Persona 5 Tactica PAX West Impression

With its flashy and fun visuals, Persona 5 Tactica feels like one of the most accessible and straightforwardly fun-loving uses of Persona yet.

The Persona franchise has been branching out into other genres with spin-offs for some years now.  That it took this long to dive into a Persona tactical turn-based title is somewhat of a surprise.  Persona 5 Tactica looks to make up for lost time by being an easily accessible and enjoyable title that spins off from one of the biggest titles in the franchise.  RPGamer got to sit down and check out a brief combat-focused demo at PAX West.

The demo began with Morgana telling players how to attack and use some of the special skills found in the game.  Utilizing cover and strategy each character — Morgana, Joker, and newcomer Erina — had the choice to dish out damage with a gun, sword, or magic skill.  Combat is snappy as everyone moves about swiftly and guns shoot out minimal damage quickly.  Persona abilities all feel a bit flashier as enemies are spun around and tossed by Garu, a wind spell, with the whole battlefield is used as a stage.  The firearm weapon animations are fun as well, particularly the cuteness of Morgana pulling back and firing his slingshot.

Menu navigation is easy to move through and pick between attacking and using Persona abilities.  Due to the speed of the demo and the tutorial-like actions of the enemies, there wasn’t really time to dive into items or how support skills work.  There was time, however, to complete a Triple Threat attack by surrounding the enemy in a triangle formation.  This is Persona 5 Tactica’s equivalent of the regular series’ All-Out Attack with all three combatants unleashing a flashy bunch of shots to do a lot of damage to a big area.  Based on of how fluid and crisp everything feels so far, using additional Personas, weapons, and special attacks should keep things fresh and exicting.

Newest member Erina has a sense of naivety around her that makes her fit in with the rest of the Phantom Thieves quite well.  Though there wasn’t not much opportunity for her character to shine through during the tutorial with a speechless Joker and a prankster Morgana, they all appear to get along and have a sense of camaraderie.  How Erina mixes with the rest of the cast and how she and her reltionships with the Phantom Thieves grows through the game should be very interesting; the chances are high that they’ll get along just fine.

While combatants were sneaking around the map and making use of cover to maneuver around, the soundtrack felt right at home with series.  With its flashy and fun visuals, Persona 5 Tactica feels like one of the most accessible and straightforwardly fun-loving uses of Persona yet.  The tactical elements are simple and easy to pick up.  The demo may be a bit on the easy side, but the full game will have five difficulty options to choose from, and even if it still stays simple, the game has more than enough charm and charisma between the visuals and character work to keep players interested.

There’s a confident swagger around Persona 5 Tactica, and it feels like a franchise currently in full swing.  It uses that swagger in a fun way; such as Erina’s naivety makes it hard to take everything serious especially with enemies being tossed about like rag dolls, while Morgana snipes them with a slingshot.  Players have gotten to know the Persona 5 cast plenty already through the original release, Royal, and Strikers, and Tactica feels like ample opportunity to enjoy extra time with them.  Persona 5 Tactica will seek to capture more heart when it releases for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch worldwide on November 17, 2023.


Ryan Costa

Friendly neighbourhood reviewer that thinks every RPG should be discussed, because one never knows where a hidden gem can appear.

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