On May 5th, The Phantom Thief will seize the famous Tokyo Tower, stealing the hearts of Persona fans everywhere. It’s been quite a while since Persona 5 fans have heard some news about the highly anticipated release, as there has not been much information since the Tokyo Game Show in September 2015. The entire wait for P5 has been an emotional rollercoaster of pushed back release windows, awe-inspiring trailers, and livestream events that have fans on edge for the release date and more information detailing one of the most highly anticipated JRPGs of 2016, if not all time.
One thing many Persona 5 fans have been doing in the downtime before the release has been analyzing the little we already have, from theories to speculation. However, one of the most talked about topics/questions is: What do we want out of a new Persona game?
Each game has had new features and improvements, including the remakes/releases. Looking at Persona 4′s PS2 game and the Persona 4 Golden PS Vita game is a great example of how the creators have improved and enhanced the Persona experience, from adding new events to entirely new sections and characters. However, Persona has not seen a new installment in years, and with this generation of consoles, there definitely is a lot of promise. There are 6 things we would love to see in Persona 5 that would be improvements for the near perfect series.
See Also: Latest PS4 News
1. More Choices That Have an Impact on the Overall Story
Persona 3 and 4 feature many choices sprinkled throughout the school year, from amusing dialogue options to social links . The end of Persona 4 also introduced something really interesting: the choice of who you believe the killer is. However, despite the amazing choices the game offers, there are not multiple story branches or choices that effect the conclusion, aside from a couple endings.
Persona is technically a spinoff of Shin Megami Tensei, which features paths that the character can choose to align with Law, Neutral, and Chaos. In the mainline games, the protagonist must choose a path that goes along with that alignment, resulting in different endings and outcomes for the world that can be interpreted as good, evil, or morally gray. Although the true endings of the Persona games are beautiful, it would be nice to have a system like this in place for future installments, giving the players even more options to customize their player experience. The setting for Persona 5 is perfect for this, as it has a drastically different setup than any other Persona game released, putting the player in the position of a criminal.
It would be awesome to have a system that makes choices based on being a master thief. Does the protagonist choose to give into his alter ego or maintain his school reputation? Giving the players control over how the protagonist acts would be a great and interesting system to implement into the game. A similar “morality” system that comes to mind is Catherine, and how different choices in that game put the player towards one side of a meter, which overall effects the ending and characterization.
2. Enhanced Social Link/Cooperation Elements
Persona is known for being one of the first games to successfully blend social/dating sim elements into a dungeon-crawling RPG setting, creating an experience with depth and balance. With each game since Persona 3, there has been a definite improvement in the social link system with each release/remake. For example, although Persona 3 introduced links, there were quite a few NPCs that represented the tarot cards rather than the entirety of the S.E.E.S. team, Over time, with the PSP remake and Persona 4, players were given the chance to delve into the backstories of both NPCs and team members, becoming more balanced with each release. However, many fans were surprised that social links were going to be replaced with a “cooperation” system in P5, which promises to be a system that will involve social elements. Although there is not too much information about this gameplay feature just yet, we know that it will involve relationship building with people around town.
The 10 rank system was great and really gave a lot of insight into backstories that not only added to the world building but served a purpose in Persona fusion in combat. However, an even more in-depth system would be amazing; this could include more dating options, animated/3D cutscenes, more places to go in the city, “hangouts”, scripted events based on a character’s rank, and more. Many fans are also hoping for the ability to be able to date or romance same-sex characters, which would be an awesome option for P5 that has been gradually appearing in more games. Additional assistance and scenes in battle and/or within the story based on a character’s rank or affinity would also be nice to see. Finally, having additional dialogue, events, or reactions from others after a “link” is maxed out would be a welcome addition, especially for romances or the best of friendships.
