FEATURE – What We Want in Persona 5

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Following on with our ‘What We Want’ lists here on the site, I’ve decided to take a look at what we’d like to see in Persona 5. Now that Sega have officially bought out Atlus, we’ve had a bit of a tease from the Persona studio talking about a new project. Is this Persona 5? Only time will tell but that doesn’t stop us talking about what we’d love to see come out of the title! We haven’t seen a new Persona this generation (fighting games and remakes not included) so I’m really interested to see what Atlus decides to do with their inevitable sequel.

Style

The remake of Persona 4 was pretty, no hiding that fact, but it was on a handheld. Imagine what Atlus could do with next-gen software, the creative team have always designed some of the most interesting and unique Shadow and Persona characters, imagine what they’d look like in pure HD detail! I’m also interested to see what they do with regards to the human world, imagine the details they can cram in with next-gen consoles.

Cutscenes

The Anime cutscenes in P4: The Golden were gorgeous, the P4 anime was gorgeous, the trailers for the P3 film are gorgeous, basically the animation team behind all the Persona stuff do a consistently great job, so can we have more? I would love to see more of the cutscenes or story elements animated (please Atlus? Pretty please?).

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Can I grow up yet?

The Persona series is quintessentially set during the characters high school years. While this is always enjoyable, why not set Persona 5 a bit later in life? Even if it was just university there would still be a myriad of things to do, a large number of people and social events to attend but you’d have a bit more freedom in the week to play with. It would also add a new element to the characters, people go through a lot of different emotions and experiences at university compared to school days, this would be an interesting element to the character and social link development that we haven’t seen before.

You’re making no sense!

As much as I love how well written the characters are in the Persona titles (I got worryingly attached to Mitsuru in Persona 3, and I don’t really get attached to anything in games) sometimes the dialogue system slips up and ruins the believability. For instance, if I’m already dating one of the characters openly, I don’t want to then be asked if I would consider dating one of the girls by someone who should know I already am. I appreciate that this is difficult to work around their social link system but I’d much rather see a Mass Effect style system where each option in dialogue is effected by what’s happened beforehand.

Let me rule the world!

While we’re talking about western RPG influences, I’d love to see choices you make throughout the game add up to different endings, there are a few variations in endings that you can get in the Persona series, but they aren’t as drastically different as the ones you can get in the Mass Effect (again, I know) trilogy, and no I’m not talking about the 3 decisions that you get at the end of Mass Effect 3, I’m talking about the ability to actually loose characters like in Mass Effect 2. Can you even contemplate the emotional impact of loosing one of the supporting cast in a Persona game? Atlus do a magnificent job of connecting you to the characters in the game and it would create real emotion in players never really seen in videogames if they could be lost (think about it Atlus!). Not just that though, I’d love to see a multitude of possible endings that change based on the players decisions throughout the game, yes even some that end badly for the player! This leads us directly into our next point…

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Hulk sad…

The storytelling in the Persona games is at its height when the solemn, dark parts of the plot hit. I’m not asking for a game that goes full on depressing the whole time, (au contraire, the humour in the Persona series is one of the selling points) I just want to make sure that Atlus keep the mature aspect of the games intact. There are some genuinely heartfelt and saddening twists in the Persona games (“ALL OF THE FEELS” for you internet amigos out there) and it would be a shame for those not to return.

Let’s go travelling

The main issue I had with Persona 3 was the lack of varied environments for the most part, floor after floor of Tartarus started to get a bit tedious after a while. Persona 4 switched this up with the TV world having a number of varied dungeons. What I’d love to see is more of the game being set in real world locations filled with shadows like the train and hotel sections of Persona 3. These were awesome and more intertwined with the plot, something that Persona 4 tried to fix. While P5 obviously needs to have some sort of world that you can return to whenever you want to grind, I’d love for the plot to be built more around set pieces and unique areas.

Give me constant validation (I’m not needy, honest!)

Again Persona 4 did this to an extent, but in Persona 3 there seemed to be large amounts of game where the next point in the story was just another level in Tartarus. In Persona 4 you were solving a case throughout the whole thing and there was always something to be doing in the human world to progress the story, and if there wasn’t there was a good reason for it. I want to see this expanded upon in Persona 5, have everyone you talk to involved in the plot as it stands, always have something that you need to do, always have a sense of urgency in mind. Failing that give us more events like the holiday in Persona 4 just more stuff to fill out the time so we aren’t spending days and days of in-game time studying and whacking shadows on the head (although obviously leave some time for that, I’m not top in every exam for no reason!)

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Where’d all my friends go?

Each Persona game brings new features to the table to 1up it’s predecessor. Persona 4 brought the scooters and cavalry attacks but I want to see more. In every cutscene, the entire party seems to be involved, despite only 4 of you actually fighting your way through whatever world you’re in. I want to see other party members fighting their way up too, how cool would it be if you came across another party member in a fight and dove in the help them out? Obviously they’d gain a small amount of XP too. Other things you could do would be to have sub leaders and have the full cast split up, you could play the main character and his party moving forwards and then switch to control a party of people which doesn’t even include your character (Think the opening hours of Final Fantasy XIII). This would involve the full cast into the plot and not just the limited choice you get to take with you.

I’m definitely excited for the idea of Persona 5, I’m a massive fan of the Persona series and I’d love to see a new addition to the franchise, I mean, wouldn’t we all (the last main release was in 2008!)? I really think that Atlus needs to add in a few newer things to keep the experience fresh though, and these are just a few, I’m sure you all have more innovations you’d love to see so sound off in the comments! Let us know what you think, we’re always happy to hear from you!

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