The latest Hogwarts Legacy gameplay showcase provided new information on many of the game's mechanics and systems, but it also seemed to suggest how combat could be on the easy side. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be the case, as the game was played by an expert player.
Speaking on the game's subreddit, Hogwarts Legacy Community Manager FinchStrife addressed some of the difficulty concerns, confirming that the gameplay showcase footage was played on normal difficulty by someone who has been playing the game dealy for a long time, making everything look easy. Some of the attacks used, such as the Unforgiveable Curses, have crowd-control effects that made the AI look dumb, but that won't be the case most of the time.
A few notes about the combat shown in Gameplay Showcase II.
Combat was on normal difficulty.
Andrew is a pro who has been playing this game essentially daily for a very long time. Trust me, he makes it look easy.
The Unforgiveable Curses inherently have some crowd control mechanics to them (AK causes a "fear" type of effect, you can see enemies cowering after it is cast; Crucio stuns and takes enemies out of the fight briefly; Imperio switches an enemy to your side, which removes an enemy and now divides the rest of the group's attention) and us having and using all three in this Showcase created some of that perceived "lull" in the AI behavior. Additionally Arresto Momentum had some enemies stopped up as well. Again, part of this is Andrew just being very good at controlling his surroundings and managing a combat encounter.
The Hogwarts Legacy Community Manager also talked about the footage of the Dark Arts Battle Arena, highlighting how powerful Curses aren't just handed out to players, as some time and effort have to be put into the game to learn them.
The Dark Arts Battle Arena hands you all three of the Curses to sample, but this isn't indicative of the availability of these spells throughout the game. They are optional, and they aren't doled out to the player immediately. For example, you can't just wander off and learn AK early on. Without saying too much, becoming that powerful should feel earned and come with the narrative weight to back choosing to learn and use those spells (as we expressed in the Sebastian Sallow's Dark Legacy trailer and the choice to learn/use Crucio).
Hogwarts Legacy launches on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S on February 10th, 2023. The game will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 4th and finally on Nintendo Switch on July 25th.