3. A Bigger, Sandbox-Like World with (Even) More Activities
Going along with a more in-depth system, it would be great to see Persona 5 have even more of a sandbox/open world setting than Golden, allowing for many options before, during, and after school. Since P5 is set in a very big city compared to the small town of Inaba, there are a lot of opportunities to have even more places to go and events to participate in, from school clubs, jobs, or even other activities. P3 and P4 had quite a few school events, with Golden adding even more. It would be nice to see events (or even optional events) every other in-game week or so to keep things fresh and give the players an opportunity for school life. Having other non-school related side events would also be nice to see, with the thief motif playing a larger role. For example, a question could be: Do you decide to steal that night or go to a school outing? These kinds of choices would be amazing and would offer quite a bit of content for multiple playthroughs.
P3 and P4 offered certain skills that could be maxed out during different activities, and if Persona 5 went beyond that, it could offer an even greater experience. For example, perhaps there could be more than 5 skills to max out. Also, if certain skills could offer alternative dialogue options, that would be one way to see how those skills effect the player’s actions. In the past, players were limited on some dialogue choices or even links based on the skills they had, so to have an even more in-depth system would be a great gameplay element in Persona 5.
It will be interesting to see if there will be more “relationship building” activities between team members, especially when fighting battles. Again, we do not know their relationship with each other, but it is very exciting to think of the possibilities the game can offer.
4. Enhanced Gameplay and Persona Personality
Persona 1 and 2, the beginnings of this wonderful series, are arguably more like the mainline SMT series than the later installments of the Persona franchise. One gameplay aspect they had was a contract system, allowing players to interact with the personas/demons they fought. Although the system was a bit complicated, it would be nice to again see a dialogue/interaction system between the users and their personas. This is something that would give the demons more of a personality, as they have in SMT games, which is part of the series’ charm. Having Pixie flirt with the protagonist or attempting to discuss life with Slime would only add to the gameplay experience. The designs of personas and mid-bosses were very cool in 3 and 4, but they did not interact or talk much with the player outside of fighting/battles.
Keeping gameplay fast, crisp, and innovative is another thing we would love to see continue in 5. Allowing the player total control over the party members and attacks is something that was added to the series that should definitely stay, and possibly be enhanced. For example, having different attacks based on relationship levels would be something interesting to see. The gameplay is already pretty fun, so keeping it the same with minor adjustments would be ideal.
There are also going to be dungeons with more gimmicks, navigation, and possibly puzzles. This is definitely going to be an enhancement over the previous hallway-like environments and will add an entirely new element to the series. We can’t wait to see what the developers have in store!
5. More Customization
Alternate costumes are fun, but what if we had the option to change the characters’ costumes outside of battle? This is one form of customization that would be interesting to see. Costumes were a really fun addition in the games, as well as alternative weapons. Seeing Yosuke in P4 take a shadow down with corn cobs was absolutely hilarious, even though it wasn’t really connected to the story.
Another aspect that we would like to see is the ability to decorate your room. In the past games, you already had a pre-set space, but what if you could somehow make it your own with furniture options, more interactive objects that can trigger events/improve skills, or shelves to display random objects from the battlefield? It doesn’t have to be a full-on Sims-like gameplay element, but it would be interesting to see and implement into an already detailed game.
6. An Amazing Storyline That Will Keep Us On Edge (And That We Can Replay Again and Again!)
Finally, what we want most out of Persona 5 is an amazing and exciting story that will keep us on the edge of our seats each time we play. The Persona series has always been about the bonds between friends overcoming evil in the name of good, but now we have a completely fresh scenario. Whenever P5 releases, we are going to take the role of The Phantom Thief, a criminal who breaks into buildings and engages in presumably not so “good” activities. Instead of being the hero, we may take the role of the antihero.
The amount of potential from this new and exciting idea is enormous, especially in terms of storytelling. All of the Persona games had an amazing story to share, saving the world from turmoil, creating bonds, and causing the player to cry tears of joy when the credits roll. There’s no doubt that Persona 5 will be amazing because Atlus is known for producing high-quality games with great narratives. However, we hope for a story that will only exceed our expectations, telling a tale we will be motivated to play for years to come.