent’s barrier, follow up with Expelliarmus to stun them, close them in with Accio, and finish them off with a brutal Incendiary, which is meant for close range. The game never explains these synergies to you, but knowing the spells encourages you to experiment with them, and very fun combinations emerge. We couldn’t read the descriptions of the spells, nor could we see the total number of spells we will have, although in the demo we had about ten different spells, and I’m sure it wasn’t all unlocked. Another thing that I liked to verify, beyond the beautiful chaos of spells and flying objects that group combats suppose, is that the enemies did not take turns to attack, having to be aware of both distance attacks and those that come close to hit us. The Hogwarts Legacy fights have surprised me for good, and have left me wanting more.
There are other interesting aspects of this demo, such as the high capacity that we will have to customize our character and edit its appearance. We will find accessories and equipment that will alter our appearance and statistics quite often, so we can also expect a certain RPG component; We will also have dialogue and decision options, but it is not clear to what extent we can take different paths depending on what we choose.
Definitely, Hogwarts Legacy does not intend to revolutionize open worlds, but it does seem to me one of the ones that best hides its conventions (within, however, many great design decisions) thanks to its excellent setting and love for the brand. Yes, it seems that there will be a map full of collectibles, challenges and points to discover, but it is digested differently if to hunt certain flying books we have to find them and use Accio with them. There are puzzles to find locations through an image, but framed in the context of magical mirrors that hide a mystery. The detective mode, which will allow us to discover secrets and points of interest, is executed through the Revelio spell.
Hogwarts Legacy is introduced as a tremendously traditional open world, but also like a true fantasy come true for fans of a world that continues to amaze new generations of muggles every year. I hope our letter to Hogwarts, which has been lost for so many years, arrives soon; and, if not possible, at least the confirmation email to pick up the game on February 10.