— Updated on 6 March 2023

‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Is ‘Grand Theft Auto’ For ‘Harry Potter’ Fans

— Updated on 6 March 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

The Wizarding World is getting the open-world RPG treatment, with developers Avalanche Software creating a wholly immersive video game based on the rich legacy of Harry Potter. With the game being released for all platforms – Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows – early reviews have been pouring in and so far indicate a massive success for Warners Bros. Games. The current Metacritic score is 86% and so far some gamers have been calling this the Grand Theft Auto for Harry Potter fans.

That surface comparison doesn’t seem too far off the mark either. While we ourselves are yet to go hands-on with the game, watching all the gameplay footage and trailers really makes you feel like this expansive take on the Wizarding World is limitless and immersive, not just in the same vein as Grand Theft Auto but also Red Dead Redemption, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Elden Ring.

It’s a surprise, really, that it’s taken so long for a game developer to take a crack at a big-budget, open-world Harry Potter game. Nostalgia is big, gratuitous business in the entertainment world these days. Even more so for video games, which is why we have piss-poor attempts at turning big movie franchises into games like Rambo: The Video Game and Charlie’s Angels.

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While there have been around 17 other Harry Potter games since 2001’s Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone was released for the original PlayStation, none really come close to capturing the kind of freedom that comes with a truly open-world gaming experience.

Flying around the Wizarding World on broomsticks in the 1800s – 100 years before Harry Potter – stumbling across iconic references to the movies and books and setting foes on fire or torturing them with magic spells is part of the appeal of Hogwarts Legacy. There have even been reports that the gameplay is a bit too violent for something that’s based on such a family-friendly franchise, but it seems almost universally accepted that Hogwarts Legacy is indeed the game Harry Potter fans have been waiting for.

The entire Hogwarts Castle is rendered in beautiful detail, as is the wizarding town of Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest and numerous caves, smaller villages and ancient ruins. You’ve got a fast-travel option at your fingertips, or you’re able to fly around on your trusty broomstick. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you can hijack other people’s broomsticks. And there’s no magic police to pursue you if you’re causing chaos. The Grand Theft Auto comparisons are shallow at best.

If you’re planning on picking up a copy of the new Harry Potter game then note that only PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S gamers will have access to Hogwarts Legacy from February 10. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners will have to wait until April 4, and if you’ve only got a Nintendo Switch then you’ll need to hold out until July 25.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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