After more than a year of virtually zero news, Harry Potter fans finally got the news they wanted.
Hogwarts Legacy first made headlines last September following years of grapevine talk and leaked footage. The open-world title is set in the same universe as J.K. Rowling novels and live-action film adaptations. After hyping audiences up with the initial announcement, Avalanche Software and Warner Bros. delayed the game in early 2021 to have more time to work on it. Since then, all Potterheads have had to go on are rumors and speculation, until Sony broke its silence.
Earlier this week, Sony confirmed that it will hold a State of Play event specifically dedicated to Hogwarts Legacy - the first for a non-exclusive game.
Now that the event has concluded, all we can say is that it was nothing short of magical. Sony Interactive Entertainment and Avalanche Software teamed up on Thursday afternoon for about 15 minutes of Hogwarts Legacy gameplay. One of the first things that stood out from the event is the game's gender-inclusive inclusive character creation suite as well as the game's story. Hogwarts Legacy will be set in the late 1800s, roughly a century before the first Harry Potter novel and live-action adaptation. In addition, the showcase also revealed all the activities that players can participate in and out of the famous wizarding school.
Audiences also found out that while Hogwarts Legacy will put players in the shoes of a new wizard or witch of their creation, they'll start as fifth-year students. The game's introduction will mostly revolve around teaching players the basics and controls, as well as bringing them up to speed with the story. The 15-minute trailer also includes a teaser for a "darker path" for interested players.
As an open-world action RPG, Hogwarts Legacy comes with your usual assortment of gameplay mechanics and features. This includes everything from potions and magical items crafting, skill and perk trees, as well as friend and follower parties. Speaking of followers, players can also recruit NPCs to add to their groups for bonuses. Hogwarts' Room of Requirement, which is a secret room prominently featured in novels and movies, will serve as the customizable hub area for players.
The State of Play showcase didn't come with as many easter eggs as you might expect from a game that fits into the overall Harry Potter canon. However, Sony and Avalanche were likely careful about spoiling too much. What is guaranteed here is that the studio and the publisher want to distance themselves from the series' author, J.K. Rowling. In particular, Warner Bros. Games was quick to remind fans that J.K. Rowling did not have a hand in Hogwarts Legacy at all following Rowling's very public and transphobic remarks, and nothing appears to have changed since.
It will be interesting to see how the general public will perceive Hogwarts Legacy. J.K. Rowling's stance on gender identity has divided audiences. Some are of the notion that supporting Hogwarts Legacy is a sign that you agree with Rowling and her views.
Unfortunately, the State of Play failed to provide a proper release date for Hogwarts Legacy. However, Avalanche did confirm that Hogwarts Legacy will arrive in time for the holiday season. This is still, technically, in line with the earlier leak that Hogwarts Legacy will be out by September.