Bayhawk Review: Hogwarts Legacy


Hogwarts Legacy screen capture

Lea Raber

This is a spoiler-free review.

Hogwarts Legacy is a role-playing game developed by Portkey Games, initially released on the PS5. You play as a fifth-year student who has just been accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As you attend Hogwarts, you hone your magical skills while untangling the mystery around Ancient Magic—an old but powerful magic that has been hidden away for centuries.


Hogwarts Legacy has been plagued with controversy throughout its history. Before the game was even released, many fans online began arguing about whether it was even ethical to purchase the game. This is because the series creator, J.K Rowling, would be receiving royalties for each copy of the game purchased. Many fans found this problematic, as J.K Rowling is well known for her derogatory statements about trans people. Due to this, many fans began boycotting Hogwarts Legacy, some going as far as to create a website called “Have They Streamed That Wizard Game.” This acted as a database of all streamers who have streamed Hogwarts Legacy and was often used for malicious purposes such as targeting streamers for harassment. This harassment has driven many streamers to not pick up the game, despite it having a peak of over 1.27 million concurrent viewers on the popular streaming platform Twitch.


Hogwarts Legacy varies in price depending on the platform it is purchased on. The cheapest is $59.99 on Steam, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. This gets you the base game, but no additional add-ons. If the game is purchased on the PS5, it will cost $69.99, but you do receive special in-game items such as cosmetics and an exclusive quest. Other versions of the game, such as the Deluxe Edition and Collector’s Edition can range from $79.99 to $289.99, which will give you other exclusive quests, cosmetics, and memorabilia. For this review, we purchased the PS5 version of Hogwarts Legacy, as it was the platform Hogwarts Legacy was initially released on.

Character Creation and Gameplay Customization

Before you begin your journey, Hogwarts Legacy has you create your unique character, whom you will play as throughout the game. First, you start with a preset character, then you begin changing them to your liking. This can mean changing face shape, eye color, eyebrows, skin tone, and hair. You can also add facial features such as complexion, freckles, and scars. Players can also choose their character’s voice as either masculine or feminine, with the choice to change the pitch of their voice as well. Finally, players will give their character a name, and the game begins.

This form of character creation is nothing new but does a great job. It does not have tens of different creation screens like Dark Souls or go too creepily in-depth like Cyberpunk 2077, but still offers players a vast number of ways to make the character their own. It is akin to Mii creation on the Wii, with how you can use the tools given to you to create any kind of character you want. Hogwarts Legacy also gives players the ability to create their own wand and choose which house they get sorted into, which only adds to the customizability of the overall experience. Overall, the customization of characters combined with custom gameplay elements makes for a truly unique and fun experience.


Hogwarts Legacy has multiple different game modes and gameplay functions. First is the combat system. Combat in this game is treated very similarly to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can encounter enemies out in the land surrounding Hogwarts, which you can run or sneak away from if you wish. There are some battles you must fight, such as when you duel students in Hogwarts or fight in boss battles. To fight, you learn spells from your teachers or other students. These spells have a variety of functions, such as lifting an enemy to stun them, or firing a short blaze of fire. These spells allow you to create your own fighting style, and you can replace spells when you learn more powerful ones. You can only have four spells equipped at a time, so you must choose wisely. You also have defensive functions such as dodging and blocking spells, which come in handy during the early game.

Another core gameplay element of Hogwarts Legacy is going to classes. These classes serve as mini-tutorials for how to use certain mechanics in-game, like the previously mentioned dueling. They also serve to teach you new spells as you progress through the game. They take up time and cause the day-night cycle to further progress. However, unlike real-life classes, you can choose when to show up for a lesson. In-game classes are marked as quests, so you can take them whenever you like. Sometimes you will need to take a class before you can complete another quest, so it is best to take them as soon as possible.

Hogwarts Legacy has many mini elements, such as the world exploration of the land around Hogwarts. Mini-games are built into lessons, puzzles are built into the very walls of Hogwarts, and the ability to make friends and enemies brings the experience of Hogwarts Legacy together. They are minor things, but together they build up to create a total and complete gameplay experience that keeps you coming back for more.

Hogwarts Legacy also has a variety of performance modes for game rendering that can make any gamer smile. The detail in characters’ faces, the beautiful skyline of Hogwarts, and the high-resolution textures will take your breath away. While playing the game, we did encounter some visual glitches such as glitched-out animations and bouncy physics with flowy things like hair and owl feathers, but nothing game-breaking or horribly horrendous.


Hogwarts Legacy is an incredible game. The story, gameplay, and customization are well thought out, expertly executed, and gracefully implemented. The game does have a bit of a learning curve as you learn how to use the combat and fast travel systems, but nothing that can’t be pushed through. You will be engrossed in the story and the vast world that Portkey Games has perfectly crafted to will leave you yearning for more. If you like the Harry Potter series or role-playing games, we highly recommend Hogwarts Legacy.

Final Rating: 9/10