Review: Persona 5

“Persona 5” is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It is the newest installment to the Persona series, taking its place as the sixth game chronologically. Initially set to be released during the winter of 2014, the game was frequently delayed until it finally came out on April 4. Photo Fair Use of


Seven years after the release of “Persona 4,” Atlus finally released the strikingly stylish “Persona 5,” and it certainly did not disappoint.

It took Atlus eight years and four spinoffs to finally stop harping on the success of “Persona 4,” and even that was still not enough to prepare fans for the exhilarating new sequel to the Persona franchise, “Persona 5” — even with the three years of suspenseful delay after delay.

“Persona 5,” originally announced for release in the winter of 2014 for the PlayStation 3 before being repeatedly delayed until its release on April 4 on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, combined some of the most well-known features of “Persona 3” and “Persona 4.” The two games were fused into something entirely new and stylish, all the while maintaining a few traits from before.

In “Persona 5,” the user plays the role of a nameable protagonist who has moved to Yongen-Jaya to serve out his probation sentence that he had received after being framed for assault. After awakening to a persona and discovering a second world called the Metaverse that contains places called Palaces, locations borne from the warped desires of a distorted person, the protagonist forms a group with his friends called the Phantom Thieves.

Using their personas, the Phantom Thieves infiltrate Palaces and “steal the hearts” of these crooked people, thereby having them realize their guilt and confess their crimes. The player also keeps in track of their social life and social stats through confidants and other tasks.

The execution of the game was absolutely brilliant. It’s a linear game that is half visual novel as it is actual gameplay, so it may not be for everyone, but the storyline is interesting enough to keep the player going despite the long periods of time without actually playing. Furthermore, certain word choices and actions that can be picked determine the ending, so paying attention is important regardless.

Not to mention the game’s aesthetic is absolutely phenomenal. The animation in the menu and shop screens is mesmerizing, as well as the all-out attack sequences, the battle menu and so much more. The attention to detail is such a mind-blowing feast for the eyes.

Furthermore, when “Persona 5” carried on traits from the previous games, it spared the best or most notable parts and revamped them. An example is the social link system of “Persona 3” and “Persona 4,” which previously only benefited the player through extra experience points for a specific Arcana when fusing personas. In “Persona 5,” social links have been improved to confidants — the extra experience aspect stays, but the player also gains new special abilities for each confidant rank as well, thereby making that game mechanic more critical to the actual gameplay than before.

Overall, “Persona 5” is an incredibly fun game that did not betray the expectations left behind by “Persona 4.” Its story is enough to keep users at the edge of their seats, and the gameplay far outmatches its predecessors. That leaves one question — if “Persona 4” was popular enough to earn four spinoffs, how many spinoffs will “Persona 5” gain?

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