Persona 5 Review – A Perfectly Realized Teenage Simulation
At one point or another, we all wanted to change someone’s mind and Persona 5’s story revolves around the same idea. Within the first 10 minutes or so you will understand the tone of the game, there is no procrastination.
The overall game takes about 100 hours to complete and do everything. It is a phycological and a subversive social experience with amazingly stylish visuals. Persona 5 successfully delivers an experience worth your time and money.
Persona 5 Review
When was the last time we played Persona? The last game released over a decade ago on PlayStation 3. The long wait has been painful and frustrating for the community despite the release of spin-offs from Atlus.
Before playing Persona 5 you need to rid of any preconceptions you may have about the game.
The main story is not connected to the past games, there little to no connection, so newcomers to the series won’t feel lost. You can jump right in and enjoy Persona 5. The wild and wooly world of Persona 5 will not waste any time throwing you in the middle of all things Supernatural.
The opening scene is dramatic, set on some chandeliers hanging above a casino, the lead character being chased by guards who then morph into their true monster form. During combat there is a seamless transition to turn-based, incredibly done.
Compared to Persona 4, the opening scene is more engaging, gripping, and perfectly sets the tone for coming events. After the intense opening, the game does slow itself down to introduce the cast. You never feel like the game is rushing past its characters and you don’t have time to really indulge in the story of Persona 5.
The basic set-up of all Persona games is pretty much the same. You play the role of a high school student relocating to the new school, in Tokyo in this case. The lead character is on probation after trying to help a woman who was under attack by a stalker.
Unlike most role-playing games, Persona 5’s world is more accurate in terms of representation of the real world. Tokyo is painstakingly digitalised in Persona 5 and it is one of the best in-game version of the city I have seen.
The lead character is an outsider but he will make friends that are more in line with his nature, other outsiders you would say. This way the story is more traditional and typical but it never feels like drag, not a dull moment indeed. One of the issues with Persona 4 was that it took a while to get going. However, that issue is not the problem for Persona 5.
Right off the bat, the game teaches you all the story and gameplay basics. Previous games mostly relied on random dungeons but they are hand-crafted in Persona 5.
The main story is more ambitious than its predecessor. Story is delivered via flashbacks, cutaways, and stories within stories. The concept is far more dynamic and interesting.
Characters are young, have issues with self-confidence and rising sexual desires. The main theme is challenging social norms and authoritarianism.
Such a serious topic could have fallen victim to shallow treatment but developers delivered. Instead of merely exploiting such issues for marketing purposes or using it for window dressing, Persona 5 lingers on each scenario and does justice to every story arc and situation.
Intimate details of every character and its issues are explored, their stories are beautifully crafted. Different minor but details stories come together pull forward the main plot of Persona 5.
The plot constantly escalates but still, it feels personal at every level. The darker side of things revolves around the villains of the game. Such characters are mostly humans with dark desires and it is your job to keep these desires at bay to save specific characters.
Persona 5 replaces Midnight Channel with Metaverse.
Anyone who has a dark desire has his own mental Metaverse. Players will spend most of their time in Metaverse where they will explore fight, and tame the darkness within a human mind. “Palaces,” as they are called in the game, take shape depending on the twisted mind of the person.
Exploration within these worlds is regulated by a talking cat named Morgana. After spending some time in Metaverse, Joker and his party will form the Phantom Thieves.
The party will hunt down criminals the police has failed to capture and while doing so they will also grab the treasure inside each villain’s mind.
Taking the treasure will result in the villain having a change of heart. They will usually be filled with overwhelming guilt. This result somehow feels more satisfying compared to the more traditional way of dealing with the bad guys.
Social reform is a strong message sent by the developer and by the end of it all it does leave an impact on the way you think.
Persona 5 is a massive game and getting to end will require the use of every tool you have at your disposal. Inventory management and making sure you have enough mana items. Stealth is also a major part of gameplay with sits well with the heist aesthetic. Moving from cover to cover, dodging and ambushing enemies is a whole lot of fun.
If you are spotted by an any before you engage, you will end up raising the overall awareness level of the Palace. Alert levels are tied to the overall difficulty level of the Palace. High alert level means more difficult combat.
To sum it up, every element of Persona beautifully comes together create something really special. It is without a doubt a game of the year contender in my books.