A game of shadows
The Persona games of the past have been brilliant, and the latest installment, Persona 5, continues this trend. Its presentation is incredibly stylistic, gameplay is easy to understand, its characters relatable, and its storyline well-written. All these factors come together to make Persona 5 the best Persona title to date.
Like the previous two Persona titles, Persona is as much an RPG as it is a social simulator. You take on the role of a high-schooler who, along with his circle of friends, becomes entangled in various a airs that ultimately lead up to you ‘stealing the hearts’ of individuals for the better good. This is done by you gaining the ability to enter an alternate reality called the ‘Metaverse’.
The RPG aspect comes into play when you enter the Metaverse, which is basically an alternate reality created by the thoughts of individuals. It consists of ‘palaces’ that are the manifestations of these individuals’ incredibly strong desires and impressions. Throughout the game, you will get the chance to e plore a multitude of palaces, including a castle, a pyramid, and an art gallery, among others. Each palace has its own set of challenges and enemies, and the enemies are themselves the various personas that you can recruit.
Recruiting personas in this game is a bit more of a challenge compared to the previous titles. Without spoiling the game too much, you essentially need to convince the personas to join you by choosing the right dialog options based on their personalities. These dialog options will only appear if you manage to either e ploit their weaknesses, or (occasionally) once you’ve managed to drive their health low enough and back them into a corner.
Speaking of weaknesses, Persona veterans will be glad to know that Persona 5 retains many aspects of combat from the previous games, from the mechanism to the names of the skills. owever, there are new types of damage introduced, including gun, psi, and nuke damage. This makes the game more challenging, but is a welcome addition nonetheless.
True to life
Although the protagonist gains the ability to summon multiple personas, which makes him somewhat of a one-man-army, it’s impossible for him to take on an army of bad guys alone. Thankfully, he’s got his trusty group of friends to back him up. From the beautiful Ann to the peculiar Yusuke, each character brings a di erent set of skills to the table. As you go about on your adventure, these characters will be able to do more in combat, depending on how close you are to them. People you can become closer to in Persona 5 are called Con dants, and they aren’t limited to your group of friends. Every Con dant represents an arcana, and similar to previous Persona games, the higher your arcana level, the easier it is to create stronger personas during fusion. This brings us to the social simulator part of the game.
You get closer to a Con dant by spending more time with each and every one of them. Outside of combat in the Metaverse, you will have the chance to do things any normal Japanese high school teenager would do – get a part-time job, hang out at diners, enjoy a movie, and even go on dates. In Persona 5, the locations that you can visit for these activities are based on real-world locations, such as Ginza and Shibuya among others. Some of these locations are captured faithfully in the game, adding to the overall immersion of the game. What makes Persona 5 (and earlier
Persona titles) interesting, is that you have a set amount of time in the game. Time will pass based on what you decide to do in a day, which adds weight to every decision you make. It all comes down to how well you juggle between conquering dungeons, leveling up your Con dant links, and day-to-day tasks like studying for e ams and working out.
CONCLUSION JRPG lovers who have been looking for something to sink their teeth into after Final Fantasy XV will not be disappointed with Persona 5.
In addition to exploring dungeons, you’ll also need to manage your social life.
In the Metaverse, your goal is to steal ‘treasures’ to instill a change of heart in people.