Persona 5 Tactica Preview – Strategically Steals My Heart

The Persona series has never been hesitant to explore its spin-offs. From dungeon crawling to dancing, we’ve seen it all. But surely, they wouldn’t create an XCOM-esque strategy game set within the Persona 5 universe, would they? That’s precisely what they did with Persona 5 Tactica.

Exploring Persona 5 Tactica: A Deep Dive into the SRPG World

As someone who has always praised both Strategy RPGs and Persona 5, this seemed like a no-brainer to me. However, as we approached the game’s release date on November 17th, I found myself becoming somewhat hesitant about how these worlds would collide.

Yet, after playing through the first two hours of the game, I discovered that not only did Atlus put together a competent and enjoyable SRPG, but they also managed to infuse even more emotionally charged scenarios surrounding these characters.

Persona 5 Tactica seamlessly blends the beloved world of Persona 5 with strategic gameplay.

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Persona 5 Tactica wastes no time immersing players in the world of Persona 5 and its characters. As the stop opens, it’s essentially a typical day for the Phantom Thieves, except for the fact that they’re not entering the Metaverse to steal any hearts. However, their day takes a bizarre turn as something strange occurs in their reality, leading them to be transported to a different universe where they are quickly attacked.

This initiates the first battle, where a tutorial explains the basics. You can take cover behind structures while eliminating enemies within range. During a player’s turn, you can select an Attack to choose between Ranged or Melee. Ranged attacks utilize the character’s weapons and can even stagger enemies, allowing for follow-up attacks. Melee attacks enable players to push enemies out of cover or bounce them off structures and into the open.

Strategic Gameplay in Persona 5 Tactica: Unveiling its Unique Features

Then there are the Persona attacks, which serve as heavy-hitting skills and contribute to strategic planning for multiple attacks against enemies. Players can use push abilities to group enemies for a large AOE attack or exploit their weaknesses. Like in the mainline games, Persona abilities form the foundation of battle strategy. However, in this game, taking cover is crucial to avoid taking excessive damage.

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Returning to the story, I appreciate the “act now, ask questions later” approach to the setup. The introduction is filled with events, including the introduction of a mysterious antagonist named Marie. But, given that you’re learning all of this alongside the Phantom Thieves, the group is just as perplexed as you are. Who are these new enemies, who is Marie, and what is this reality? Well, I’d hate to spoil all of that in a preview.

The game’s presentation, though initially jarring, adds a unique charm to the experience.

General movement across the field is limited to how far a character can travel during their turn. The maps become reasonably complex, but the opening missions primarily involve navigating around boxes. Nevertheless, new mechanics are introduced that make missions more challenging to plan. Each mission includes sub-missions that offer additional rewards, and characters gain experience by participating in missions.

I’m carefully treading the line here, avoiding giving away too much about the compelling aspects of the game’s opening hours. So, I’ll refrain and just talk about my old friends, The Phantom Thieves. What makes it easy is how comfortable these characters are with each other. We get to explore a new facet of their friendship and see them in a different light. The plot features a few early twists that complicate the initial plan, leaving me in a mindset where I could happily continue playing for many more hours.

Persona 5 Tactica: A New Perspective on Beloved Characters

The presentation and art direction took some time for me to adjust to. The character illustrations are bold and vibrant, complementing the environmental designs. However, I’m not entirely sure how attached I am to this particular interpretation of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I find them adorable, but some of the emotional moments might not hit their mark when all I want to do is pinch Ann’s cheeks. Then again, I felt the same way during Persona 5.

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Persona 5 Tactica manages to blend the beloved world of Persona 5 with strategic gameplay seamlessly. There’s an intriguing storyline here and well-executed mechanics that make the opening scenes set up what I’m hoping is another excellent Persona 5 outing. As the Phantom Thieves embark on a new adventure, players are sure to find themselves captivated by the fusion of familiar characters and fresh challenges.

Persona 5 Tactica is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam on November 17, 2023.

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.