Just before E3 2016, Atlus USA announced their plans to bring Persona 5 to the Americas on February 14, 2017. Currently a PlayStation exclusive, Persona 5 is scheduled to launch on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Series director and producer Katsura Hashino returns to the helm for Persona 5. Also returning to the series is artist Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro. Soejima’s character designs have been getting plenty of attention; the cute, mascot-like cat creature Morgana seems to be a fan favorite in a similar vein as Persona 4‘s Teddie.
At E3, Atlus U.S.A. also shared a special preview video giving a brief glimpse into what players can expect from Persona 5.
There’s a lot to do in the newest Persona. After school, players can go out for burgers, work out in their room, visit a Japanese bath house (the game is set in Tokyo, after all), hit up the movie theater, go to work at a part-time job, and all the typical teenage fare.
But, as is the case in Persona games, these aren’t your typical teenagers. They live double lives as members of a group called the Phantom Thieves. Per the official press release, this team is fed up with being fake. By being the real deal, they not only awaken their own powers but use their strengths to help others.
“Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the “self;” the game’s heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective mask and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and use it to strive to help those in need.”
As far as gameplay goes, not a lot is known. Skills can be obtained in five different categories: charm, guts, kindness, knowledge, and proficiency. As skills are acquired, a stylized “Skill Get!” notification appears on the screen.
A “third eye” special ability allows the player to see hints. There is also a “baton touch” ability that lets the player swap characters and take advantage of their skills for the turn. It is not yet known how often these abilities can be used, or if there are any caveats.
By dissecting the video footage, the game appears to use a meter system of sorts. It seems that as the player defeats monsters, called Shadows, the meter goes down. Once a shadow is defeated, they can be blown to bits using a super attack; but, it also seems possible to talk with the Shadows instead. And, in one case, a Shadow gets absorbed by the Phantom Thief protagonist after speaking with it. Shadow get!? Fans will have to wait until more details are officially revealed to know for certain.
Persona fans looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, or just the ultimate Persona 5 package, can choose between one of two limited editions for the PS4 version of the game. Those who pre-order a PS4 copy of Persona 5, or simply run to their retailer on day one, can look forward to getting the Steelbook Launch Edition at the suggested retail price of $59.99 USD while supplies last. As the name details, the launch edition comes with a collectible Steelbook case featuring Persona 5 artwork.
The Persona 5 Collector’s Edition is being called the “Take Your Heart Premium Edition,” in honor of the game’s heart-piercing game mechanics and cleverly timed Valentine’s Day launch date. The premium version also comes with the collectible Steelbook case, plus it includes a 64-page hardcover artbook and a game soundtrack CD. It also includes a 4-inch plush of the mascot cat Morgana dressed as a Phantom Thief, and a Shujin Academy school bag. Fans who like to cosplay may be particularly drawn to the bag, since it looks just like the one sported by Shujin Academy students. The entire set is priced at $89.99 USD, which is about $30 more than the standard launch price.
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[Image via Atlus U.S.A.]