Hogwarts Legacy gameplay showcase tours Hogwarts, features wand-on-wand combat
Developers from Hogwarts Legacy developer Avalanche Software hosted a 45-minute gameplay showcase covering the character creator and combat while giving a more in-depth tour of the titular castle itself.
Starting with the character creator, well, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a character creator. One of the interesting things we learned from the showcase is that, while you can give your character some basic glasses at the beginning, you can unlock even more glasses as you play through the game. Other gear like masks will also be collectible. Perhaps appropriately, given the Wizarding World creator J.K. Rowling’s previous comments, players have to choose if they are a witch or wizard to determine what dormitory they will stay in.
Avalanche Software gave a fairly extensive tour of Hogwarts itself as well as giving us our first look at the game’s HUD. Players will have access to a minimap, a lifebar, and another bar that Avalanche did not want to disclose. Players will also be able to slot up to 16 spells to use in combat at any given time.
Throughout the castle, players will find collectible field guide pages. These field guides will help your character, a late fifth year just starting at Hogwarts, to catch up with the goings-on at the castle and get some history lessons while they’re there. The field guide also contains challenges for players to complete that will help them level up their character.
While we got to peek into some classrooms, the showcase didn’t stop to take any specific classes. In fact, game director Alan Tew cleared up how the class system will work. There will be a day/night cycle in Hogwarts Legacy, but you don’t have to worry about missing classes, as the game isn’t a “school simulator.” Players can attend classes, but they fit more into the game’s overall mission structure. If you want to progress your knowledge in a particular area and level up your spells or learn new ones, you can decide to take classes. These class missions will also progress your relationship with the professor teaching them and open up new story opportunities and additional side missions.
Finally, we got our first look at how combat will really work in Hogwarts Legacy in a duel against three classmates. Players will have access to a basic attack spell by pressing the R2/RT button. If they hold R2/RT, they will bring up the spell diamond with four spells, each attached to a face button. Players can also switch out their customizable spell diamonds with the D-pad, so carefully slotting spells so that it makes sense to you will be key to coming out on top in combat.
Furthermore, each spell will have a color attached to it, and each enemy will have a shield with one of those colors. Performing a spell with that color to break their shield and then attacking them with the basic attack is the way to win a fight. You can also deflect with the Triangle/Y button or hold that button down to perform a counterattack that will stupefy enemies. All told, Hogwarts Legacy‘s combat system seems relatively deep, and that’s even before getting into magical tools that players can use. Unfortunately, Avalanche remained pretty quiet about those. Of course, if you take damage, you can also heal yourself with potions.
Hogwarts Legacy launches on February 10th, 2023, for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Michael Goroff has written and edited for EGM since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter @gogogoroff.