Persona 5 (PS4)

Jul 3, 2017

Have you ever wanted to execute a massive heist?  How about pretend to be a Japanese high schooler?  Explore Jungian psychology?  You're in luck!

This may be the fifth game in the Persona subseries of the Shin Megami Tensei games, but no prior knowledge is required (although it helps to catch references, and maybe a little foreshadowing).  You play as a student shipped off to big-city Tokyo from the country on criminal probation for assault, but you only find this out a little ways into the game, which begins in mid-heist.  You're quickly apprehended by police, informed that you were betrayed by one of your own, beaten, drugged, and put into interrogation where you tell your story in flashbacks.  You've been psychically entering the minds of criminals that can't be caught by ordinary means, fighting through their defenses, and convincing them to confess and make amends, and the respectable public figures you're taking down have been growing ever-loftier.

Gameplay-wise, this is a mix of dungeon crawler with turn-based combat and social sim.  Friendships that you make will improve your combat abilities, in addition to letting you learn about people in depth.  All the while, though, you've got an eye out for whoever betrayed you, making trust a tricky thing.

While I could have been happier about how some of the characters were portrayed and some of the choices that you're given, overall, this is an excellent game.  It's fun to play, you can progress however you like, the music is good, and it throws a couple of decent surprises at you.

If you've played other MegaTen games, leave a comment and I'll happily babble at you about how I think Persona 5 did in comparison to the rest.

Reviewed by Library Staff