Persona 5 Tactica Review – Friends In The Metaverse
Atlus has successfully leveraged the Persona 5 brand, leading to the creation of several spin-offs, including Persona 5 Tactica, the fourth in the series. This installment introduces a fresh perspective to the Persona universe, offering a unique twist on the SRPG genre. The success of this new experiment largely hinges on player expectations.
Upon first playing Persona 5 Tactica, my impressions were favorable. The game features a novel art style that portrays characters with significantly younger, almost child-like proportions, aiming for an animated aesthetic. While the 3D representation and cartoon-like cutscenes are visually appealing, I acknowledge that some fans may not embrace this stylistic departure.
In terms of narrative, Persona 5 Tactica is set after the events of Persona 5 Royal, continuing the journey with the original cast. For those new to the series, playing Persona 5 Royal is advisable for a comprehensive understanding of the storyline. While Persona 5 Strikers is another related title, it’s not as crucial for understanding Tactica’s plot. A notable change in Tactica is the removal of most social elements that were prominent in the main series, which could be seen as a downside for players who enjoyed those aspects.
The gameplay of Persona 5 Tactica marks a significant departure from its main series counterparts, adopting a much slower pace. This change results in a more tightly-knit narrative that unfolds leisurely. The game welcomes back familiar faces like Joker and the Phantom Thieves, while also introducing new characters such as Erina and Toshiro. Set predominantly in a metaverse, the Phantom Thieves find themselves challenged to escape and unravel the mysteries behind their altered reality.
Persona 5 Royal was acclaimed for its stylish UI and charming interaction design, and I’m pleased to note that Persona 5 Tactica maintains this aesthetic appeal. Although the combat system is different, incorporating SRPG elements, it successfully blends the feel of XCOM with Persona’s unique flavor. Battles are conducted on a grid-based layout from a top-down perspective, offering standard SRPG actions like attack, move, and defend. A notable feature is the ‘One More’ mechanic, which allows players to execute an additional move under certain conditions, such as removing an enemy from cover.
The game innovatively applies its genre mechanics by allowing unrestricted movement across the grid. This freedom facilitates strategic positioning without the usual constraints of navigating closer to enemies. Additionally, there’s the potential for executing special ‘All Out Attacks’, influenced by the positioning of party members relative to enemies. Persona 5 Tactica adeptly emphasizes strategic elements, striking a balance that avoids making gameplay feel either overly simplistic or unfairly challenging.
Persona 5 Tactica excels in character development, particularly with its newcomers, Erina and Toshiro, who quickly became favorites of mine. The game captures the essence of young adulthood, depicting the cast enduring and overcoming challenges, emerging stronger. Despite the absence of social themes and interactions, the game’s narrative retains its allure, powerfully conveying themes of friendship and unity that are universally relatable.
While many fans might have anticipated a focus on the Phantom Thieves, the decision to spotlight Toshiro and Erina in this spin-off was refreshing. The storyline centers around their quest to overthrow the rulers of various kingdoms in the metaverse, each representing different facets of Toshiro’s life. Erina and Toshiro are characterized as rebels in this world, working to dismantle its tyrannical leadership, with the Phantom Thieves joining their cause.
Persona 5 Tactica continually introduces new gameplay elements, adding depth as the game progresses. The main story is quite extensive; in my experience, it took around 30 hours to complete. However, this doesn’t account for the abundance of side content, which can extend playtime to over 40 hours. While Persona 5 Royal could take upwards of 100 hours, partly due to its expansion, Tactica offers a more concise and focused narrative. It eschews filler material in favor of a compelling, impactful story.
For fans of Persona 5, Persona 5 Tactica is certainly worth exploring, though your enjoyment will largely depend on your affinity for the battle system. The mechanics are straightforward, even for those new to SRPGs, but the real mastery lies in efficiently chaining attacks to maximize damage against enemies in a limited timeframe. As the game approaches its climax, it ramps up the frequency of battles, which might be overwhelming for players who aren’t fans of this type of combat system.
However, I would wholeheartedly recommend Persona 5 Tactica to anyone interested in experiencing a new chapter in the Persona universe. It captures the essence of the series that fans adore, and while the SRPG gameplay might be a departure from the norm and potentially challenging for those not accustomed to the genre, the difficulty level is manageable. The engaging storyline and the addition of well-developed new characters like Erina and Toshiro make this spin-off a worthwhile adventure for both long-time fans and newcomers to the Persona series.
Persona 5 Tactica Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Atlus
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher