Hogwarts Legacy reviews will be live tomorrow across outlets that got codes, which is four days before release on Friday the 10th, but just one day before early access, where the Deluxe/Collector’s Editions will let everyone play on Tuesday. So it’s essentially a day-before launch embargo. Could be fine, but it’s not…ideal.
The central question of any batch of reviews dropping for a game is of course “is it good?” but in Hogwarts Legacy’s case, it feels like this has a few extra considerations. First, this at least looks like a Harry Potter dream game, so it’s not really about just being passable, it’s about whether it can live up to the highest fantasies of fans and really be that perfect HP game they’ve waited two decades for.
One thing I’ve always found a bit strange with this entire process is who is making the game. Hogwarts Legacy has been developed by Avalanche Software, which is a 30 year old gaming company, but in all this time has never seemed to develop a game anywhere close to this scale.
Avalanche’s entire past decade of work has been making licensed Disney games. Three Disney Infinity games, and also Bolt, Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 games for PS3 and Xbox 360. Their last game was in 2017, and it was “Car 3: Driven to Win.” The PS4 version has a 72 on Metacritic, which I guess might be good…for a licensed Cars video game?
But this is the central question of Hogwarts Legacy. How does a studio go from making Disney Infinity and Cars 3 to a sprawling, blockbusters, mega-game like Hogwarts Legacy? Not to say studios cannot grow and evolve in their scope, and it’s possible this ends up being a brilliant success story for them. But you know, even with something like say, Diablo 4, another game I’d argue looks almost too good to be true, even with all Blizzard’s problems, it’s still…Blizzard, the company that many Diablos 1-3 and a bunch of other huge things. Here, there’s a lengthy resume for Avalanche, but with games that are simply nothing at all like the proposed scope and scale of Hogwarts Legacy.
So far, most early preview coverage of the game has been pretty positive. Recently, leaked clips of gameplay have been circulating that have been mocked by some as a bit too rote and generic. But we will have a better picture tomorrow when full reviews drop. And then of course, when the game goes live.
Hogwarts Legacy has already sold more than enough copies ahead of release to be a blockbuster hit. But whether it lives up to expectations is another matter entirely. More on this tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to my free weekly content round-up newsletter, God Rolls.
Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.