I would never expect a game such as this to be anything nearly as good as it actually is.
I would put it in a category of games such as Witcher, Mass Effect and Skyrim, but one level below these legendary games overall. Being a fan of Harry Potter universe helps a lot to enjoy this game..
Potentially heavy spoilers below.
- Great graphics overall.
- Cloth graphics and physics look great, relic robes look incredible.
- Hogwarts is a 1:1 replica of the movie set, you can see the effort put into it.
- The map overall is well designed and true open world.
- The plot overall is interesting enough.
- Soundtrack is good, not Skyrim or Witcher level good but I could recall at least 2 themes and that's an achievement.
- Combat is balanced and at times challenging.
- Niamh trial quest.
- Having a completely open world game and allowing you to fly almost anywhere is daring and it just works.
- Not really a fan of puzzles but accio trials are decent enough.
- The whole southern coast seems unnecessary. Also, giving you a powerful mount just before the game ends is kind of pointless.
- Merlin trials and gear slots are a complete bore fest and grind. Am I supposed to be enjoying that? Reduce the trials in half and I could accept it.
- Demiguise Statue quest.. ugh.
- Natsai quest line is uninspiring and fades in comparison with the Sebastian quest line.
- Anne story line is unresolved even though there are two big directions we could end up going. The relic plot line is completely derailed without being able to do anything about it and the option to use ancient magic is never explored even though it is hinted at heavily through the Isidora story. That could be a major decision left on the player but we are never given the opportunity. There is even a third way when we discover that Rookwood was responsible but nothing happens with his death.. the curse does not go away. You could be given a choice to not kill him or to torture him to release the curse etc.. I am just making things up in the heat of the moment but there are many options left on the table.
- Ancient magic trials are quite boring.
- About 10 hours too long.
- The whole room of requirement is quite an achievement but unless you are a die hard fan of the game the whole thing could be easily cut without much loss, perhaps a step too far.
- Rookwood and Harlow are not really built up as villains properly. They are impersonal and in some of the early missions we don't even encounter them (castle escape for example). Rookwood has a possibility of a redemption but we are never given the choice.
- Black does nothing all game except for being the designated idiot.
- Alohomora mini game is a complete waste of time. At least lockpicking in Skyrim requires some skill.
- Player's character has no backstory. All we know is that we are a very talented student and that's about it, we just drop out of the sky. No family background, no prior event recalls, nothing. In Mass Effect for example, you could pick your background and it would be recalled in conversation from time to time, making the character more real.
- Player's character has no personality, mostly because our dialog choices do not really matter and most choices are between neutral good to neutral evil. It would benefit from some Mass Effect level of choices and commander Shepard's sass level.
- No romance options. Movies and books are quite heavy on relationships and this is missing. It would only take a few extra dialog options and scenes.