New Hogwarts Legacy Gameplay Highlights Flight, Customization, and Murder

A new gameplay showcase has highlighted a number of new features in Hogwarts Legacy, including flying around the castle, customizing the Room of Requirement, and murdering other people with the killing curse.

The first segment of gameplay shows the extent of flight on both a broom and a hippogriff, which can be used to travel outside of Hogwarts to other villages and places where quests might be available.

We also see the seasons change during this section. Later in the showcase, we get an in-depth look at the customization of gear, magical creatures, and the Room of Requirement, a space that can be customized through conjuration spells obtainable through gameplay.

But maybe the wildest part of the showcase for those keenly aware of the Harry Potter franchise is a middle segment where the player travels to the Dark Arts Battle Arena. In this section, we see the player – who is a student at Hogwarts and thus a teenage child still – immediately perform the Avada Kedavra killing curse and straight up murder a man. The trailer continues with them using a number of combat spells to damage and eventually defeat (kill?) a number of other enemies, including goblins labeled “Loyalist Warriors.”

It’s obviously not unusual for a game to feature combat or even teenage protagonists engaging in it – plenty of games do. But it is a bit of a strange move given the game’s basis in a book series that largely treated combat as a last resort and focused most of its attention on day-to-day school life and magical antics. Combat, murder, and torture in those books were almost entirely the province of its villains, with combat used as a last resort and the “Unforgiveable Curses” as, well, unforgivable.

It’s especially bizarre to see the killing curse used so casually given the hefty weight it was given in the books – though it’s not unexpected after a past trailer revealed players could choose to use the literal torture curse on other students as well.

Hogwarts Legacy has already been controversial since its announcement due to ongoing transphobic comments made by Harry Potter author JK Rowling. While Rowling is not involved with the game according to studio leadership, Avalanche has also said that “she’s entitled to express her personal opinion” and the game remains based on her original universe and IP, and Rowling continues to earn royalties.

Hogwarts Legacy launches on February 10, 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC. It was recently delayed to April 4 on PS4 and Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch version is coming on July 25.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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