As fans prepare themselves for Hogwarts Legacy in February, there are a number of choices they will have to make either when they start the game or in the meantime as they wait for its release. One of the first decisions fans must make is which Hogwarts house they will sort themselves into: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff. Because players will choose their house themselves, however, it is a simple expression that many Harry Potter fans may have considered already. Players can choose their house for any number of reasons, but that choice is ultimately theirs.
Because the Sorting Hat traditionally selects students’ houses for them, Hogwarts Legacy is giving players an interesting customization choice in letting them forgo the hat’s recommended house assignment. This is clearly an option for players to personalize their experience however they would like, and not leaving it up to chance is likely what fans want if they already have a desired house in mind. That said, Hogwarts Legacy’s reprisal of the Sorting Hat could have been much more intriguing and add more replayability if the sentient headwear chose the player’s house for them entirely.
Hogwarts Legacy’s Sorting Hat Could Have Introduced Fun RNG
Hogwarts Legacy’s Sorting Hat still does technically place the player into their Hogwarts house, but the player is able to choose the house themselves. Thus, the decision is not the hat’s to make. Instead, if it was up to the hat, Hogwarts Legacy could introduce RNG to its house selection in a way that would be completely immersive to the traditional Harry Potter experience. In this circumstance, the Sorting Hat would randomly choose one of the four Hogwarts houses for players.
Then, similar to how Harry explicitly asks not to be in Slytherin, players could be given a mulligan and have the hat randomly select one of the other three houses if players do not like its first recommendation. The only issues with this RNG system would be if players are allotted the same house in multiple playthroughs, making it difficult to be assigned a house players have not experienced since it would be random.
To counter this, perhaps Hogwarts Legacy could open up the option of player choice for New Game+ once they have played through the game already. Still, having the Sorting Hat choose could aid fans in deciding which house to be in if they themselves have difficulty deciding. That is the greatest opportunity of replayability, where fans can enjoy four playthroughs to live out their Hogwarts experience in different houses each time.
Hogwarts Legacy’s Player Choice is Still a Great Option
RNG may be too questionable in its design for these reasons, and while it would still make for a fun experience, there is likely a reason why Hogwarts Legacy decided to simply give that choice to players. Players will be able to make the experience their own with Hogwarts Legacy‘s full protagonist customization and wand selection, for example, and it makes sense to extend that player choice to Hogwarts houses as well.
Most importantly, this choice is given to players outright. Having this choice is a boon for purist fans who want to have a particular experience with a house that they either think expresses themselves or allows them to roleplay as someone else. Players may choose to avoid certain houses based on the critical stereotypes that have been assigned to them throughout the Harry Potter franchise’s history, such as Slytherin housing bigoted and cruel students. Of course, the player’s own house selection is obviously no indication of them possessing these qualities, but it makes the player’s choice more interesting.
Players may select Slytherin or any other house for whichever reason, whether it is based purely upon its color scheme or if they have a preference for its unique Hogwarts Legacy dormitory. Moreover, different houses could potentially lead to different endings, which would make the player’s choice feel even more unique and substantial. It is nonetheless a disappointment that the hat will not have the autonomy to choose the player’s house in a meaningful way.
Hogwarts Legacy releases February 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. A Switch version is also in development.