Hogwarts Legacy, the open world RPG set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, finally launched on Nintendo Switch yesterday after a very long wait. As expected, the shortcomings of the Switch’s dated hardware led to developer Avalanche making some serious cutbacks to the visuals, performance and traversal of its open world. The Switch version, according to a new analysis, doesn’t actually have a seamless open world.
The YouTube channel SwitchUp recently presented a deep dive into the Nintendo Switch port of Hogwarts Legacy and detailed what players can expect from a technical and gameplay perspective. On the plus side, the game seems to run at a mostly steady 30FPS and unsurprisingly runs much better in handheld mode. Unfortunately, the visuals have taken a knock as a result of the Switch’s hardware limitations, with some muddy textures and far less impressive lighting on display.
Most troubling of all, though, is the scaled back open world traversal. SwitchUp notes that instead of Hogwarts castle and the surrounding areas offering a seamless open world for players to explore, the areas are divided into sections with long loading times (around 30-50 seconds) while transitioning. Walking into Hogsmeade village, for example, is seamless on other platforms but it’s accompanied by a loading screen on the Switch version. This also applies to every shop you enter and exit, which also has long loading screens.
Mark Walker from SwitchUp notes:
“One of the most appealing things for me when I first played the game [on PC] was just being able to look into shops and walk in through the door. That unfortunately is no longer the case. When you reach the door you’ll be greeted with the option of loading in [via button prompt], then you’ll have to wait – you guessed it – 30 to 50 seconds to load that interior.”
This problem extends to every village or small town you enter in the open world of Hogwarts Legacy, including Hogwarts itself which has loading screens between certain areas of the castle. If the Nintendo Switch wasn’t already showing its age with the notorious port of Mortal Kombat 1, it’s certainly at the forefront of conversations now.
In other news, Hogwarts Legacy was nowhere to be seen on the nominees list for The Game Awards this year. After becoming one of the most sold games of 2023 along with great critical reception, fans were left stumped as to why it didn’t get a mention at the upcoming awards show.
Hogwarts Legacy is now available for Nintendo Switch. It’s also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.