How Hogwarts Legacy Undermines Dark Arts

How Hogwarts Legacy Undermines Dark Arts

A Magical Journey through Hogwarts Legacy

Step into the world of the Harry Potter Wizarding World with Hogwarts Legacy, an enchanting game that delves into the intricate lore of this beloved franchise. From hidden details about iconic locations to the captivating stories behind each spell, this game does justice to the magical universe we know and love.

But of course, no game is without its flaws. With such an expansive universe to explore, it’s only natural that Hogwarts Legacy may have missed the mark on certain aspects of the lore. One particular area where it falls short is the portrayal of the Dark Arts. The severity and heinous nature of these forbidden magic practices, which are emphasized in the books and movies, are somewhat diminished in the game. While it may seem fun at first, this decision ultimately hampers the game’s narrative.

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The Flip Side of the Dark Arts

Hogwarts Legacy initially handles the Dark Arts with great care. As players befriend Sebastian Sallow, they begin to unravel the concept of these forbidden magics. Sebastian, driven by the desire to cure his sister, seeks out Salazar Slytherin’s Scriptorium, believed to be hidden in the dungeons of Hogwarts Castle. While Sebastian understands the danger of using the Dark Arts, he treads carefully, aware of the societal condemnation they carry.

This introduction to the world of Dark Arts is near-perfect. Even those unfamiliar with the Harry Potter stories can sense the foreboding surrounding this quest. The gravity of the Dark Arts is further conveyed in the initial mission itself. Players, along with Sebastian, navigate through eerie catacombs, faced with the decision to either use the Cruciatus curse on Sebastian or let him use it on them. It’s a moment that truly captures the severity of Dark Arts.

Unfortunately, things take a turn towards the trivial as the game progresses. In subsequent missions with Sebastian, players learn the Imperio spell, but face no real consequences for using it. While Sebastian’s uncle condemns his actions, the player remains unpunished. This trend continues into the final mission with Sebastian, where he kills his uncle using Avada Kedavra and teaches the player the spell with surprising nonchalance. While this action lands Sebastian in hot water with the Ministry and Hogwarts, the player can now use Avada Kedavra and other Dark Arts spells without any consequences.

On one hand, the ability to wield all three Unforgivable Curses during combat offers players a thrilling power trip in the game’s later stages. On the other hand, it detracts from the immersive atmosphere that Hogwarts Legacy otherwise excels at creating. The Unforgivable Curses are named as such for a reason, and the lack of consequences for using them goes against the narrative flow. It transforms Hogwarts Legacy into more of a sandbox game rather than the immersive fan experience it initially promised.

Hogwarts Legacy is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, with a Switch release scheduled for November 14, 2023.

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