Hogwarts Legacy is officially available and is currently delighting countless players on consoles and PC. The international trade press is also impressed by the magical open-world game. But I personally miss one crucial thing: the feeling of going to school. A commentary by Daniel Boldt
Playful freedom has a price
Everyone has to decide for themselves whether Hogwarts Legacy is a good game or not. But what Hogwarts Legacy can definitely do better: its players convey a solid school feeling. What do I mean?
Although the controversial game offers a great open world and will certainly make most Potterheads happy, it is precisely the setting that is criminally neglected. As a student at a magical institution, you may learn all sorts of spells or practice brewing potions in the course of the story, but this concept is more appearance than reality.
Because the individual teaching units are purely a checklist to learn new skills. Most of the time you’re running or flying around the world doing whatever you want. Classes can literally wait. But that’s what bothered me again and again, because I’ve already gotten to know it a lot better in Bully, also known as Canis Canem Edit.
The official trailer of Bully:
Hogwarts is a playground, not a school
In the open world game from Rockstar Games, which is best known for Grand Theft Auto, you also attend a school. Only here does everyday school life really feel authentic. There is an in-game clock and you have to be in class at fixed times. Of course you can also choose to skip school, but then you have to avoid the teachers on the school premises.
To outsiders, this system may sound annoying, and it is in places, but it also adds a lot to the atmosphere of the gamebecause your train of thought quickly resembles that of a typical student: “Am I going to chemistry class or hanging out with my friends?”
In Hogwarts Legacy, on the other hand, you are so free that the castle more like a colorful playground and less like a real magic school.
And that, strictly speaking, seems a bit unbelievable. Just considering such legendary scenes like in the first Harry Potter film:
In the scene, Professor McGonagall admonishes Harry and Ron for being late. Of course, punctuality also plays an important role at the magic school. Just not in Hogwarts Legacy.