Fans of the Harry Potter franchise are not exactly lacking in content. There are books, a series of very successful movies—along with a few less successful ones—and a play. Something that has been extremely lacking for years is a quality video game based on Harry Potter. Every movie had multiple game versions, including a couple of Lego ones that adapted the entire series. The main games varied in quality, but even so, fans have not had a chance to truly explore the Wizarding World in an open-world RPG.
Since the 2011 release of the final film in the main franchise, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the video game space for the Harry Potter series has mostly consisted of mobile games. The fantasy of getting a giant game set at Hogwarts was mostly just a dream until Hogwarts Legacy was announced. It is seemingly exactly what fans want—an action role-playing game set in the Wizarding World. But, to what extent will it be the dream game of fans of the franchise? Will players get to interact with Minerva McGonagall? Will they get to play as or interact with The Boy Who Lived or any of his friends from the series? Let’s take a look at the story of Hogwarts Legacy and discuss the extent of Harry Potter’s involvement in the game.
Is Hogwarts Legacy a Harry Potter game?
Hogwarts Legacy is a Harry Potter game, but only because it takes place in the same universe as the rest of the franchise, not because The Boy Who Lived is in it. The game is set 100 years before the events of the main series, meaning that we will not see Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, or Ronald Weasley in the game. However, there are some characters from the series that will be making appearances. It has been announced that Jason Anthony will be playing both Nearly Headless Nick and The Sorting Hat in Hogwarts Legacy.
Nearly Headless Nick is the Gryffindor house ghost, who is also known as Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, played by John Cleese in the first two films. The Sorting Hat is the sentient hat that sorts new students into their houses. You might remember in The Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry arrived at Hogwarts, he told the Sorting Hat, voiced by Leslie Phillips, that he did not want to be put in Slytherin, it listened and put him in Gryffindor instead. There is a chance that the player’s character might be sorted and given the same opportunity to pick your own house.
There are also connections to the Harry Potter series based on ancestors of characters who appear in Hogwarts Legacy. For example, Simon Pegg will be playing the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Phineas Nigellus Black. This infamous headmaster is the great-great-grandfather of Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather who was played by Gary Oldman in the films.
In addition to Black, we already know that the deputy headmistress of Hogwarts will be Professor Matilda Weasley. She is undoubtedly a distant relative to the Weasley family. There will most likely be other students or teachers who share the surnames of characters in the main franchise as well. Therefore, we might see the ancestors of Luna Lovegood, Vincent Crabbe, or Neville Longbottom.
We could even get an appearance from some characters who are older, like Nicolas Flamel. The philosopher was hundreds of years old in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and he was roughly the same age in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. There might be the possibility of seeing some creatures from the series, ones that may have longer lifespans than humans. The game could also reference characters who are only mentioned once or a couple of times in the books.
With all of this being said, there might be a way that Avalanche Software, the developers of Hogwarts Legacy, could be hiding Harry Potter somewhere in the game. Time travel is possible in the franchise, with a Time Turner used as a tool in both The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Cursed Child. What if Harry or somebody from his time managed to go all the way back to the past?
Ultimately, while Avalanche Software might be holding its cards close to its chest, an appearance from Harry does seem illogical and unlikely. However, you can make your own character, so there is nothing stopping you from customizing the model to make your character look like him or any of the other students from the series.
Hogwarts Legacy is set to release on Feb. 10 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and PC, with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game slated for April 4 while the Nintendo Switch version of the game is due to arrive on July 25.