22 Things We Learned About Persona 5

The world of Persona 5 is always moving. At any given time there is a ton happening on screen: your friends text you, the teacher wants you to answer a particularly tough algebra problem, Morgana pops her head out from your duffle bag, part time jobs and hunger and your missions to fix corrupt hearts all demand your attention. At E3 today we got a closer look at Persona 5, next in line in the highly acclaimed Persona franchise and set to launch on Valentine’s Day 2017.

1. The day to night cycle is similar to that from Persona 4. Every day you’ll get the date and time marked for you in the corner of the screen. During the day, you’ll have to go to school and work at part time jobs. On off-days, you’ll be free to explore the city of Shibuya. At night, you can either study, train, or enter the otherworld with your friends to fix corrupted people’s hearts.

2. Morgana follows you everywhere. When you’re not in the world of shadows, Morgana appears as a normal black cat with glowing blue eyes. She’s with you wherever you go, her head poking out of your bag as you run between classes or around Shibuya. At school, she’ll sleep in your desk or calmly wait for class to be over. If you decide to see a movie, she’ll sit in her bag in the theater and watch with you. Sometimes she’ll pop out to talk to you, and at home she’ll curl up beside you while you study or train. Morgana is your constant companion.

3. Like in Persona 4, in class your teacher will ask you questions or make you solve math problems. Correctly solving these questions will boosts some of your protagonist’s stats.

4. There is a school shop like in Persona 3. Here you can buy any regular items you may need.

5. When you’re not face to face, you’ll communicate with your friends via text message. And yes, you have a never-ending group chat.

6. It is possible to screw up and fail missions. For example, one mission involves your teacher wanting to expel you, and you are given 10 days to stop it from happening. In those 10 days, you’ll need to go into your teacher’s Palace–the dark place in people’s hearts where the game’s dungeons are located–and solve her problem. All Palaces will have unique problems to solve in regards to their owner, similar to Persona 4. If you don’t complete the missions in 10 in-game days, it’s game over.


7. While running by NPCs, sometimes a red icon with the letters “SMS” will pop up over their heads. This means you can text and converse with this character.

8. The world map is the same as previous games: a selection of locations you can choose to travel to. Each area is inspired by real-world locations in the real Shibuya, with some fictional tweaks. But the overall look and feel of Persona 5’s city is nearly identical to that of its real-world counterpart.

9. When you select a location to travel to, the loading screen is the silhouettes of passengers on the subway. It looks amazing.

10. There is a medical clinic with a mysterious, pretty attendant where you can buy healing and support items.

11. In addition to answering questions in class, there are a number of other places where you can raise your stats, including: batting cages, a burger joint (where you can complete an ultimate challenge to eat a giant burger for some really great boosts), a movie theater, and a bathhouse.

12. On your off days, you’ll run around in casual clothes. These will be changeable.

13. There is also a weapons shop. Here you can buy airsoft weapons.

14. When you’re not at school or stealing hearts, you can choose to have a part time job. Job options include being an attendant at a flower shop, which can raise your kindness stat, or a convenience store, among others.

15. You get to Palaces through a phone app. Each Palace is as unique as the individual to whom it belongs and represents how the individual sees himself.


16. In dungeons, you can jump to higher areas like on top of shelves to find alternate routes around enemies, as there are more objects in the environment to interact with. Random enemy encounters in Persona 5 will be a bit more difficult than in previous Persona games. If you can sneak up on an enemy and attack first, you can get the upper hand in the ensuing fight.

17. You have an ability called Third Eye that will uncover clues to solving some dungeons’ environmental puzzles. The ability can also help you find secret items.

18. In combat, you have the option to talk to enemies and claim their power as your own. The Hold Up feature will give the protagonist and his team the option to speak with random encounter enemies and attempt to convince them to join forces. This feature is very similar to the demon-acquiring options in the Shin Megami Tensei series.

19. In dungeons, you can stealth between objects. Moving between objects for cover will let you get the jump on an enemy or avoid them entirely.

20. Combat is still turn-based and moves very quickly. Items and attacks are mapped to the d-pad and face buttons, making executing an attack or choice quicker and easier.

21. You can also give your friends addition turns in combat. The Baton Touch feature lets the protagonist pass his turn to another teammate–he does this, of course, through a high-five. For example, during his turn you can have him give it to Anne, who will then attack with a brief stat boost and deal greater damage. This adds a layer of strategy to battles.

22. At the end of the day, the protagonist will return to his home, a small, mostly barren hideaway above a bar. Here he can study or exercise by doing pull-ups from the rafters in order to boost stats.

Persona 5’s world feels alive. There is a ton of detail in every corner, from the dents in school lockers to the pencils tucked in the corner of desks, to NPCs chatting on the street and intricate pictures of food on restaurant menus. It’s a beautiful looking game, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the final version in February.

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