Warner Bros.” big Harry Potter game is just around the corner and it is continues to sound very weird in some very specific ways. According to a new developer interview, Hogwarts legacy will not judge you if you want to commit some crimes, whether that be blowing people up or going full-on voldemort and deploying a bevy of unforgivable curses.
A number of previews for the game were released today ahead of its February 10 launch, and one om GamesRadar discussed the amorality of the game at length. Editor-in-Chief Sam Loveridge described a section of the game where you can choose to defeat dragon poachers via stealth or outright assault, one where she accidentally launched an explosive barrel into the enemy camp and blew them up along with a nearby bridge. However, this conventional “play it your way” approach will apparently have little effect.
“It was important to us to give players who wanted to become a dark witch or wizard the opportunity to do so,” says lead designer Kelly Murphy. told GamesRadar. “This is the ultimate epitome of role play; allowing the player to be evil. Plus, this was important because it comes from a place of non-judgment by the creators of the game. If you want to be bad, be bad.”
This even extends to the game’s unforgivable curses, which in the strict morality system of the Harry Potter books warrant life sentences. The few times the titular hero uses them, it is generally portrayed as a last resort and a violation of ethical boundaries. Apparently that was too puritanical for that Hogwarts legacy.
“Characters will react visually and audibly to seeing the player cast an Unforgivable, but we don’t have a morality system that punishes them for doing so – this would be too judgmental on the part of the game maker,” Murphy said. GamesRadar. “But if the player continues these actions, the world will return its knowledge.”
I’ll be the first to admit that morale meters in games can be unimaginative and a real drag. But having clear consequences for the choices you make, such as blowing up poachers or killing a goblin, seems like the bare minimum for a player fantasy centered on attending a school to become a powerful wizard.
It’s also hard not to see parallels between the game’s stated injudiciousness and the greater controversy environment Hogwarts legacy‘s connection to transphobic author JK Rowling. Like many others who howl like a wolf about canceling culture, she embodies the contradiction of someone who wants to promote worthless views without any consequences.
Publisher Warner Bros. and studio Avalanche Software have tried that take distance from the ethical debate around buying or boycotting the game. It sounds like that cowardice could seep through Hogwarts legacybuilding the world too. We’ll know better when the game finally comes out in a few weeks.