Angels, Demons, and High School Students, Oh My
Hot on the heels of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD being released on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has shared a release date trailer for the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei V. It aired on Day 4 of E3 2021 and it looks absolutely stunning. The new trailer picks up where the announcement trailer ends, by which we mean it takes about 15 seconds to introduce our new protagonist before immediately yanking him into another dimension. In this alternate Tokyo, angels and demons haunt the ruins of a post-apocalyptic city. Needless to say, an ordinary high school student doesn’t stand a chance against these monsters. To survive, the protagonist must fuse with a mysterious figure and gain the power of a fallen god. The process is much less disturbing than the way the protagonist of SMT III became half-demon, but it still carries its fair share of horrific implications. After all, as pretty and glowy as the protagonist’s new form is, historically speaking humans fusing with demons hasn’t ended well in this franchise… and by the series’ lore, gods and demons are fundamentally the same type of being.
SMT V seems to be taking some nods from NieR: Automata in terms of its central themes. According to the announcement trailer, “the god you worship is dead,” and an ominous voice challenges the player to create their own destiny. Its mechanics appear to be classic SMT, however. As usual, demons are visible on the over map and turn-based combat takes place in a separate screen. The negotiation system will be returning, allowing players to recruit demons or simply shake them down for free stuff, as will the ability to get extra turns for hitting an enemy’s weakness. Demon fusion will also be returning, bringing with it a ton of customization options that players will be able to sink dozens of hours into.
There are a variety of new and updated demon designs showcased in this trailer and they’re gorgeous. Just look at that new Cerberus design. In fact, pretty much all of the visuals in this video are eerily beautiful, fitting for an SMT game. The protagonist’s Nahobino form has a slick sci-fi armor aesthetic, but a head of long, rippling glowing blue hair adds an otherworldly touch to the design. Both the sci-fi armor and the surreal fantasy elements are right at home in the dying world the game appears to focus on.
Shin Megami Tensei V will be available for Nintendo Switch on November 12th, 2021. Pre-orders for the physical edition will open on June 21st.