If someone were to ask you what you think justice is, would you be confident in your answer? Persona 5 tests just that.
Persona 5 is the fifth installment of the Shin Megami Tensei Persona series, and comes just in time for the 20th anniversary of the series. This game, much like the ones before it, puts the player in the shoes of a Japanese High School student with a troubled past. Not only do you arrive at a new school and need to make new friends, you need to prove yourself to those around you given your past criminal record. This particular iteration of the game takes place in Tokyo and allows you to explore this vast cityscape. The game has a Mature rating, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
As you make new friends and try to live out a normal school life, you become aware of your power of Persona and your ability to change the hearts of those around you. How will you use this power? Are you justified in altering the hearts of others against their will, even if you believe it is for the better?
Overall, Persona 5 has a lot of great qualities. It’s taken what worked in its sister games and brought it back with improvements. The controls are tight and interesting. The characters are all memorable and bring forth emotion that any person could relate to. The characters appear time and time again, allowing the player to develop a sound relationship with them. It lets you care. It encourages you to care.
The color and aesthetic of the game is probably my favorite part. The colors in the game are all sharp and contrast exceptionally well. Even the portions of the game that are meant to be ugly or horrific, are still visually appealing. Everything fits in really well, from the menu systems to the musical score, which consists of over 122 original pieces. So far, with my 60 hours in the game, I haven’t heard a score I don’t like.
Overall, the game makes the player grapple with right and wrong. What is justice? How does one enact justice? Who deserves justice? Is it your place to give justice? Several times, I’ve questioned my own choices within the game, as each choice seems to matter in the long run of the story. There are multiple endings to the game to enforce the player to choose wisely as well as fully explore all of their options. Every time I play I discover something I previously hadn’t before. The plethora of achievements also appeals to the completionist style players. As someone who waited for this game and has played all of the other games, I was expecting to be disappointed. I am extremely happy to say it has surpassed all of my expectations and I give Persona 5 a 10/10.