‘Persona 5’ Releases On Valentine’s Day, First 18 Minutes Shown Off

Persona 5 releases on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 in February of 2017, but developer Atlus is already trickling out information about the action JRPG. During Tuesday’s livestream, fans were treated to the game’s opening 18 minutes, which included both gameplay and cinematics.

The stream, which was only in Japanese, showed off Persona 5’s opening credit roll and cinematics, and it also showed the player-character going through the early moments of the game. The Persona series has long been popular in Japan and has been gaining fans across the world over the last few years. The critically acclaimed Persona 4 Golden was one of the PlayStation Vita’s biggest titles, and by many accounts, improved what Persona 4 did on the PlayStation 2. Still, the series has largely slid under the radar and is an unknown to many U.S. gamers. But Atlus and Sony have made a more concerted push in marketing this game, and it’s become one of the PS4’s most anticipated titles.

Persona 5 releases on Valentine's Day
Persona 5 releases on Valentine's Day and is slowly growing in popularity. Persona 4 Golden was a breakout hit on the PlayStation Vita, but even its success has largely gone under the radar. [Screenshot captured by IGN]

Atlus describes Persona 5 as “an RPG series set in cities and high schools in modern day Japan. It focuses on the growth of adolescents who, upon the awakening of their ‘Persona’ abilities, overcome various trials together.” Put more plainly, the series typically offers colorful and action-packed dungeon crawling, friendship/dating simulation, and turn-based combat – and the games generally take dozens and dozens of hours to complete.

Japanese role-playing games are known for their style, art design, and even their storylines, and the Persona series is no exception. While it’s an unusual approach compared to most western developers, it harkens back to the roots of role-playing games, including games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Suikoden, but adds new twists, as well.

Despite its relative U.S. obscurity during its earlier versions, Persona 5’s release date couldn’t come soon enough for some, as it has shown up on many people’s “most anticipated games” lists, including five of the writers at Polygon. In the article, writer Phil Kollar summarized why he’s so excited.

To say I’m eager to finally get my hands on Atlus’ long-awaited follow-up is a huge understatement. Between a gorgeous art style, challenging turn-based combat and a new cast to infiltrate, I’m looking forward to spending hundreds more hours fighting, leveling and forging the bonds of friendship.

Persona 5 Releases in September in Japan
Persona 5 Releases in September in Japan, but US fans will have to wait until February, IGN's Andrew Goldfarb said, "Persona 5 looks damn good." [Screenshot captured by IGN]

IGN’s Andrew Goldfarb gave a detailed description of what he experienced when he went hands-on at E3 in June, saying that fans of the series have plenty to look forward to when Persona 5 releases.

“It’s clear that Persona 5 is a huge leap forward for the series — not just aesthetically, but mechanically as well. We still have eight months (to the day!) to wait for the North American release, but if this E3 showing is any indication, Persona 5 is shaping up to be one of the most gorgeous, novel RPGs in years, if not ever.”

While Persona 5 releases on Valentine’s Day 2017 in the U.S., it will be available in Japan on September 15, the same day as Final Fantasy XV. The U.S. delay is likely due to the localization process, as it will have multiple characters and hundreds of hours of dialogue, which could add months to the development time. Persona 5 will be available on PS4 and PS3, and is available in a collector’s edition as well.

[Image via Atlus]