So, I had an idea. Wait, why are you running? I know it may be a little dangerous when I get those, but this is a good one, I swear. So reserve your “what the hell is this guy talking about” until I make my case.
I really like Harry Potter. I, like many people, fell in love with the magic world that the series takes place in. I also love Persona to death. No, I won’t rant about that, even though I would desperately like to.
So, I have different interests, why should they be mixed together? Well, there was a Harry Potter game back on mobile, of all platforms called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. This game was surprisingly good.
It wasn’t great. It ended up having quite a few annoying gimmicks mobile games have, but it did quite a few things right. The main one being that you yourself were the wizard or witch attending Hogwarts. You were able to have your own experience in this magical world, not reliving another’s.
This was an amazing idea, and this game did it quite well. You could interact with your friends when you liked, learn spells as you wanted. You could take it at your own pace and savor your journey. It was a great concept, even if its mobile traits caused it to lack in many departments.
I always thought that a more fleshed out, less mobile version of this game would be great and would have a lot of potential. So when I heard we were getting just that with Hogwarts Legacy, an open-world RPG coming out sometime in the next few years, I was thrilled.
Basically, nothing is known about this game. Very little has been shown. We just know that you’ll be able to build your own wizard or witch, it’s coming out sometime next year, likely, and it will be an open-world RPG made by the same developers who made the mobile game I mentioned.
That makes me very hopeful because Portkey Games managed to make something quite good with what they had. I was impressed. So giving them free rein to scale that up into something bigger has me more exciting than I have been for a game in quite a while.
But I’ve been scarred too many times in life that I now keep my expectations lower. I’ll wait until the game comes out. But I do hope they look at one other game series that I think would complement it well. You guessed it! It’s Persona.
I’m specifically talking about 3-5. The modern games. They’re the ones that could help this new game. But you’re probably wondering how a story about child wizards and witches going to magic school could benefit from teenage anime demon tamers with the power of friendship of their side. I guess they’re not too far off, oddly enough.
See, what’s best about an open-world game is that you’re allowed to go at your own pace. I always love having the freedom of being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s, well, freeing, and it’s why so many people love the genre.
But in Hogwarts Legacy, it would have to work a little differently. The game would be about the young witch or wizard attending magic school. They would have student duties and need some sense of progressing throughout the years if the mobile game is to be believed.
It may be hard to have an open-world feel with restrictions like that. Still, I think they’ll be able to manage it, but I don’t want them to disregard the whole school life aspect to do it. It’s a huge part of the series. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you Harry Potter is a series about magic school, not just magic.
The big part I liked about the mobile game was how it let you live your school life. There were different quests, different people to hang out with, you could attend the classes you want. It even had a sense of progression as you grew up. I don’t want the new game to lose this feel.
So I think they should learn from the series that handles school life, perhaps in one of the best ways, Persona. Here’s my pitch, Portkey Games, the company that will never read this, but I will yell into the void anyway! Make a Persona-style open-world Harry Potter game!
Yes, it sounds weird, but yes, it would work. My proposal is something like this, have the game start on your first year at Hogwarts and let it take place all the way to your final year. Have each year consist of either one long month or preferably one for each season.
Within those seasons, you can do whatever you want on any given day. You can explore, grind, do quests or whatever. But each time specific actions are taken, like learning a new spell or spending time with a friend, time advances. To push you forward, have at least one important story mission every month like Persona generally does.
While Persona isn’t open-world, it gives the player the freedom to explore and do what they want, just with a time constraint. This formula would work wonderfully for Hogwarts Legacy. If they did it right, the game would have insane replay value as well.
Say one day, you want to hang out with your favorite character, but the next you want to learn one of a handful of spells, you could do that too. Maybe you want to bring a friend to study or adventure with you. Doing it builds your relationship and makes whatever spell you study more powerful.
There’s so much potential here. There are so many things to do and interact with in the magical world. They could easily fill the whole 7 years with stuff. Kind of like they’re going to do on mobile eventually. It may take away a bit of the open-world aspect, but it would be supplemented by other stuff to make up for it.
The appeal of open-world is the freedom. By having things advance year by year, you would have certain time restraints for some quests that could damage that same sense of freedom. But that’s not at all unusual for open-world games. Many games in the genre lock various things after story missions are complete. This would do the same, but it would be a bit more obvious when they would become unavailable.
You could still explore maps whenever you want, grind if you want. None of that would be taken from you. It would be as if the game was divided into little open-world sections, each with new quests, some new locations that unlock. It wouldn’t be hard to strike a good balance.
I think if they completely go open-world and make Witcher Potter 3, it would be missing what makes the series what it is. It’s about growing up in a magical world and learning how to use and adapt to those powers. It’s as much about growing as a person as growing into a wizard or witch.
By taking away that time and growth aspect of it, I fear the game would turn into a generic open-world experience with a Harry Potter skin. I want them to just go wild with it. Persona, while not exactly being open-world, manages to give the player similar freedom while also keeping the player on a deep story-driven path.
I think Hogwarts Legacy should strive for this pacing. Striking the perfect balance between story, exploration, and quests. Like Persona does. I promise this idea isn’t solely because I want another Persona-style game. It would actually be a great idea. At least, I think so.
This was just a little rant I had I wanted to get off my chest. I’ve been beyond excited for this game for a long time now. I’m just really worried it will be a big letdown. I desperately hope they run with it. I want it to live up to its potential.
Thank you very much for reading
Do you think I’m insane, or is this actually untapped potential? Well, one of those things is definitely true, but I refuse to say which.