We got our first detailed look at Hogwarts Legacy during a Sony State of Play presentation. The 20-minute presentation showed off how you'll create your student, explore the grounds of Hogwarts, participate in classes, and do combat against enemies.
You begin the game as a new student at Hogwarts, starting as a 5th-year student and behind your classmates' skill level. You'll get sorted into one of the four iconic houses, meet up with classmates, attend various types of classes, and even practice your dueling skills.
As the presentation noted, this takes place in the 1800s, so you won't see the familiar professors from the Harry Potter films. There are some cameos of familiar characters, though, like Nearly Headless Nick. As you explore the castle you can solve puzzles to discover dungeons and passages, and you'll need to grow plants and brew potions in your free time. The area around Hogwarts is particularly dangerous, and meant to test your skills.
In combat you'll have both offensive and defensive spells, as well as the ability to enchant or stun enemies with items like a mandrake root. A shield charm lets you deflect spells, and you can dodge, teleport, or counter-attack. The presentation promised the ability to mix and match dozens of spells. You'll build up your character with an upgrade tree that lets you enhance your skills in potion-making, spells, and more. You can loot or craft gear, and specialize it to your play style. The broom acts as your mount, letting you zip around the area faster. And befriending your fellow students will have its own in-game benefits, as they'll know extra skills they can teach you.
The story revolves around your character attempting to unlock a variety of secrets and mysteries under the tutelage of Professor Fig, from a burgeoning goblin rebellion to a corrupting force taking hold of creatures. The presentation even implied that you could end up going down a dark path yourself, showing the protagonist using the unforgiveable curse, Avada Kedavra.
Hogwarts Legacy is being developed by WB Games Avalanche, the studio that had developed the Disney Infinity toys-to-life games before being shuttered and then reopened by Warner Bros. It's set for a holiday 2022 release.
Though the game is set in the popular Wizarding World universe, it has been overshadowed at times by remarks from Harry Potter creator JK Rowling. The author has been criticized for her transphobic comments over the last several years. If you'd like to know more, read aboutwhy Rowling's statements have been hurtful to the trans community.