Steal your hearts.
Persona 5 has been delayed (again) into 2016, but that hardly seems to have done anything to the game’s immense hype. The PlayStation exclusive JRPG is looking like it will be one of the greatest games ever made when it launches next year- and hungry fans are latching on to any information about the game that they can while they wait.
We got some of it in an unexpectedly candid interview about the game’s story that Game Informer had with Persona 5 director Katsura Hashino, where we learned quite a bit about what we can expect from the game when it launches- in the most tantalizing way possible.
“Each of the characters, including the protagonist, has the mindset that – for one reason or another – they no longer have a place where they belong in society,” Hashino said. “So when they get a hold of the Isekai-Navi, which allows them to enter another world and steal the malicious intent from others’ hearts, they find new kinship and a sense of belonging in becoming these “phantom thieves,” and throw themselves headlong into helping others and reforming society with their own hands. The ones that stand in their way are the adults – in other words, the traditional authority figures who dictate every aspect of these teenagers’ lives. And in Persona 5, the story takes a different spin: Rather than getting drawn into a strange case, the team throws themselves into the fray. Through their actions, they draw the attention of an even greater enemy… That’s how the game sets in motion.”
Hashino also explained how this would make the game, its characters, and its plot, different from Persona 3 and 4, which largely followed a very similar structure throughout.
“As I mentioned before, unlike Persona 3 or Persona 4, the protagonist and his team in this story aren’t being dragged into some sort of case or major crisis to resolve,” Hasino said. “The story begins with each of them looking for a sense of identity, and seeking to reform society with their own will. Picaresque heroes are fun, and you might enjoy their exploits or admire them in a work of fiction, but whether you’d actually want to be like them is a whole different story, isn’t it? That’s our stance in this game. A group of high school kids, dreaming of becoming masked vigilantes, try to cause a big stir in society. It’s quite different from the previous games’ protagonists who had no choice but to solve the mysteries they were confronted with. We think that sense of agency is one of the charms of this title, and as developers, it’s one of the aspects we’re most excited to bring to you.”
On the whole, then, the story seems to follow a different path- rather than following the protagonists who have unwittingly been pulled into a story larger than themselves, it follows anti heroes who take the initiative, and then inevitably get themselves involved in something bigger than they had anticipated.
Persona 5 launches exclusively on the PS3 and PS4 some time next year.