Persona 4 is often considered one of the greatest JRPGS of all time, constantly praised by passionate fans and critics alike since its debut release back on PS2. The dark yet relatable adventure set a new benchmark with its wonderful characters and immersive dungeon exploration. Now, after years of waiting, it's almost time for Persona 5.
Persona 5 at a glance
Persona 5 release date: April 4, 2017
Platforms: PS4, PS3
Latest News: Velvet Room trailer
Atlus and Deep Silver have released a new trailer showcasing Persona 5's rendition of the iconic Velvet Room. Here is where players will go to fuse personas and enhance certain abilities throughout the game. Check out the trailer below:
What is Persona 5?
Persona 5 is a Japanese role-playing title set in modern day Tokyo, Japan. By day, you’re an ordinary high school student attending classes and forming relationships with your friends. By night, you descend into a mysterious underworld known as “The Palace.”
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Persona 5 Release Date - When is it coming out?
Persona 5 is out now in Japan, making the wait for an English version all the more agonizing. Impressively, it has also sold well over 500,000 copies across PS4 and PS3, mkaing it one of Japan's best-selling titles of 2016.
The game will release in the US and Europe on April 4, 2017 after being delayed for what we pray is the final time.
Atlus announced the US release date alongside the "Take Your Heart Collector's Edition," which you can check out below:
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This version will retail for $89.99/£74.99.
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Persona 5 Characters - Who do you play as?
The game will feature five main characters known as “The Phantom Thieves of Hearts.” In typical JRPG fashion, they’re all troubled high school students.
Protagonist - The nameless, silent leader of The Phantom Thieves, you play as a young student who transfers to Shujin High School in Tokyo, Japan. While mild-mannered at first, your persona quickly shifts to one of chaos and disorder as you don the “Phantom Thief” disguise.
Ryuji Sakamoto - Defined by his unpredictable personality and “problem child” reputation, Ryuji soon becomes one of your closest friends. The origin of his bad behaviour is currently unknown, likely influenced by a dark presence in the underworld.
Ann Takamaki - A girl of Japanese and American descent, Ann is often ridiculed because of her unusual appearance. This leads to her relationship with the protagonist and Ryuji, who are also considered outsiders. Unusual rumours about her are circulating around the school, but whether or not they’re true remains unknown.
Yusuke Kitagawa - Yet another member of The Phantom Thieves, Yusuke is a withdrawn art student enrolled at Kosei Public High School. We know little about him so far, other than his serious talent for painting and sharp fashion sense.
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Morgana - Her true identity unknown, Morgana is a small, unusual feline creature often seen with the protagonist and friends. Her role in the game is still unclear, but she’ll likely help with transporting you to the underworld and exploring the game’s dungeons.
Futaba Sakura - A gifted computer programmer, Futaba finds herself unable to socialise with other students after a mysterious incident. It seems she will be able to assist The Phantom Thieves in battle as they explore treacherous dungeons.
Haru Okumura - Haru is a third-year student at Syujin High school. Raised by an elegant family, her extravagant tastes are reflected in her cutesy style and personality. Once joining the party she is known as 'The Beauty Thief' because of her regal appearance.
Makoto Niijima - The student council president with a powerful sense of independence and justice. Wearing a daunting iron mask, Makoto wields a mixture of revolvers and knuckle dusters in combat alongside Johanna, her equally badass persona.
Goro Akechi - This third year is a renowned detective right at the centre of The Phantom Thieve's case, possessing futuristic ray guns and laser swords in combat, complimented by his stylish red mask and rogueish cape. His persona is inspired by the one and only Robin Hood, reflecting his own personality.
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Atlus has confirmed that Igor, the mysterious occupant of The Velvet Room, will be making a return. He will be on hand once again to help you fuse and upgrade Personas. You can also expect plenty of supporting characters dotted across the environment happy to converse and do combat with the player.
Persona 5 Gameplay - How does it play?
The turn-based battles, exploration and social elements from previous games are returning with significant new features and improvements. Just like previous games, Persona 5 will take place across an entire school year, giving you oppurtunities to make friends, pass classes and pursue social links with specific characters.
You live in the attic of Cafe Le Blanc, located closely to a slew of locations in the Greater Tokyo Area by walking and using the subway system. In your spare time you can play games, take part time jobs and meet up with friends. Maybe even go on a date? Persona 5 is positively jam-packed with fun side activities that are fun in themselves, but can also increase your maximum HP and SP.
Dungeons will now be specially curated with unique platforming, stealth and combat sections to fit each scenario. Atlus has also confirmed that there will be new ways of obtaining Personas, although this has not been detailed as of yet. Interacting and forming relationships with different characters has always been a highlight of the Persona franchise, and the fifth installment is making this mechanic better than ever.
As seen in the PV03 trailer, a new SNS messaging system will let you communicate with characters outside of the school and dungeons. This should make building relationships far more dynamic and genuine, especially if romantic relationships are part of the equation. The Confidant System replaces the Social Links from previous games, which involved growing relationships with your friends to gain benefits in and outside of batle.
The battle system maintains the same turn-based framework as previous games, except now you engage with enemies using both melee and ranged weapons, instead of just one weapon type. We expect each character will be equipped with one unique weapon and a customisable firearm, doubling as the summoning tool for their persona.
As is usually the case, Persona 5 allows us to kit out our group of lovable characters with a range of quirky outfits and deadly weapons. The addition of ranged weapons guarantees that character customization will be more in-depth than previous entries.
Persona 5 Story - What’s it about?
The story of Persona 5 will explore the nature of modern society and how our people find themselves oppressed by the rules placed upon them. Persona 5’s narrative will be driven by its characters and the problems they must overcome, both personally, and as phantom thieves.
By working together wtih your friends you must explore a mysterious place know as 'The Palace'. This place represents the distorted minds of adults in the real world. It seems Persona 5 focuses heavily on the youth of Japan, reflecting on the pressure they feel in the wider world.
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To save them you must steal special treasure to reform their distored minds, hence your moniker as The Phantom Thieves. There is a greater evil at work which remains to be discovered, and it's your job to stop it.
You will also form your own unique stories with the characters you interact with and locations you visit. In previous games, major sections could only be discovered with repeat playthroughs such as after school clubs and secretive boss encounters.
We’ll be sure to update this article with any new information we come across. For now, we’ll just play Persona 4 Golden.