I just finished up my initial playthrough of Hogwarts Legacy in just over 35 hours, which included the entire main questline, nearly every side quest and a whole lot of exploring. 100% clearing the map would probably double my playtime, but instead, I wanted to start a new character, and see what I could do differently this time.
One of my complaints about Hogwarts Legacy is that it doesn’t seem enough like a true RPG where you’re choices matter or alternate playthroughs change much. I’m about to put that to the test with a new student in a new house with a new personality. Here is what I am changing the second time around, and what I’m already noticing. Spoilers for the game follow.
This Is An “Evil” Run – I am trying to do the opposite of my “good girl Slytherin” run where I was very nice to everyone at least usually tried to be a kind, good wizard. So now I am doing everything possible to run away from that sort of playthrough.
Hufflepuff – I thought the funniest house I could choose for an evil run would be Hufflepuff. As I’ve discussed in past pieces, there really is not all that much difference between the houses minus your colors and a singular main mission. In this case, half the reason I’m choosing Hufflepuff at all is to experience their unique Azkaban mission that no other houses have access to. But other than that, the game really should not change based on house selection much.
School Bully – Man when you pick the mean conversation options in this game you are just rude. It very much reminds me of Renegade Shepard in Mass Effect where you just come off like a total asshole. I am making essentially everyone in the school hate me. I solved a riddle and refused to tell the girl who told me about the puzzle how to do it so she stormed off. I found all this girl’s little ball toys and kept them from her until she called me just as bad as the bullies who hid them. I braved a deadly plant lair to bring a cowardly kid proof he was brave, except I didn’t give it to him and started making fun of him. And I am doing this as this tiny little blonde girl with this high pitched voice and she just comes across so savagely in these moments. It’s kind of hilarious.
Sebastian Vs Natty – In my first playthrough I picked Natty for things like my dueling partner or my Hogsmeade companion, now I’ve picked Sebastian. So far, nothing at all seems different here, only you get to hear a little more about their histories early. I don’t think it ultimately affects their quests.
Hard Difficulty – As we move into actual combat missions, I’m upping the difficulty to hard this time around now that I’m really familiar with gameplay. Right away I notice that the timing for Stupefy parry is way tighter. I think enemies are stronger in general as well. Some early segments have been genuinely tough, though at least some part of that is having access to so few spells.
Plant Life – I have been told that plants are OP in Hogwarts Legacy combat, especially the dual chomping cabbages upgrade which I did not invest in the first time around. So I plan to outfit my Room of Requirement to be a combat plant generating machine, and to pick all those upgrades this time.
Avada Kedavra – Even though I was doing a “good” Slytherin playthrough, I wanted to learn the Unforgivable Curses. But ultimately I chickened out. By the time I got to the end of Sebastian’s storyline, he had turned into a total psychopath, so I didn’t learn Avada Kedavra, only Crucio and Imperio. This time around I will learn it and side with Sebastian, and not report him. My guess is that you cannot change the grand scope of his storyline, only whether or not he gets in trouble for his actions, but we’ll see.
The Grand Finale – Thanks to Hogwarts Legacy spoiler slingers, I already know there’s no way to save Professor Fig, but I am going to pick an alternate ending where I choose to wield the power of Isidora’s pain magic rather than keep it sealed away and protected like I’m supposed to. Guessing this results in a few alternate moments at the end, but I’d be surprised if anything major changed in the post-game.
Speed Run – I’m doing all this fast. Less exploration, fewer side quests, more a straight march through the main plotline so I can see what actual differences there are. But even if I want to explore, I know a lot more puzzle solutions instantly now making everything go a lot quicker. And I can skip all repetitive cutscenes and dialogue interactions this time.
We’ll see how this goes.
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For any Harry Potter fan that has played the action role-playing video game “Hogwarts Legacy,” the opportunity to dive back into the magical world of Hogwarts and take on a whole new adventure is something that is not to be missed. For me, a new playthrough presents a few significant differences on how I tackle the game and ultimately affect the outcomes I get.
When I first began my playthrough, I was quite adventurous and did not stick to one particular path or decision. This led to me trying out everything the game had to offer, but it also meant that I could not take full advantage of the game’s storytelling and character development opportunities. For my second playthrough, I am making sure to pay more attention to the details and cut my losses if I make a mistake. This includes replaying certain segments in order to get the best outcome, as well as ensuring I get the best possible dialogue choices.
I am also changing my approach to the game’s combat system. When I first began playing, I was generally quite reckless and did not pay attention to the position of enemies or the urgency of the situation. For this playthrough, I have taken a much more considered approach to combat and have worked on predicting the enemy’s next moves, in order to come out victorious in every battle.
Finally, an element that I am adding to my second playthrough is the use of potions and spells. I found during my first playthrough that a lot of the challenge of the game disappeared when I used potions and spells as shortcuts in particularly difficult situations. This time around, I am challenging myself to instead use the more powerful spells and more complex potions only in certain situations, to ensure I do not become too over-reliant on them.
Overall, playing “Hogwarts Legacy” a second time has brought me a new level of appreciation for the game, and I am confident that I am going to have a much richer and engrossing experience this time around.