After having spent tons of of hours in Persona 5 and its full version Royal, it’s little shock followers are hungry for brand new content material set in the identical universe. Enter Persona 5 Strikers, a spin-off title which blends the type, characters and story of the prolonged JRPG with the Musou gameplay framework.
In fact, this isn’t the primary time a property has been given the Musou remedy, and whereas some have confirmed to be nice suits for the gameplay type, others have confirmed middling at greatest.
Happily, we bought the possibility to take a look at this new title forward of its launch later this yr, diving into the sport’s first Jail; principally, its model of Persona 5’s Palaces. After this prolonged play session, we’re comfortable to report that Strikers is shaping as much as be not solely one of many higher Musou video games round but in addition a becoming sequel to its forebear.
Set after the occasions of Persona 5’s story, Strikers sees the Phantom Thieves reunite for the primary time because the conclusion of their adventures. All of them plan to spend a summer time of enjoyable collectively and got down to collect provides for his or her upcoming actions.
Alongside this cheery reunion, although, is a brand new revelation unbeknownst to them: Individuals are as soon as once more struggling sudden adjustments of coronary heart, appearing unusually and erratically with no clear indication as to why. In consequence, the police have been tasked with bringing an finish to it by any means needed, and Joker is now squarely of their sights as the primary suspect.
It’s not lengthy after this that Joker, Ryuji and Morgana are dragged into what seems to be the Metaverse after an encounter with Alice Hiiragi, a designer whose reputation has exploded in current months. Not solely that, nevertheless it occurs after they enter a key phrase given to them by Alice into the brand new AI app EMMA – an assistant app that has began seeing common use among the many residents of Tokyo.
Inside no time in any respect, they encounter Alice’s shadow; a ruthless sadist who delights in hurting others, and is stealing their Wishes with the intention to management them. seeing no different selection, they regroup with their allies and return to their roles as Phantom Thieves, keen to place a cease to Alice, free these impacted by her and uncover what’s inflicting the reappearance of the Metaverse.
It was shocking to see how a lot story was packed into Persona 5 Strikers’ first Jail alone, however in a great way. Identical to in Persona 5, there’s a deep and twisty plot ready to be unraveled, with a number of totally different threads dangling in entrance of the participant.
Serving to that is the truth that the solid is as sturdy as ever. All the important characters, from Ann and Ryuji to Morgana and Joker, are nonetheless written with the identical personalities and emotion as within the unique recreation, with all of their unique voice actors reprising their roles on this installment.
Gamers may have extra than simply the interactions between the primary solid to sit up for, although. Becoming a member of them are two new characters, every with their very own quirks and roles within the story.
The primary is Sophia, an AI which the Phantom Thieves discover in Alice’s Jail. Although she will be able to’t keep in mind the place she got here from or how she got here to be within the Metaverse, she does know that she was tasked with appearing as a companion to humanity. To that finish, she joins the Phantom Thieves of their quest, appearing as a brand new celebration member.
The second is Zenkichi, an investigator with the police division who has been placed on the path of the Phantom Thieves. Although his motives stay unclear, he appears to be a step forward of his contemporaries; a lot in order that he items collectively the similarities between the occasions of the earlier recreation and Strikers’ occasions effectively earlier than his fellow officers.
Whether or not or not he’s an ally of the Phantom Thieves stays to be seen.
Each really feel proper at dwelling among the many established solid, and really feel poised to serve main roles in the remainder of the sport’s story.
Persona 5 Strikers’ recreation world, in the meantime, nonetheless feels as fleshed out because it was earlier than, with persona dripping from each facet of the setting. The actual world continues to be stuffed with swaths of individuals wandering the streets and retailers to discover, and people who have performed the bottom recreation will really feel like they’ve returned to their previous haunts after a lot time away.
The Metaverse likewise provides the same old attention-grabbing twist on these similar environments influenced by the house owners of the sport’s Jails. For Alice’s, this implies a sprawling carnivalized model of Shibuya, decked out with brightly-colored tents, hanging ornaments, and rides jutting up towards the discolored sky above.
Then, there’s the gameplay, which actually is likely to be the place Persona 5 Strikers shines brightest. As one would anticipate, it facilities across the Musou fight, with gamers slicing their manner by means of wave after wave of enemies large and small.
Gamers can select to play as any of the Phantom Thieves, with every providing their very own perks and particular skills. Makoto is a high-power brawler, capable of dispatch clustered teams of enemies very quickly flat with Nuclear-enhanced blows, whereas Ann can present crowd management with AOE whip assaults imbued by Fireplace magic.
Every feels nice to play as, with combos that really feel distinctive to every character regardless of their following the identical enter patterns. Likewise, the suggestions of nailing enemies with assaults and sending teams flying retains the fight engrossing.
Nonetheless, the sport doesn’t accept dropping gamers into an enemy-filled map and letting them unfastened with some goals to finish. As an alternative, the sport performs out as a extra action-heavy model of Persona 5.
Along with quite a lot of melee combos they will execute, gamers can nonetheless sneak up on enemies to execute an ambush, giving them a bonus in battle. They will use magic assaults with their Persona to focus on enemies’ weak factors, and once they achieve this, they’ll have the possibility to set off All-Out Assaults or further hits by way of the As soon as Extra mechanic.
Exterior of fight, gamers can even enhance their celebration in quite a few methods. These embrace shopping for higher tools from the sport’s shops, upgrading and fusing their Personas and even unlocking new skills by build up their Bond-level – principally a streamlined model of the Confidant system which measures the celebration’s collective intimacy.
This isn’t even mentioning the exploration and traversal that takes place whereas exploring Jails. Within the strategy of studying extra about Alice’s Shadow and getting ready for the ultimate confrontation along with her, we scaled towers, platformed up and down environments and tracked down clues as to why Alice grew to become the was she is way in the identical manner one would in Persona 5.
All of it lends a depth to the sport that, even after a number of hours, helps it to face head and shoulders above different Musou video games as a legit successor to its supply materials. Musou followers will nonetheless have a blast dismantling 1000’s of foes per hour whereas Persona followers may have sufficient RPG mechanics to maintain the gameplay feeling substantive.
There’s nonetheless so much left to be seen of what Persona 5 Strikers provides, however based mostly on the primary Jail alone, the sport has nailed an ideal stability between the 2 genres it blends. Followers of Persona 5 will lastly get the brand new content material they’ve been craving, and those that have been on the fence due to its Musou gameplay will certainly wish to rethink checking it out when it drops later this yr.