Was Hogwarts Legacy Only Successful Because Of Nostalgia?

The fun RPG certainly has its charms, but its flaws cannot be ignored after a while.

Story Highlights

  • Hogwarts Legacy is a fun RPG, but nostalgia played a huge role in making it popular.
  • The flaws in the game are often overlooked, while others are criticized for many of them.
  • Other issues include generic side quests, a lack of character depth, and unimpactful choices.

I still recall the hype abuzz in the gaming sphere when Hogwarts Legacy launched. However, a feeling of gloom gnawed at me ever since I stepped into Hogwarts. Besides the nostalgia boosting my initial response to the early game moments, playing the rest made me realize just how lacking the RPG actually feels.

Now, I’m not claiming that Avalanche Studios failed to deliver a fun AAA Wizarding World experience. I think it is the best there has been in the gaming space so far. Still, it’s difficult to ignore that much is missing once you burst out of the nostalgia bubble.

I was constantly wishing for changes and improvements while venturing through the somewhat engaging storyline. So, it begs to be asked: was Hogwarts Legacy only successful because of nostalgia?

The Role Of Nostalgia In Elevating The Hogwarts Legacy Experience

Despite all the issues, Hogwarts Legacy is the best AAA wizarding world experience we have got so far | Image Source: Steam
Despite all the issues, Hogwarts Legacy is the best AAA wizarding world experience we have got so far | Image Source: Steam

Unsurprisingly, many awaited an AAA Harry Potter experience for decades. I believe that had a lot to do with making people overlook the plethora of issues found in Hogwarts Legacy. When you have had so many subpar Harry Potter releases all this time and suddenly an AAA title is right around the corner, it’s hard not to be excited.

Walking through the Hogwarts halls also made me feel quite nostalgic and initially too lost to care about anything else. But my experience began to shift after I realized nothing made me play the game except for the Wizarding World theme.

Thoughts Now The Nostalgia Goggles Are Off
byu/AceKokuren inHarryPotterGame

The main story is inconsistent. It was good at some points, but most times it felt underwhelming. The lack of depth in characters is also so apparent that playing it becomes harder.

Additionally, the allure of the open world comes with emptiness. The barrenness becomes apparent once you roam and realize there isn’t much to do besides a few interesting puzzles and a limited number of arguably uninteresting side quests.

The RPG Is Fun But Not Free Of Flaws Other Titles Are Criticized For

Many titles within the same genre have been shredded by critics and players for identical issues. Take Starfield, for starters. Bethesda’s new IP was called out for bland characters—besides the pesky Sarah, that is—and insane loading screens. The response, you ask? It quickly became one of the most mundane releases for most gamers.

The badly-written characters in Forspoken and the disappointing gameplay of Atlas Fallen are among some other RPG experiences that did not fare well for similar issues. However, Warner Bros.‘ lovechild escaped mainstream criticism by appealing to the sentimentality of many gamers—myself included to some extent.

YouTube video

Therefore, I feel like many gave Hogwarts Legacy too much credit than it rightfully deserved. It’s enjoyable, sure. There is a reason why the RPG has sold like hotcakes ever since its inception. But if you look deeply, even more faults start becoming clear. I reckon the title would have sold in significantly fewer numbers if the players’ nostalgia had not been aroused.

Warner Bros. has done a nice job at hiding the generic gameplay beneath the zeal of the Wizarding World universe. The devs have missed many opportunities to branch out of the Hogwarts experience. Honestly, I only pulled through the whole game because I thought—or rather, hoped—it would get better at some point.

There Is Not Enough “Hogwarts” In Hogwarts Legacy

Generic issues aside, what is my main criticism exactly? Well, you don’t feel like a student of Hogwarts in the game—at least, not for long. When the title was announced, those who grew up wishing to study at Hogwarts were over the moon. That happiness did not last as long once players jumped into the RPG.

The truth is that the enigmatic Hogwarts castle turned out to be nothing more than a backdrop for most of the entry. You could be strolling around the beautiful palace, only for quests to make you leave for further progression. Additionally, there is not much to do when you’re at the castle.  

YouTube video

The castle is filled to the brim with books and materials that suggest it should be bustling with students and activities. However, that is far from the truth. The grand homage paid to the mystifying castle unfortunately falls apart in terms of interactability, fleshed-out students, and the overall gameplay inside it. Perhaps Hogwarts could have deeply benefited if a multiplayer mode existed.

Hogwarts Legacy feels so…. empty
byu/saradahokage1212 inhogwartslegacyJKR

The Wizarding World Experience Could Have Been Much More

Hogwarts Legacy leaves you longing for more if you look past the obvious flaws Image Source Steam
Hogwarts Legacy leaves you longing for more if you look past the obvious flaws Image Source Steam

As briefly mentioned above, my inner monologue kept asking for Hogwarts Legacy to have more through many parts of the gameplay. The core gameplay loop is not badly executed, but the devs could have expanded a lot—especially when it comes to endgame content. Although, many other elements feel outdated for a modern RPG at this point. 

All in all, Hogwarts Legacy is quite a delightful journey if you look past all the disappointing issues that haunt the gameplay. Whether it’s done by savoring a vial of nostalgia or curbing your expectations is entirely up to you.

Playing Hogwarts Legacy without the nostalgia filter has already made many players yearn for a sequel. However, that only goes to show the innate potential of the IP. At the end of the day, the rumored next entry could completely mitigate all these dilemmas. It may even make you feel more like a student in Hogwarts like the original game’s trailers initially projected.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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