Persona 5 Strikers is Loaded With Heartfelt and White-Knuckle Moments

Persona 5 Strikers Preview

Persona 5 Strikers is the western version of Persona 5 Scramble and it’s finally coming to our shores next month. It’s got the familiar anime art style and jazzy rock music that Persona 5 fans are already familiar with. Also, it has unforgettable characters from Persona 5, the locations in Shibuya, and brings the hack-and-slash style from Omega Force titles. Not to mention, it has better fast travel options. It’s a refreshing new take on Persona that is sure to bring in new fans as well as returning fans. Those familiar with Atlus’ deep mechanics and systems should feel at home with Persona 5 Strikers.

Much like Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal, Persona 5 Strikers is centralized in and around Shibuya, Japan and it’s just as brilliantly realized. Despite new jails and checkpoints, Omega Force’s attention to detail in keeping the layout of the city the same is noticeable. The door to the Velvet Room is where it should be next to Iwai’s Airsoft weapon shop. Café Leblanc is down the alley from Takemi’s Medical Clinic, and more locations are exactly where fans will expect them.

Design and Music You Know and Love

The same cast of Phantom Thieves is back, with the voice actors returning to reprise their roles, but Omega Force has added two new playable characters to the roster: the impressive AI Sophia and Kyoto Prefectural Police officer Zenkichi Hasegawa. Both of these characters bring something different to the table on the battlefield and through dialogue. Strikers’ roster can be swapped at each checkpoint, allowing players to choose 4 characters at a time to play as. Each of these characters plays drastically differently, giving players an assortment of play styles to choose between in an effort to find a main similar to other Dynasty Warrior inspired titles. Joker (frequently referred to as a player-given name) is a balanced character that moves around swiftly and stealthily, but not as much as Morgana who sacrifices some power for the increased energy. Lady Ann fittingly uses her whip to hit several enemies on the battlefield at the same time, while Sophia’s yo-yo attacks are more powerful and quick direct attacks. Each character has a unique personality throughout the storyline, and this is fittingly reflected in their gameplay style.

The main enemy is a character known as Alice who uses an AI called EMMA to brainwash her fans into throwing themselves at her. The Phantom Thieves catch on to her evil plot when exploring Shibuya after a touching reunion. Sophia joins the fight early after the gang happens upon a cube that opens to reveal the robotic hero. There are six different Japanese cities to explore starting with Shibuya, little side activities to do during downtime between missions, and a fitting amount of content for Persona fans to explore. Persona 5 Strikers offers a more extensive fast-travel system than P5, making getting around as swift as the combat on the battlefield.

Persona on Nintendo Switch? Finally!

Persona fans on PlayStation may see Persona 5 Strikers as a companion piece, but Nintendo Switch fans will finally be getting their hands on the franchise with P5 Strikers. Considering this fact, lots of new fans will join the Phantom Thieves. Omega Force and Atlus have made clear efforts to make aspects of the game noob-friendly without making things awkward for returning fans. Status effects, for example, are explained as they come up rather than on a screen you see once at the very beginning of the game, making sure the particular effect you’re worried about in the fight and how to counter it are fresh on your mind.

Being a turn-based RPG, most fights in Persona 5 are initiated by closing in on or ambushing a visible enemy on the battlefield, and this isn’t lost in Persona 5 Strikers. The combat itself offers a hybrid battle system that combines the hack-and-slash mechanics of Dynasty Warriors with the Persona summoning and all-out attacks of Persona 5. Similar to Persona 5, gamers are able to fuse their favorite Persona to create an even more powerful beast to bring to the battlefield. Each system and mechanic made a difference in Persona 5 and for Atlus fans playing through Persona 5 Strikers on hard difficulty, every little detail matters.

Persona 5 Strikers follows a new campaign that compliments Persona 5’s story without it feeling exclusive to fans of the turn-based RPG. While it follows Persona 5’s storyline, it can be enjoyed by anyone familiar with the Persona anime or manga, P5 Royal, or other Persona titles. There are many laughs out loud, heartfelt, and white-knuckle moments. Many aspects mirror the Persona 5 experience so fans should have plenty to look forward to next month.

***PS4 code provided by the publisher***