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Persona Review

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Posted: 6 weeks ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Persona 5 (also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona) is the latest game in a series of role-playing games that focus on a group of students. You explore the world and take on enemies like other role play games. Here though, you manage relationships between characters to help them overcome their personal barriers and unlock new abilities. The series has a dark edge as it explores the human psyche in extreme scenarios, drawing on Jungian psychology and psychological, religion, mythology, and literature.

The Persona series is set in modern-day Japan but with extraordinary events happening in otherwise normal locations. Along with social and psychological themes, the games focus on the collective unconscious. For example, a recurring location is the Velvet Room; a place between reality and unconsciousness. This eroding of the barrier between life and death is extended in the recurring motif of the Masks characters wear, that need to be dis-guarded to develop their abilities.

Because of this, the main cast are seen to live dual lives. As you progress there is a chance to become your true self in different ways. Sometimes through combatting the effect of rumours, sometimes understanding depression or sometimes even addressing gossip and the media's influence.

As you explore real and fantasy locations, you encounter enemies to battle. These fights take place in rounds. You and your party attack, then your opponents counter attack. This includes selecting which physical and magical abilities to use. As the series has developed, the system has evolved although the central play mechanic remains the same.

Personas extend these fights. They are physical manifestations of a characters psyche and subconscious and give you special powers. Your team start with an initial Persona, but this is evolved through story events and social interaction.

Establishing Social Links allows you to grow and develop. As well as offering a novel way to advance characters it also powerfully ties the narrative interactions and character stories to the battles in the game.

The main series of Persona games are:
  • Revelations: Persona (1996) PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin (1999) PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
  • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (2000) PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
  • Persona 3 (2006) PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
  • Persona 4 (2008) PlayStation 2, PlayStation Vita, PC
  • Persona 5 (2016) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 20/09/1996, updated in 2017

Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation Vita

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Turn-Based

Developer: @Atlus_jp

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 100 hours and 130 hours to complete. The different games in the series vary in length, but are all very long. To see everything and level up characters takes hundreds of hours.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

The main games in the series are rated PEGI 16. For Persona 5 this is for depictions of realistic looking violence towards human-like characters, use of sexual expletives, and encouragement/teaching of gambling. Not suitable for persons under 16 years of age.

This game features depictions of realistic looking violence towards human-like characters, this is primarily shown during cutscenes. In one scene a character is shot through the head, their head then slams down onto a desk in a pool of blood. This game also contains infrequent use of sexual expletives, variations of the word “*!@?*” are heard during dialogue and in text boxes. There is a section in this game that takes place in a casino and the characters are tasked with winning a certain amount of money from slot machines to progress. Characters can gamble at slot machines and at dice games. Both games encourage gambling and teach the rules of how to play these games.

There is a sub-plot in the game which is a topical look at student-teacher relationships. It features a teacher who confesses to having inappropriate relationships with students.

Persona 5 is rated ESRB MATURE 17+ for Blood, Drug Reference, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence. Characters use blades, pipes, firearms, and Personas (i.e., creatures that enable magical attacks) to defeat enemies; battles are highlighted by light effects, impact sounds, and cries of pain. Some cutscenes depict characters ripping masks off their faces as blood sprays.

One cutscene depicts a man shooting another character in the head at close range; blood is shown pooling on the floor and splattering the victim's clothes. Several female monsters/Personas are depicted with exposed breasts, and a handful of creatures have phallic-shaped heads, torsos, or appendages.

Various Personas (e.g., Succubus, Incubus) have sexual characteristics that are described in text (e.g., “They visit sleeping men/women and have sexual intercourse with them”); dialogue also includes sexual references (e.g., “Apparently he's been forcing young idols and other girls to have sex with him to move up in the ranks”). Drug smuggling for the mafia is briefly discussed during a side quest (e.g., “Like illegal drugs…? Maybe they made Iida smuggle drugs for them.”). The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” appear in the dialogue.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:
System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings... read more about system accessibility settings.


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Games Like Persona

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Persona or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Persona, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16+ or ESRB MATURE 17+ games.

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