Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

Parting with Persona 5 is difficult – even if you spend more than a hundred hours in it, you become so attached to the characters that you don’t want to say goodbye to them. Part of this bitter pill was sweetened by Persona 5 Royal, which offered a lot of new content, but mostly it was a repetition of the past. Whether it’s Persona 5 Strikers – familiar characters in a new setting, fresh story and many previously unseen locations. The same heights as the original, the game does not reach, but to call it only a spin-off, the language does not turn – this is a sequel.

Have fun – and that’s enough

However, the sequel is not quite complete. Many elements of Persona 5 were either heavily modified or cut. The characters do not need to go to school – the events unfold in the summer, so there are no exams and walks along the corridors after school. The guys know each other very well and have been talking for a long time, so no one is interested in dating and friendly trips to the cafe. And the main character has pumped his characteristics, such as strength and intelligence, so there is no need to read books and watch movies.

At the same time, Strikers painstakingly recreates the characters’ characters: Yusuke’s slightly boring discussions on the topic of art, Futaba’s willingness to learn everything related to programming, Morgana’s desire to cheer up Ann and her harsh remarks towards those who compare her to cats – everything is in place. . Sophia, the “companion of mankind”, or just artificial intelligence, who wants to better understand human psychology, fits perfectly here. When long cutscenes with dialogues begin here, you can completely forget that this is not your usual Persona 5.

Persona 5 Strikers game review

Of course, there are such moments, but the effect of them is not the same as in the original.

But outside of these conversations, Strikers begins to fade a little against the backdrop of the fifth part. According to the plot, the characters travel all over Japan – in different cities there are people who somehow influence the minds of other residents and make them their followers. The creator with an army of fans, the mayor with an unprecedented number of voters – as soon as the heroes “change the heart” of the villain, they leave the city and go to the next point. They will not be able to return, and for good reason – there really is nothing to do there.

The developers tried to introduce social elements into the game – while exploring the city, you can stumble upon comrades, talk to them and get an item or even a small quest. One of the first such tasks is to go shopping and buy candy for Ann, and then chat with a few people and find her an elite candy. But such moments once again emphasize how tiny and stupid the cities are here: about ten shops, a teleport to the Velvet Room and … that’s it. And, you can also buy recipes and see a dozen bonus dialogues, but these are just trifles.

Persona 5 Strikers game review

Heroes react differently to unfamiliar cities.

However, the opportunity to spend time with virtual friends, with whom I experienced so many memorable events in the original and Royal, allows you to close your eyes to the shortcomings. You forgive the cons even in the storyline – a lot happens here thanks to luck, one of the team members necessarily sympathizes with the villains because of the type of activity or a similar past. In places, the stories seem far-fetched or clichéd, but still the story captivates. Persona 5 set the bar too high, and it will be difficult even for its creators to match it – what can we say about third-party developers?

Stylish chaos

The biggest changes are related to prisons – the local analogues of palaces from the fifth part (now you can return to them at any time even from another city). In terms of structure, they are similar to palaces: each large location is divided into several zones with downloads between them, enemies scurry around here and there, you can quietly attack them from behind, and so on. But fights are different – now they take place in real time. And the guys are fighting at the same time not with two or three opponents, but with dozens and even hundreds.

Each character accumulates the Showtime move – a spectacular attack that deals good damage.

At the same time, the developers miraculously managed to transfer here almost all the elements of turn-based “combat” from Persona 5. You can control any character using his weapons and special attacks, and in fights with large opponents, personas will come in handy – hold down R1, stop time and you can choose the desired technique . The game kindly suggests what weaknesses the enemies have, and after a successful attack, you can continue the attack by pressing different buttons.

The environment is also actively used – cars can be blown up, causing fire damage, all sorts of ice stalagmites too. If you jump on a lamppost and click on the “Triangle”, the character starts spinning at its base and causes damage to everyone around. Everything is very dynamic, fun and colorful – with a familiar visual style that turned out to be a very worthy facsimile.

What doesn’t work very well here are the applied effects like freeze, sleep, fear, and so on. They seem to be there, but at the same time you don’t notice them, especially when enemies impose them on companions. You follow here basically only your hero, and what the rest are doing there and how they feel, you don’t give a damn. And if you yourself are stunned, most often the problem is solved by moving the stick in different directions for a couple of seconds. In turn-based fights, such effects have a huge impact on the fight, especially with bosses. Here, they are of little use, and the bosses are more like sponges and are sometimes completely helpless against a skilled player.

Persona 5 Strikers game review

The ice in the center of the arena asks to break it in order to freeze all opponents.

In a sense, this minus becomes a plus, because some accessories that grant immunity to certain effects turn out to be useless and you don’t spend much time choosing equipment. And in general, you pay attention to this only when you purposefully begin to analyze the elements. In fights, you don’t think about it: it’s more important to use mana wisely, memorize successful combinations of attacks and use all the possibilities against crowds of enemies. And there are crowds here, especially when you need to protect Futaba during break-ins.

The main thing is that the gameplay does not get boring. If at the sight of the word “musou” you start to have a nervous tic, you can relax – let there be more enemies here than in Persona 5, Dynasty Warriors and the recent Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity game are far away. Many fights can be avoided by ignoring patrolling shadows, and with proper use of personas, even battles with a dozen opponents are over in a couple of seconds.

Even strong opponents can quickly die.

Persona 5 Strikers will be released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, although Persona 5 is only available on one of these platforms. On the one hand, there are really not so many connections between games – there are references and mentions of events in the dialogues, but otherwise Strikers is independent. On the other hand, I’m not sure that the new product is worth getting acquainted with for those who did not go through the original. There will be no real meeting with the characters, there will be no backstories, and the impressions will be completely different.

Hoping for a fifth installment outside of the PlayStation means being disappointed over and over again with the decisions of SEGA and Atlus. Most likely, if there really were plans, they would have already been hinted at. Enough time has passed, and Persona 4 Golden has already been ported to the PC, and the Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was added, and things are still there. So I recommend not touching Strikers for now, but getting a PS4 or PS5 and going through the “five” – you can use the regular version, available for free on PlayStation Plus, but it’s better to go straight to Royal.

Persona 5 Strikers game review

This character is also important for the plot, but it is better to find out all the details in the game itself.

***

Fans should definitely check out Strikers. It’s not perfect, but it’s a very good sequel that tells a good story. You should not expect a new Persona 5 from him – many elements from there are simply not here, and because of this, the game runs noticeably faster. But as an opportunity to spend a few more hours in the pleasant company of Strikers, it is wonderful.

Pros: a good story with favorite characters and a couple of newcomers; recognizable visual style has not lost its charm after the change of genre; an excellent combat system, in which almost all the features of the original were transferred and relevant innovations were added.

Cons: cliché in the plot; lacks a social component; unfamiliar with the original is hardly worth starting with this game.

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