Persona’s musou spinoff is almost upon us- here’s why you should be excited.
While it might be tempting to think of Persona 5 Strikers as yet another musou title reskinned for a popular property, Atlus and Koei Tecmo seemed to have really gone out of their way to make this as much of a “true” successor to Persona 5 as possible. No, it doesn’t have everything that a Persona game is expected to have, and yes, it still proudly wears its musou core on its sleeve, but more than almost any other musou crossover game released in recent years, Persona 5 Strikers looks like a game that can truly appeal to fans of the series it is spinning off from. We’re more than a little curious about the upcoming action RPG, and ahead of its upcoming launch, here, we’ll be talking about the fifteen biggest talking points from the game you should know about.
Persona 5 Strikers is a direct sequel to the vanilla Persona 5 (so no narrative stuff from Royal will be referenced). Set six months after the events of the original game, Strikers sees The Phantom Thieves spending their vacation taking a trip across Japan, with multiple cities from around the country on their itinerary. Their plans, however, are foiled, when strange incidents all around Japan begin threatening the peace the group helped establish months ago. The Phantom Thieves are now roped back into their excursions into the Metaverse, as they once again try and save the world.
Persona 5 Strikers will be bringing back a lot of the things that fans of the original Persona 5 will be more than familiar with. For instance, side quests will, of course, be included in the game (and apparently there’s going to be quite a few), and much like in Persona 5, they’ll be called Requests here. For obvious reasons, Mementos won’t be returning, so it’ll be interesting to see how Requests are handled.
Slice of life mechanics are a core part of any Persona game, and Confidants (or Social Links, are they were once called) probably the most crucial slice of life mechanic in the series. Persona 5 Strikers doesn’t quite have Confidants, which might disappoint some fans, but it does have a makeshift replacement of sorts- the BAND system. Through the BAND system, increasing levels by interacting with characters, winning battles, and progressing the story will allow players to gain stat bonuses for characters and even unlock special perks and abilities.
Persona 5 Strikers doesn’t have the demon capturing mechanic from the original Persona 5, but Joker will still be able to use multiple Personas in battle. So how does that work? Well, the game puts a pretty interesting twist on that. Essentially, you’ll be able to add Personas to Joker’s collection through random drops from defeating mini-bosses in dungeons. Something that Strikers does have is the Fusion mechanic, so you can still bring your Personas over to the Velvet Room and fuse them to make new ones.
Given its musou trappings and the fact that it’s going to be a rather busy and chaotic action RPG, you wouldn’t think that the stealth mechanics of Persona 5 will make it into Strikers– but they have. You can still avoid enemies, and ambushing them with surprise attacks is still a thing. Dungeons still have an Alert meter, and once that goes up to 100%, you’re forced to leave the dungeon. And just like in Persona 5, you can lower the Alert meter by ambushing enemies and defeating them with surprise attacks.
Another mechanic that is jumping over from Persona 5 to Persona 5 Strikers almost as is is the Third Eye mechanic. For those who haven’t played P5, in simple terms, this was Persona’s version of Detective Vision (or Witcher Sense, or whatever you want to call it), and when activated, highlighted special objects hiding treasures or objects in the environments that were crucial for puzzles or traversal. That mechanic has been brought over into Strikers as well.
The combat is where Persona 5 Strikers will really deviate from the original Persona 5, as you’d expect. As you’d expect from a musou title, you’ll be battling against large groups of enemies in flashy, chaotic fights. As far as party composition is concerned, you can still only have four active party members, of whom Joker is the only one who cannot be swapped out. Meanwhile, All-Out Attacks are still a thing, and are still triggered by attacking enemies with critical hits or with attacks they are weak to.
While combat in Persona 5 Strikers will be real time (as you’d expect from a musou game), it will still have pause-and-play elements peppered in. Using your Persona’s skills is, of course, a crucial element of battles in Persona games, and to use Persona skills in Strikers, you’ll have to open up a command menu, which will pause the game.
A new mechanic being introduced in Persona 5 Strikers is Master Arts, which gels rather well with its action-oriented trappings. Each playable character in Strikers has a number of special moves and attacks in the game known as Master Arts. These are essentially like ultimate moves- the more you control a character in combat and defeat enemies as them, the more Master Arts for that character will become available to you in that fight.
When you’re not busy beating enemies to a pulp, traversing dungeons, or exploring the real world, you will also have the option to visit Joker’s Kitchen, which is a new addition in Persona 5 Strikers. Here, using ingredients that you’ve collected while exploring dungeons, players will be able to make dishes that will provide various boosts when used in combat, including restoring HP or SP.
NO TIME CONSUMPTION MECHANICS
Time management is a core pillar of the slice of life mechanics of Persona games, but as we’ve discussed earlier, Persona 5 Strikers isn’t quite implementing those life sim mechanics the way you’d expect. One of the biggest changes it’s making is that there are no time consumption mechanics anymore. With no more time management, you are essentially free to do whatever you want without any time limits.
NEW MAIN CHARACTERS
As you’d expect from a sequel, Persona 5 Strikers will also be making additions where the narrative is concerned. Several new characters are being introduced, some of whom have crucial roles in the story. The biggest new addition is Sophia, a mysterious sentient AI who becomes the newest member of the Phantom Thieves. Then there’s Zenkichi Hasegawa, an investigator of the Kyoto Prefectural Police, and is the one that brings The Phantom Thieves back into action to get them to fight against the new threat facing Japan.
NEW SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
There are also several new major supporting characters that will play an important role in Persona 5 Striker’s story. There’s Alice Hiiragi, a popular idol in Shibuya; Mariko Hyodo, a politician in the Sapporo district; Zenkichi’s daughter Akane; Akira Konoe, the president of a global IT company; Ango Natsume, a famous novelist from Sendai; and many others.
NEW GAME PLUS
Persona 5 Strikers is looking promising as far as replay value is concerned. The game will have a New Game Plus option for those who want to do multiple playthroughs. Meanwhile, finishing the game once will also unlock the “Risky” difficulty, which is the highest difficulty level in the game.
Persona games are incredibly long, and have only gotten longer as time has progressed. Persona 5 was a 100 hour beast, and Persona 5 Royal took things even further with a playtime of roughly 130 hours. With Persona 5 Strikers though, that number is much more manageable. The game has been out in Japan for a while now, which means we know for a fact that it is between 30-45 hours long. That’s still a beefy runtime, but pretty short by Persona standards.