What We Would Like to See in Persona 5

It's time for an all-out attack!

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It has been seven years since Atlus made a new entry into its Persona series that wasn't a remake or spinoff. Last year the developer announced Persona 5 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, making this the first new entry in the role-playing game series that wasn't a fighting game or dungeon crawler spin-off.

Atlus recently revealed gameplay footage for Persona 5 and teased a host of new features and characters. Avid Persona fans within the GameSpot team sound off on what they'd like to see in the upcoming role-playing game from Atlus when it is released later this year.

Calling and texting other characters

In previous Persona games, the player's character was on the receiving end of many phone calls but was never the instigator. It would be nice to have the option to call other characters and invite them to hang out, in addition to seeking them out at school or in town. Being able to send text messages to build relationships with characters would be a great addition which could serve as a replacement for the fortune box mechanic employed in past games. Texting would fit naturally into Persona 5's modern day setting and was also used to great effect in Catherine, which was also developed by the Atlus Persona Team.

Another day, another phone call.
Another day, another phone call.

More multiplayer options

While Persona 4 Golden did offer online multiplayer of sorts, the experience was limited to viewing other players' preset shoutbox messages and tapping the screen to restore a small percentage of health and mana to their party. This meant that the multiplayer mode could only be experienced while in a dungeon, and never directly with other players.

It would be nice to be able to have more direct influence on a friend's game in Persona 5--perhaps an addition of the option to send items, both of the cosmetic or useful variety. Even a more proactive approach to multiplayer would be welcome, such as the introduction of a multiplayer-only arena where players could team up to battle together to unlock in-game rewards.

Setting up a rescue message is fun.
Setting up a rescue message is fun.

References to previous games

The storylines of Persona 3 and Persona 4 took place within the same universe, and characters from both games have crossed paths in the past. The former also includes a cameo from Vincent, the protagonist of Catherine. Seeing familiar characters crop up again in Persona 5 would be rewarding to fans who have invested time and effort into the series, even if they are just cameo appearances.

Vincent, the main character in Catherine.
Vincent, the main character in Catherine.

Alternate main character

Persona 3 Portable, a remake of the original Persona 3, introduced the option of a playable female protagonist. Choosing to play as the female main character changed the dynamic of how characters treated the player in-game, and in some cases offered completely new characters to interact with. Key events of the story played out from a different perspective, giving reason to replay the game from a different perspective.

Are you a boy or girl?
Are you a boy or girl?

Busier night life

The sleepy country town in which Persona 4 took place was interesting during the day but almost barren at night. Since Persona 5 will be set in a bustling hub in Tokyo, night time will hopefully offer a livelier cityscape. Exploring a busy city at night would be much more interesting, and hopefully the diversity of what the real Tokyo has to offer when the sun goes down will translate into engaging in-game activities. Think karaoke, themed cafes, and game arcades.

- Zorine Te, @ztharli

The night life in Inaba isn't exactly wild.
The night life in Inaba isn't exactly wild.

Character complexity

Characters in previous games were multidimensional, with unique personalities and issues that made them more than just Persona users. Each character not only had the Persona craziness to deal with, but they had other, more normal problems to sift through. Family life, relationships among themselves, personal identity... The best parts of Persona are when the kids are dealing with the ordinary on their breaks from the extraordinary. Persona 5 would do well to preserve these ideas, with a cast battling the normal and not-normal worlds like in Persona 3 and 4. It makes the world richer and makes you care more deeply about the characters.

- Alexa Ray Correia, @AlexaRayC

New Personas

This seems like an obvious one, but just like with Pokémon, the addition of new Personas with unique powers would definitely be a welcome addition to Persona 5. New abilities, such as water or psychic manipulation, would switch up the formula so it doesn’t become too repetitive for returning players. Other modifications to the gameplay, such as it not declaring “Game Over” if your character falls in battle, would also be most welcome.

Jiraiya casts wind element skills.
Jiraiya casts wind element skills.

Better dungeon variety

Each dungeon in Persona is fully decked out to complement the troubled psyche of the character trapped inside it. While the game nails the aesthetic of each dungeon, they sometimes lack variety. Trawling through multiple levels of a dungeon that all look exactly the same becomes tiring after a while. Since Persona 5 is being made for the PlayStation 3 and 4, hopefully the added power of the consoles will lead to the dungeon levels becoming grander and more diverse.

Not-so-secret laboratory.
Not-so-secret laboratory.

Vita version

While there’s been no word on a Vita version of Persona 5 yet, previous games in the series have always found a welcome home on Sony’s handhelds. The option to use Cross-Save would also be ideal for those who want the best of both worlds: Being able to indulge in the full widescreen splendour of Persona on TV, and then being able to take your game on the road.

- Lucy James, @lucyjamesgames

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