Hogwarts Legacy wants to let you be a dark witch or wizard

Hogwarts Legacy
(Image credit: Warner Bros Games. Interactive)

Magical RPG Hogwarts Legacy will give you the chance to use Unforgivable Curses against others, but the consequences could be severe.

"Giving the player the option to use Unforgivable Curses was a decision not made lightly," narrative director Moira Squier told GamesRadar+ in an interview ahead of our Hogwarts Legacy preview. "We knew that many players have always wanted to play as Dark witches and wizards, and this option allows them to do so."

The sprawling open-world adventure is one of the most long-anticipated new games 2023, throwing open the doors of the famous wizarding school and allowing us to create our own characters to explore it. Quidditch is off the table, but according to the developers, we will get the chance to experience the Dark Arts for ourselves – at the cost of our magical reputations.

In the Potterverse, the Unforgivable Curses constitute three brutal spells that give the caster dominion over their victim. Crucio is used to torment, Imperio to manipulate their bodies, and finally Avada Kedavra to finish them off for good.

The unfogivable curses

Hogwarts Legacy spells

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Check out the unforgivable curses and other Hogwarts Legacy Spells you can use in our guide to the game's magic. 

Lead designer Kelly Rowland expanded upon how casting these spells might affect our character's standing in the eyes of their classmates. "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." But before you make plans to murder your friends, Squier warns that there are limitations in place. "The spells are not learned in school, and the player very specifically chooses whether or not to learn them.

"We think we have struck a good balance between allowing those players that want to go a little bit Darker in their magic to do so, and adhering to the lore of the wizarding world which does not take the use of such spells lightly," Squier confirmed.

Judgement from your peers aside, Murphy described the element of choice as integral to Hogwarts Legacy. "This is because it is the ultimate embodiment of role-playing; allowing the player to be evil," she said. "Additionally, this was important because it comes from a place of non-judgement by the game creators. If you want to be evil, be evil."

Although she is not involved in the development of Hogwarts Legacy, GamesRadar+ acknowledges the role of J.K. Rowling in the creation of the Wizarding World, as well as her publicly-stated, harmful views regarding the rights of transgender people. If you'd like to offer your support to the communities affected by Rowling's rhetoric, consider donating to the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, or Mermaids in the UK.

Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.