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Hogwarts Legacy release date, characters, story and trailer - What we know so far

Back in 2018, a Reddit user posted information about a Harry Potter RPG online, claiming he'd captured forbidden footage while taking part in a marketing survey group at a mall. Though the original Reddit post has since been removed, the news spurred a great deal of speculation about an upcoming title that never manifested. Though an open-world Harry Potter game in development was reportedly a major reason why AT&T decided not to sell Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the gaming division declined to address the leaks or acknowledge the title's existence.

During the Sept. 16 PS5 presentation, Portkey Games finally announced Hogwarts Legacy, an immersive, open-world RPG set in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. Fans will get to return to Hogwarts, but in a different time, as the game takes place in the 1800s. Some aspects of Harry's world will certainly pop up — the Forbidden Forest and its mythical inhabitants, for example, as well as Hogsmeade and the existence of dark wizards. However, the change in era will also allow developer Avalanche Software to incorporate a number of elements unique to the title. 

Here are the most important details revealed about Hogwarts Legacy thus far.

Does Hogwarts Legacy have a release date?

During the Sept. 16 presentation, Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will release on Nov. 12, 2020 for the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. Parts of Europe, including the U.K., will see it a week later. However, Hogwarts Legacy will not be a launch title for the system. 

The Hogwarts Legacy reveal trailer listed the launch window as 2021, while the 2018 leaks imply it's been in development for several years already. Bloomberg's Jason Schreier said to expect the game in the later part of the year. So, it may be several months before players can don those distinctive Hogwarts robes and enter the iconic school.

Schreier additionally reported that developers are concerned that the backlash against J.K. Rowling due to controversial comments made by the author might affect the game's financial outlook. It seems Rowling has not had much direct involvement with Hogwarts Legacy, which could influence the decisions of potential buyers.

Which characters are in Hogwarts Legacy?

In an open-world Harry Potter RPG, it seems almost certain you'll get to pick your house and explore the setting as a Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw. The Sorting Hat even makes a brief appearance in the reveal trailer. Essentially, Hogwarts Legacy promises to deliver what so many fans have wished for: a chance to live and play in the Wizarding World as a central part of the action. 

Don't expect to see too many familiar faces. Hogwarts Legacy, after all, takes place over a century before the events of Harry Potter. The headmaster will be different, as will the teachers. Hagrid, Tom Riddle, and Newt Scamander didn't exist at that time. Still, many of the magical creatures and locations certainly did, and some ghosts, such as Nearly Headless Nick, may be roaming about the castle.

"We are always asking ourselves how we can draw from the rich library of characters, creatures, and themes — and imagine how those details would influence the school more than a century before Harry Potter's arrival," said head of story Adrian Ropp in a blog post.

What is the story of Hogwarts Legacy?

According to the official Hogwarts Legacy website, the game will involve a "journey through familiar and new locations as you explore and discover fantastic beasts, customize your character and craft potions, master spell casting, upgrade talents, and become the wizard you want to be."

Players take on the role of a 19th century student who holds the key to a dangerous secret. After arriving at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, players discover they have the unique ability to master Ancient Magic. Apparently, they'll then be given the choice to protect that secret for the good of the Wizarding World, or take a darker road. 

Hogwarts Legacy allows players to make friends and obtain companions, battle enemies in combat, and take on missions that feature difficult choices. They will decide the future during a quest to discover a long hidden truth, which is where the "legacy" part of the title comes in to play.

Is there a trailer for Hogwarts Legacy?

According to the detailed Harry Potter lore created by Rowling, the Hogwarts Express did not start operation until about 1830.  That means the opening of the reveal trailer, which features a flying carriage full of suitcases and an owl, could be representative of one method students used to reach Hogwarts before that locomotive centralized transportation to the school from King's Cross station

The environments are certainly similar to those used in the Harry Potter movies, but don't appear exactly the same, so it seems Avalanche is putting its own mark on the spaces fans have come to know from the films. You can spot new and familiar creatures in the trailer, along with a Dark wizard wearing a skeletal mask. You even get a hint of how your classes are going to work as you learn to ride a broomstick, meet magical beings, and create new potions.

The reveal trailer makes it clear that Hogwarts Legacy players are in for a fun and occasionally harrowing experience.