- Hogwarts Legacy and Forspoken were both initially revealed and later released at around the same time frame.
- Both games feature magic-based combat in an open-world environment.
- Both games feature a voiced protagonist.
- While there is not much competition between the two, Hogwarts Legacy does feature everything you’d want from a perfectly made Forspoken, which is something we never received.
Hogwarts Legacy was first officially revealed with a trailer for the PlayStation 5 back in September 2020. Meanwhile, Forspoken, which was referred to as Project Athia, was revealed in June 2020.
Hogwarts Legacy was developed by Avalanche Software and published by WB Games. The game came out on 10 February for PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X. While Forspoken was developed by Luminous Productions and published by Square Enix for PlayStation 5 and PC on 24 January this year.
Both games take you on a role-playing adventure in a world filled with magic. But one game does it a lot better than the other despite sharing many similarities.
Issues Before The Launch
Both games were revealed at around the same time in 2020 and were also released barely a few weeks apart from each other in 2023. Despite all the issues regarding Hogwarts Legacy’s launch, it delivered and became one of the biggest launches in Steam’s history.
Forspoken, on the other hand, was quite underwhelming despite all the expectations from Square Enix. The demo was available to play for quite a while before the game’s official release, but it did not do them any favors.
Several issues with Forspoken were apparent in the demo version of the game, and Square Enix did nothing to fix those in their finished product.
On the other hand, Hogwarts Legacy did not have a smooth lead-up to its launch. There were all sorts of controversies surrounding the game’s release, but that did not stop the game from becoming the top seller on Steam for several weeks straight, while Forspoken wasn’t even in the top 10.
Other than that, both games offer gameplay based on magic. In Forspoken, we have Frey, along with her sentient bracelet, who can use a huge number of visually attractive abilities in combat and traversal. Surprisingly, that was also the thing that held the game’s combat back.
Having a huge variety of abilities to choose from isn’t a bad plan, but what Square Enix failed to do was to make it all easier for the player. No one wants to swap through menus to select a different ability 20 times in a fight.
In the end, the player will likely end up using the same four skills due to how much of a hassle switching spells is in that game.
— Mark Medina (@Mark_Medina) February 6, 2023
Hogwarts Legacy might not have as many spells and abilities as Forspoken, but the ones it offers are visually attractive, powerful, and easily accessible. The game’s combat is simple and easy while also being engaging for the player.
Vast Open-World Elements
Then we have the open world of Forspoken. The lands of Athia are vast but barren. It appears that the open world of Forspoken was designed to flex the traversal and the abilities and nothing more. The variety of enemy creatures and their numbers are quite small for such an open-world game.
The NPCs are also few in number, and most of them sound so dull and lifeless. In contrast, Hogwarts Legacy offers a huge cast of NPCs and a world that is full of danger and fun. The NPCs are also unique and offer fun interactions.
What is so much better about Hogwarts Legacy is that the game makes you feel like you’re actually out there. That’s the level of immersion the game offers, and that’s precisely what role-playing games should aspire to achieve.
Both games feature voiced protagonists. However, as we’re all aware, one of the biggest issues with Forspoken is the awful dialogues. Frey’s ambient dialogues and her frequent conversations with Cuff, her bracelet, are annoying and repetitive, to say the least.
On the other hand, Hogwarts Legacy features fully-voiced custom characters that only add to the immersive value of the game. Having a voiced protagonist and making the players relate to the character without breaking immersion is the recipe for success, and that is something Hogwarts Legacy does quite skillfully.
Game’s Performance On Launch
Let’s talk about the hardware utilization of both games. Forspoken looked massively underwhelming for a PlayStation 5 game. Yes, the game features good VFX, but the overall graphics and textures are dull, and the same goes for the PC port of the game.
In contrast, Hogwarts Legacy did have some technical issues with their PC port on launch, but the developers rolled out a quick update shortly afterward to fix some of the problems. Avalanche Software did a fantastic job with such a massive project while also doing justice to the source material.
Worth Of The Source Material
When comparing both games together, it is impossible not to think about the Harry Potter series, which is what the Hogwarts Legacy is based on. Hogwarts Legacy did not have to work on their lore that much, as everything was already there in the Harry Potter books and movies.
Forspoken did not have that luxury, and the mediocre writing made the game even worse. It would’ve been much better if Forspoken did receive an adaptation of some sort before the game’s release, as it would have made it up for the lack of world-building and character development in the games to some extent.
It’s not much, but it does make you think that Forspoken would have done a different job as a game if it also had source material in the form of an adaptation before release.
Avalanche Software made Hogwarts Legacy into a game that is not just about magic-based combat but also about living life in a wizarding world. As a role-playing game, Hogwarts Legacy offers adventure and immersion for the players, making them feel as if they are living in the world of Harry Potter himself.
And that’s exactly where Forspoken falls short. Square Enix tried to create a world that focuses solely on the character’s abilities, where players can go all out. It could have been a great RPG if it incorporated one of the core aspects of the genre, immersion.
As we advance into the future, Hogwarts Legacy has redefined the meaning of role-playing games, and hopefully, it will continue to get better from here and out.
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