A new gameplay showcase highlighted a number of new features in Hogwarts Legacy, including flying around the castle, customizing the Room of Requirement and killing other people with the killing curse.
The first segment of gameplay shows the extent of flying on both a broomstick and a hippogriff, which can be used to travel outside of Hogwarts to other villages and locations where quests may be available.
We also see the change of seasons during this section. Later in the showcase, we take an in-depth look at the customization of equipment, magical creatures, and the Room of Requirement, a space that can be customized via summoning spells obtainable throughout the game.
But perhaps the wildest part of the showcase for those acutely aware of the Harry Potter franchise is an intermediate segment where the player travels to the Dark Arts Battle Arena. In this section, we see the player – who is a student at Hogwarts and thus still a teenager – immediately execute the Avada Kedavra killing curse and kill a man. The trailer continues with them using a series of combat spells to damage and ultimately defeat (kill?) a number of other enemies, including goblins labeled “Loyalist Warriors.”
Of course it’s not unusual for a game to include combat or even teenage protagonists involved in it – many games do. But it’s a bit of an odd move given the game’s basis in a book series that largely treated combat as a last resort and focused most of its attention on day-to-day school life and magical antics. The fighting, murder, and torture in those books was almost entirely the province of its villains, with fighting used as a last resort and the “Unforgivable Curses” as, well, unforgivable.
It’s especially bizarre to see the killing curse used so casually given the heavy weight it’s been given in the books, though it’s not unexpected after a past trailer revealed players could choose to use the literal torture curse on other students as well.
Hogwarts Legacy game images
The legacy of Hogwarts has already been controversial since its announcement due to continued transphobic comments made by Harry Potter author JK Rowling. While Rowling is not involved in the game according to the studio’s leadership, Avalanche also stated that “she has the right to express her personal opinion of her” and the game remains based on her original universe and IP, and Rowling continues to earn royalties.
Hogwarts Legacy will launch on February 10, 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC. It was recently delayed to April 4th on PS4 and Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch version will arrive on July 25th.
Rebekah Valentine is a reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.