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The Switch version of Hogwarts Legacy no longer has a seamless open world, according to a new comparison video.
After numerous delays, the game is finally released on Switch today, and Mark Walker of YouTube channel SwitchUp has posted a video showing how it compares to other versions.
While the Switch version is clearly less visually detailed than on other, more powerful platforms, Walker says the game “could have been far worse” and that on handheld in particular the game “is running reasonably well”.
However, Walker then goes on to point out what he calls “a huge flaw” with the Switch version, which is the loss of a seamless open world.
On the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC versions of the game, the player can start inside Hogwarts, walk outside, walk all the way to Hogsmeade and enter a shop in one seamless journey without any loading times.
However, Walker demonstrates that on Switch, when the player enters Hogsmeade they have to sit through a load screen lasting between 30 and 50 seconds.
He then points out that whereas other versions allow you to walk into shops directly from the street in Hogsmeade, on Switch another load screen comes up.
“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,” Walker says. “That unfortunately is no longer the case.
“When you reach the door you’ll be greed 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.”
Walker notes that “none of these things are deal breakers for most people, but as far as gameplay goes, having to load between every single shop in a town that has about 10-15 buildings, it certainly does impact the flow”.
He also notes that players who have never tried the game on other formats may be more tolerant of the loading screens, because they “wouldn’t know any different”, and that overall “being able to play the game on the Nintendo Switch in the first place is kind of mind-blowing”.
Hogwarts Legacy was comfortably Europe’s best-selling game in the first half of 2023, selling over 12 million copies in the first two weeks following its PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC release on February 10.
Hogwarts Legacy’s release came amid significant controversy surrounding book author JK Rowling’s publicly-stated views on transgender rights.
Despite performing well, the game was boycotted by some Harry Potter fans due to public comments from Rowling perceived by many to be transphobic (for a full breakdown of the situation, we recommend this article by Glamour).