Atlus has just released a new trailer for Persona 5 , and for the first time ever, it showed off gameplay! There is a lot of information to be gathered from this trailer, and so I, as the obsessive Persona lover that I am, watched through the trailer scene by scene to bring that information to you.
The first thing that you might notice is that there are a few constant themes throughout this trailer. Persona 5 trailers in the past have tried to play up the idea of a small person in a big city being some sort of prisoner. This theme continues in this trailer, as we start with a large far-away shot of what we can only assume is Tokyo all lit up. We then, however, zoom in to a mansion, with what appear to be Secret Service-type men in black scouring the place. The trailer then takes us in a very different direction, as it shows our main character, decked out in a black trenchcoat and mask, leaping through the air and jumping off walls before falling through a window and being confronted by bright lights.
The following few scenes are stylized, showing shots of the world around our main character as he, and his friends, all similarly decked out in black trenchcoats and masks, leap off walls and onto subway cars around the city. The next shot, however, sheds some light on what this theme is. We see two Velvet Room attendants, dressed like prison guards, opening a cell door to reveal the Velvet Room and Igor inside. Coming full circle back to this prison theme, it seems as if the main characters are somehow characterized as master thieves warring against some high authority.
Or at least it may be the case that this is what happens in “another world” like the Dark Hour or the TV World. The next shot shows a flying creature materializing in the middle of a crowded city crosswalk with no real reaction, so it’s likely that we are going to see a bit of the “invisible monster” theming that we have seen in Persona s past.
We then get to see some in-game footage for the first time. The graphics in Persona 5 are quite amazing, adding style to every single scene. We see the main character, looking considerably less badass, riding on a crowded subway, walking through a crowded mall, being chastised by his teacher for slacking off in class, and more. We then get to see scenes of the main characters hanging out together, each of which is fully animated in the game engine, with some cut-in anime cutscenes to show facial expressions. This makes it seem as if your “off time” where you raise your social links or do whatever you do outside of battle will all be fully animated. We even get to see the characters hanging out at a bar which looks significantly like the Stray Sheep from Atlus’s puzzle game: Catherine.
This scene is actually very significant. First of all, it shows off a cartoonish black cat, which appears to be the Teddie-like mascot for Persona 5 , as well as a party member. Second, they appear to be talking over a map of what appears to be the mansion shown earlier in the game. Perhaps they are planning some sort of grand break-in?
We then see the characters, animated, dancing like fools in public, much different from the reserved school life they just had. This brings me to my next theory. Perhaps the thief-like appearance of the main characters has something to do with them drawing upon the power of Shadows. Shadows are the “other selves”, your negative side that you suppress, and that take form in the TV world in Persona 4 . If this holds true, perhaps the main characters gain their powers by giving in to their other selves. I’ll expand on this more later.
We then get to see a shot of the menu system. We see menu options for Skill, Item, Equip, Persona, Party, Cooperation, Mission, and System. Skill, Item, and Equip are self-explanatory, and Persona is also pretty self explanatory, showing that the main characters will be using Personas for their powers. Party is significant, as it likely means that there will be more than the four characters shown in this trailer to choose from. Mission is also significant, as it likely means that you will be able to take on a variety of side-quests as well as main missions, and complete them in any order you like, which points toward a more open world game. Finally the big mystery is the “cooperation” system, which at this point hasn’t been discussed by the developers. Perhaps this is something like Social Links?
It’s also worth noting that the icon representing the main character above his HP and SP meters shows him in his masked thief form.
The menu then shifts over to the equipment screen, and we see that each character has slots labeled Weapon (likely a melee weapon), Gun, Protector (likely armor), Accessory, and Clothes. The existence of both weapon and gun slots shows that there is likely some important distinction between melee and ranged attacks. When the main character looks at his weapon menu, we can see that his weapon of choice is short knives.
The clothes slot, however, is the most interesting, as usually your clothing is the same as your armor. Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden both included systems, which the original versions of the games lacked, that allowed the player characters to buy outfits that changed their appearance. Perhaps Persona 5 will feature customizable outfits right off the bat?
The next anime cutscene shows a subway driver that appears to be possessed somehow. He runs the subway off the rails and into the station. Subways seem to be a recurring theme in this game as well, though what role they play is still uncertain.
We then get to see some actual dungeon gameplay. We see the main character enter the mansion we saw earlier. Interestingly enough, the date and time in the upper right hand corner is 4/11 in the morning, meaning that you are likely going to be choosing between dungeon roaming and your normal daily activities. We then get to see that dungeons kind of have a third dimension to them this time around, as the main character hops from chandelier to chandelier over the room he was just in. Finally, we are shown that dungeons will also have stealth elements, as the main character zips from cover to cover to avoid being seen.
We see more animated cutscenes next. One of the characters on an escalator, another of the characters running through the mansion again. Much of the trailer is animated, pointing toward liberal use of animated cutscenes throughout the game.
We get to see two shops next. The first is a clinic, which seems to not only heal, but also sell healing items. The next is a “military shop” which sells guns, weapons, armor, and so forth. What’s interesting about the military shop is that one of the options says “Joker: the fool” on it, making us think that weapons and items are somehow tied to the arcana system this time around.
After a short scene showing the main character in a jail uniform behind bars and in chains (there’s that imagery again) we get to see our first look at battle. The first thing we see is the main character using a gun skill without using a persona. Perhaps characters will have non-persona related skills this time around. In addition, we then get to see all party members attack the enemy at once, showing that all out attacks are coming back. However, the most important thing to note here is that the party members are fighting not shadows, but personas. The enemies they are facing are Sandman and Pyro Jack, personas that you could control in previous games. Perhaps this means that the game is going back to the “demon bribing” recruitment system from more traditional Shin Megami Tensei games.
The final scene in the trailer lends to most credence to my theory that the main characters are drawing their power from shadows (aside from the fact that they are fighting against personas.) We see an anime cutscene with the main character, blood on his face, smiling evily, with the yellow eyes that usually signify being a shadow. This blood burns off in a mask shape, before his whole body is enveloped in flames. The trailer ends with the familiar glass shattering sound that we hear when you summon a persona, signifying this is one of the main character’s powers.
What do you think? What tidbits of gameplay and story did you see in the trailer? Let us know in the comments.