Persona (1996) 5 (also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona) is the latest game in a series of role-playing games that focus on a group of students. You explore the world and take on enemies like other role play games. Here though, you manage relationships between characters to help them overcome their personal barriers and unlock new abilities. The series has a dark edge as it explores the human psyche in extreme scenarios, drawing on Jungian psychology and psychological, religion, mythology, and literature.
The Persona series is set in modern-day Japan but with extraordinary events happening in otherwise normal locations. Along with social and psychological themes, the games focus on the collective unconscious. For example, a recurring location is the Velvet Room; a place between reality and unconsciousness. This eroding of the barrier between life and death is extended in the recurring motif of the Masks characters wear, that need to be dis-guarded to develop their abilities.
Because of this, the main cast are seen to live dual lives. As you progress there is a chance to become your true self in different ways. Sometimes through combatting the effect of rumours, sometimes understanding depression or sometimes even addressing gossip and the media's influence.
As you explore real and fantasy locations, you encounter enemies to battle. These fights take place in rounds. You and your party attack, then your opponents counter attack. This includes selecting which physical and magical abilities to use. As the series has developed, the system has evolved although the central play mechanic remains the same.
Personas extend these fights. They are physical manifestations of a characters psyche and subconscious and give you special powers. Your team start with an initial Persona, but this is evolved through story events and social interaction.
Establishing Social Links allows you to grow and develop. As well as offering a novel way to advance characters it also powerfully ties the narrative interactions and character stories to the battles in the game.
The main series of Persona games are:
Revelations: Persona (1996) PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
Persona 2: Innocent Sin (1999) PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (2000) PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
Persona 3 (2006) PlayStation 2
Persona 3 Portable (2009) PlayStation Portable - Coming in 2023 to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S
Persona 4 (2008) PlayStation 2
Persona 4 Golden (2011) Vita, PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Persona 5 (2016) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Persona 5 Royal (2017) PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Persona 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 8 days ago.