Latest Gaming News: ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ is already topping charts despite controversy, while the first reviews of ‘The Last of Us’ don’t disappoint

Hogwarts Legacy
Image via Warner Bros Games

It’s a mixed bag of gaming news today, as the first reviews of HBO’s The Last of Us are looking good, Hogwarts Legacy has managed to top the Steam charts amidst a hurricane of controversy and some of the developers of Forza Horizon have left Playground Games to start a new studio.

Read all about this and more in today’s gaming news roundup.

The first reviews of The Last of Us are in

The Last of Us Pedro Pascal
Image via HBO

We are patiently waiting for Jan. 15, when The Last of Us will premiere on HBO Max. Lucky reviewers have managed to get their hands on the first episodes of the show, with some of them watching the entire first season. The reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive, and you can feel the collective cathartic sigh of fans across the globe. As of writing the series has a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Of course, in interviews to promote the show, co-creator Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) set it apart from all other video game adaptations, claiming that it would “break the video game curse”. While this did spark ire among gamers, as there have been multiple projects that have adapted games well, his boasting has apparently paid off. But you will be able to make your mind up for yourself when The Last of Us comes to HBO Max on Jan. 15.

Hogwarts Legacy is topping charts before release amidst controversy

The game which will seemingly fulfill the wishes of Harry Potter fans around the world is topping the Steam charts, even though it does not release until next month. The game, which is being developed by Avalanche Software, has been at the center of multiple controversies since it was announced. These include the creator of the franchise, J.K. Rowling, coming under fire for transphobic views, the lead designer leaving the company after controversial social media posts, and the use of goblins leading people to dub the game antisemitic

While none of these controversies have stopped it from becoming one of the highest-selling games on Steam last week, users did manage to briefly tag the game as transphobic on the platform. But, that has seemingly since been taken down. Hogwarts Legacy is set to be released on Feb. 10, 2023, on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and PC, with other versions of the game slated to release periodically throughout the year. 

Developers of Forza Horizon leave Playground Games to form a new studio

A handful of employees from Playground Games have left the studio to form Maverick Games. The new studio is being headed up by the former creative director of Playground Games, Mike Brown. The team has been making games in the Forza Horizon series for Xbox since 2012, and they were recently announced to be the team developing Fable. It’s interesting to see some key members of the team start their own studio. Especially since we do not know what their first game will look like. We could speculate that they left because they want to keep making great racing games like Forza Horizon. But even if they do break from their formula, it will probably turn out to be something great.

Persona is coming to Xbox Game Pass this month

Some new games are coming to Xbox Game Pass in January; well, some new, old games. We now have the dates for Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden and they are set to come to the service on the same day the games are released, on Jan. 19, 2023. They are both set to release on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on the same day as well. In addition to the Persona games, Monster Hunter Rise will be coming to the service one day later on Jan. 20, 2023.

Stranded Deep, Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition, and Valheim: Mistlands Biome Update are also on Game Pass if you are looking for something to play before the Persona games release next week. But, we should also let you know that some games are scheduled to leave the service as well. It has been announced that the following games are being removed from the service soon.

  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
  • Nobody Saves The World 
  • Pupperazzi 
  • The Anacrusis 
  • We Happy Few 
  • Windjammers 2

So make sure you play them before they leave, or pick them up if you’ve been having a good time. 

Come back tomorrow to read all the latest gaming news.