While the main protagonists of Persona 5 maintain their “normal” lives as Japanese high school students during the day, they explore and lay siege to another world at night via their smartphones. The Metaverse is given shape and form by the collective unconscious of all mankind, and it’s here that the most distorted desires of people manifest as Palaces. Within the Metaverse, Phantom Thieves wreak all kinds of destruction with their Personas and infiltrate said Palaces. I really love that this game is keeping true to the theme of willpower being such a tangible force, it’s very Shin Megami Tensei.
In order to access a Palace the team picks a target, discerns specific pieces of information, and plugs them into their Metaverse Navigator app. Once inside they fight hordes of Shadows, solve puzzles, defeat the Palace Ruler, and steal the target’s darkest desire (which takes the form of treasure). When the treasure is stolen the target’s heart is restored and they are able to grip just how twisted their core desire was. Persona 5 is promising that every target’s Palace in the game will have a different look and theme, which should prevent monotony and potential grind.
Re-appearing in the game is the ability to recruit your enemies and add them to your arsenal of Personas. This has been achieved by a plethora of ways in past SMT titles such as bribery, persuasion, seduction, or just a good old pounding, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the many unique attitudes of the game’s enemies. A baton pass feature is also being included in the game that will allow you to take advantage of enemy weaknesses by switching turns with your allies. These actions will need to be balanced during your heist however, because if you get caught too many times, you’ll have to re-attempt the Palace the next day (you get booted from the Metaverse if your security meter fills too much).
For a better look at what you can expect inside the Palaces, check out the following trailer.