The new Hogwarts Legacy gameplay emphasizes 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 flying on both a broomstick and a hippogriff, which can be used to travel outside of Hogwarts to other villages and locations where quests may be available.

We also see that the seasons change in this section. Later in the showcase, we get a detailed look at gear customization, magical creatures, and the Room of Requirement, a room that can be customized through summoning spells obtainable in-game.

But perhaps the wildest part of the showcase for those keenly aware of the Harry Potter franchise is a middle segment where the player journeys into the Dark Arts Battle Arena. In this section we see the player – who is a student at Hogwarts and therefore still a teenager – immediately perform the Avada Kedavra Killing Curse and murder a man straight away. The trailer continues with them using a variety of combat spells to damage and eventually defeat (kill?) a variety of other enemies, including goblins dubbed Loyalist Warriors.

It’s obviously not uncommon for a game to feature combat or even teenage protagonists – many games do. But it’s a bit strange considering the game is based on a book series that largely treated combat as a last resort, focusing most of its attention on everyday school life and magical antics. Combat, murder and torture were almost exclusively the domain of their villains in these books, with combat serving as a last resort and the “unforgivable curses” being equally unforgivable.

It’s particularly bizarre to see the Killing Curse being used so casually given the heavy weight given to it in the books – although it’s not unexpected after a previous trailer revealed players are using the Literal Torture Curse on other students as well could.

Hogwarts Legacy has been controversial since its announcement due to persistent transphobic comments from Harry Potter author JK Rowling. While Rowling is not involved in the game, according to studio leadership, Avalanche has also said that “she is entitled to express her personal opinions” and that the game will continue to be based on her original universe and IP, and Rowling will continue to earn royalties.

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

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

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