The story of Persona Strikers is a direct follow-up to Persona 5. The main character and his group of loyalists at the end of the fifth Persona go on a trip across Japan. It’s not entirely clear how the connection to the story works in the case of the Royal version, but apparently Persona Strikers should fit the story into the standard five, so you shouldn’t lose anything if you haven’t reached Royal.
But as Daisuke Canada says, the game is designed so that you can enjoy it even if you haven’t played Persona 5, even if you lose a lot of story details and interpersonal contacts that simply unfamiliar players don’t appreciate as templates.
The main character with his group Phantom Thieves will visit various cities, which will play their own role in the story of Strikers. Yes, we will not sit on our butts in a single city, but we will unravel the ubiquitous problems and corruption that the whole country is riddled with. In addition, individual cities should offer, in addition to established activities, completely unique leisure opportunities specific to each new location.
The corruption in politics and in human hearts that we observed in Persona 5 has spread throughout Japan and has taken root in a slightly different form in each city. The presentation showed that each city will have its “Monarch”, whose heart will need to be changed, and thus try to socially rehabilitate himself and subsequently also the city.
To fundamentally expand the game world is an interesting step. Although it has not been difficult to get along with the café, the Sujujin Academy and other parts of the city in five, there are now a huge number of ways to design new landmarks.
Moves within locations are much more action-packed, and at times they look almost like platformers or a Japanese Batman-san. You have more control over the character during the movements than it was in the Fifth Persona. However, as in the original game, there is an extremely great emphasis on storytelling and ongoing discussions with companions, which greatly calms the seemingly faster pace.
Crime and Punishment
The core of the Persona remains the same. The player, together with his counterparts, will try to infiltrate the Palace, but this time it will be, at least I think from the video, a more extensive and otherwise stylized location. They are called “Prisons” and will be alternative versions of the whole city and its parts, not just fantastic trips to stylized palaces.
We can only guess, but I assume that this is a demonstration of how far corruption in individual cities is at all levels and how individual “negative” figures of the city perceive. Like your playground. However, there will be a classic tracing of the ideal path to the Treasure, which you must steal in an effort to change the mindset of the chosen individual.
Here, however, the similarity with the previous parts of Persona ends, because the Strikers decided to take a rather risky step. In contrast to the new work of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which abandoned the purely action combat system and added elements to it, Persona Strikers goes in exactly the opposite direction and adds to the purely turn-based battles the action elements we had the opportunity to see in the 15-minute video. during the presentation, when one of the developers showed us what the new version of the central character Joker can do in practice and what ordinary fights look like.
The player can traditionally choose members of his four-member party, but this is where the “classic gameplay” ends. As soon as there is a duel, we will find a lot of news here. At the same time, for example, the principle of assault changes, which in the example erased the enemy shadow thanks to the attacks of the whole party at the same time.
When confronted with some enemies, the Joker began bouncing on the battlefield and dealing blows completely without pausing or traction. However, as it turned out, there was also the first pause and selection of adequate abilities of the player’s Persona, all indications that the rest of the team will be completely autonomous most of the time, although you will be able to control other characters.
Each member of the Joker party has their own style of play and the opportunity to play primarily for all characters (Ryuji, Joker, Haru and others) derives from this. They have a variety of skills and abilities, which should offer greater diversity in the action style of the game. But there are also new characters such as Sophia, the embodiment of AI.
The fights themselves take place in closed arenas, which are reminiscent of the Yakuza series. The combination of an action style of playing with a basic weapon and subsequent pauses, division of roles and selection of abilities to activate Person members of the player’s team is a very unconventional element and quite honestly I would be rich enough with a classic turn-based duel.
As already mentioned, in more demanding fights, there is a regular pause of action sequences and division of actions. After their execution and possible chain reaction, the game returns to the action pace, in which the player controls virtually every step and every attack in real time.
At the same time, a whole bunch of thieves are often exposed to a much larger number of enemies than five, and perhaps too confusing carvings take place on the screen. In addition, you need to think about your own healing, negative effects and everything else, for which you will again pause the game so that you can give instructions and perform the necessary actions.
A classic with a modern twist
What needs to be picked up now is traditionally a soundtrack. In the level reminiscent of something between a circus and a castle, new melodies and beats were heard, in which one easily and gladly gets lost just while watching the game. The visual processing has not changed in any way compared to the five, but the platform on which the new Persona will get will change quite fundamentally.
While Persona 5 was the exclusive for the PS4, Strikers will target both the Sony console and the Nintendo Switch, and even directly on Steam, where Persona 4 Golden will do the new part.
And the most important thing in the end – the game is coming out on February 23, 2021!