Hogwarts Legacy’s Success Signifies Rich Open Worlds Are Still Gamers’ Choice

It's not the vastness of the map, but the content it contains that matters.

Story Highlights

  • Open worlds that showcase creativity and immersion are generally well received, which shows gamers prefer engaging content over large maps that are barren and repetitive.
  • Hogwarts Legacy is the latest game based on the Harry Potter franchise, which brings its own sense of originality.
  • The game presents an intricately designed open world with exciting details and quests, ready to capture the hearts of new and old fans alike.

Hogwarts Legacy provides an engaging open world for players to experience. Open World has always been a genre of interest for many gamers, as it captures the essence of gaming well: a virtual world where you are free to explore in order to discover exciting secrets or admire the various details built into it.

The heart of an open-world game is the world design and how compatible the world is with the themes of the game itself. The world needs to be actively incorporated or reinforced by the plot, and it shouldn’t be there just to provide a means for long and tedious fetching quests. 

It is undoubtedly true that a good story and engrossing gameplay mechanics are necessary to drive a game. But since you’re spending a lot of time in the open world, you’re going to lose interest in the game quickly if the world feels empty to you and doesn’t hook you up.

There have been plenty of games that executed this concept with a great deal of expertise. And then many others that provided us with large open worlds that were comparatively barren and provided nothing to fuel the thrill of exploration.

Open-World Games Of The Past

Looking back to the games of the past, games like Elden Ring provided us with an unprecedented open-world Souls game that not only improved upon the combat mechanics but introduced one of the most content-rich open worlds with phenomenal landscapes and secrets for the player to discover.

A depiction of Elden Ring's Open World
A depiction of Elden Ring’s Open World

We also have games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar’s highly immersive wild west adventure where you’re bound to spend hours admiring the world design. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red‘s masterpiece captured the hearts of many despite its rather glitchy release.

This shows that open worlds with proper thoughts and efforts poured into them are encouraged by all and well received. Unfortunately, we have also witnessed empty and unengaging open worlds that made the games less appealing.

Square Enix’s latest fantasy world of Forspoken is an example of open-world games with a rather uninteresting and empty world design that conversely makes the exploration and traversal of a large map seem like a tedious venture.

Similarly, Ubisoft‘s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6 suffer from the repetitive world design that adds little significance to the overarching plot, and it feels like a chore to dive into these large maps.

Briefly going over the history of open-world games, we can reinforce the point that gamers prefer a well-built open world that coincides with the theme of the game, provides interesting quests or lore hints which make the exploration worth it, and develops intriguing details and fresh content for the player to discover.

Hogwarts Legacy: A Sensational Open World

Hogwarts Legacy is the latest game set in the magical world of the Harry Potter franchise, and it has been almost a decade since the last game based on the wizarding world was released hence the fans were eagerly awaiting this unique take on the concept.

Considering the popularity of the Harry Potter franchise and how fascinating the idea of an open-world Hogwarts seems to many, it is no surprise that the game was highly anticipated and saw a huge jump in sales close to its release.

In contrast to the earlier games which were based on Harry’s adventures in accordance with the books and movies, Hogwarts Legacy provides the player with their own character to enter the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, thus breaking free from the shackles of established plot and experiment with a fresh story.

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world adventure that gives the player a lot of freedom to explore the mystical world of the Harry Potter verse and has a fantastic world design with intriguing concepts and a faithful recreation of Hogwarts, which many consider the best adaptation of this fantasy world.

Design of Hogwarts Interior
Design of Hogwarts Interior

The combat mechanics of the game so far do seem intriguing with the counters and dodges added with variations in combos, but the highlight is the open world. Players can roam around the halls of the wizarding school, or fly away on their brooms to discern for themselves the fascinating open world that awaits them.

Everything seems fresh and distinct as you continue to explore and you have some well-written characters to interact with that give the game a sense of originality. The way side quests are handled with their intriguing story and occasional puzzles bring more immersion and connectivity to the world itself.

The quest design and character interactions provide you with an incentive to dig deeper and search every nook and cranny of the world, where many collectibles and easter eggs await to reward your efforts.

There are multiple small details for long-time fans to notice and honestly, it feels like a treat to just walk around and acknowledge the effort put into this effective recreation.

Importance Of World Design

Hogwarts Legacy is a reminder to gamers and studios alike that in open-world games, the world design is a high priority in determining the game’s success. If a game’s open world is worth delving into and is laden with originality and unique content, it is bound to attract attention.

The latest adventure in the wizarding world is another example of excellent world design. The reception of this game proves that open-world games will always be well received provided they masterfully execute what they hope to achieve and give the player unique content to experience over the course of the game.

Modern games focus a lot on graphical fidelity to attract attention while sometimes ignoring important factors like intriguing worlds, base gameplay mechanics, or optimizing performance. Although visual representation is important and is expected of a modern title, a balance of visuals and mechanics needs to be achieved.

With the success of Hogwarts Legacy, attempts will definitely be made for similar titles. However, we need more works that showcase the creative thinking of developers by creating worlds that show their love and dedication to the game, as Hogwarts Legacy has demonstrated by providing a fitting adaptation of a beloved franchise.

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Ahmed Shayan is a News Writer on eXputer with decent experience writing about games. He’s a machine learning enthusiast with a passion for a plethora of gaming genres. Ahmed is fond of Soulsborne games in which he has invested more than 3,000 hours! You can follow Ahmed's gaming activity on his PSN Profile.

Experience: 1.5+ Years || Mainly Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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