Hogwarts Legacy gameplay video confirms a holiday 2022 release window

Warner Bros and Avalanche Games offered a substantial look at Hogwarts Legacy today, detailing its world, combat and narrative setting, as well as a "Holiday 2022" release window. It looks pretty much as we expected: like an open-world RPG with a Harry Potter coating. 

The video embedded above is comprehensive. You won't be playing as Harry Potter or any of the other famed magic kids, nor meeting them, because Hogwarts Legacy is set in the late 1800s. There's a character creator, and once you've customized your student you'll be sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. You'll be able to freely roam the Hogwarts castle, taking part in classes, gossiping with friends, and fighting friendly magic duels atop floating tables. It looks like Quidditch is in, too.

Exploring the castle itself seems to be a huge part of Hogwarts Legacy. We saw brief glimpses of spacious, clockwork-laden dungeons where the protagonist was able to manipulate the environment to solve traversal puzzles. 

You won't just be stuck at school hitting the books: the area around Hogwarts is explorable, and that's where you'll be smacking trolls and goblins around with magic. Magicking goblins to death will play a big part of Hogwarts Legacy, as the narrative is centred around a goblin rebellion, helped along by "Dark wizard Victor Rookwood." Both are on your shit list, naturally.

Combat takes the form of spellcasting, but you'll also be able to get Pokemon-like sentient plants onto the battlefield to help you mob the enemy. In a PlayStation blog, a WB Games Avalanche spokesperson assured that combat will have "depth and challenge for players who want it," and given the presence of loot, upgrade paths and crafting, Hogwarts Legacy is definitely taking the form of an action RPG.

It looks like a decent take on the Harry Potter world, but it won't arrive without controversy. J.K. Rowling, author of the original Harry Potter novels, has come under fire multiple times since 2020 for making transphobic remarks. Rowling is "not directly involved in the creation of the game," says a Warner Bros. FAQ, but the series is still indelibly connected to her.

And if that weren't enough, former lead designer Troy Leavitt resigned last March when it was discovered—or remembered—that he operated an anti-social justice YouTube channel which, among other things, was sympathetic with Gamergate. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.