Persona 5 Tactica PlayStation 5 Review

The same level of wild and crazy antics with a few fun twists thrown in.

By R3GR3T, Posted 05 Dec 2023

Some of you might know Atlus, but very few will know about P Studio. Buckle up; this only gets a little weird. Atlus has been around since 1986, and this massive Japanese studio has been around the block way too many times, so much in fact that one of their more popular game series got its very own internal studio just for that. This is where P Studio comes into the picture and a witty pun; P Studio’s development has always been dedicated to the creation of the Persona game series. We all know and love Persona, and this series has been with us since 1996.

Persona 5 Tactica, Review, Screenshots, Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Tactical, NoobFeed

Now, Persona started picking up traction very quickly, and that kept the drive for more games going with more releases like Persona 2: Innocent Sin in 1999, Persona 3 in 2006, Persona 4 in 2008, Persona 4 Golden in 2023, and many, many, many spinoffs of the series. Yes, we know spinoffs aren’t always great, and they tend to come off as a copout for the actual games, but they do a brilliant job of filling the void while we wait. Persona 5 Tactica is the latest example of just that, with its release on 17 November 2023, and while it doesn’t quite scratch the itch, it still brings more than enough Persona chaos to satisfy everybody until the next big release hits us.

Something to keep in mind with Persona 5 Tactica is that it is a spinoff title as well as a turn-based strategy. Sadly, this won’t appeal to everybody, but the game still brings the same flare we know and love from the series. Right off the bat, you’ll be introduced to Persona 5 Tactica through a cinematic and dialogue with the all too famous semi-comic book art style mixed with noir, and this is where you’ll also be introduced to the Phantom Thieves.

The peace doesn’t last forever and it looks like an earthquake hit, giving the world a little shake ,and the Phantom Thieves were transported to a completely new world. Before the team can get their bearings, you’ll have to learn quickly and roll with the mechanics as they come, which brings you to the first mechanic of Persona 5 Tactica.

Persona 5 Tactica, Review, Screenshots, Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Tactical, NoobFeed

As we all know, Persona has always been known for its rich stories and how your decisions can change certain outcomes later on, Persona 5 Tactica is no exception to this. This is probably the biggest driving force in Persona 5 Tactica because of how it can affect the world, the people you meet, and what you get to equip your team with. Your choices can sometimes come with consequences, but in the end, you just need to have fun with them and not take them too seriously.

Next up is combat, with Persona 5 Tactica being a turn-based strategy with some RPG elements, you’ll need some tactical thinking if you want to survive the world at hand. Luckily, the same rules for any turn-based release are still followed and cover is your best friend against ranged attacks because a large cover will block ranged attacks from the front and sides. You’ll need to keep this in mind to maintain your advantage in any battle from a defensive and offensive point of view.

Naturally, you’ll need to move around in a battle or it would be a slaughter for you or your opponents. Once again, a little thinking outside the box in a tactical sense will go a long way and you’ll need to keep your party’s attack types in mind. This brings us to the extra addition of melee attacks, you’ll be able to move each character around and use an attack but that would normally mean that character’s turn ends and this leaves you open to attack. However, Persona 5 Tactica has you covered with this one too in the form of One more.

Persona 5 Tactica, Review, Screenshots, Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Tactical, NoobFeed

Now, you already know cover works both ways against ranged attacks and that you can circumvent cover with a melee attack. What makes this stand out is that if your melee attack hits and your target can’t resist it, it will become downed and give you another chance to move around or attack. You can probably already see where this is going - Persona 5 Tactica will actively encourage you to string attacks like those together and down as many enemies as possible to keep the One More chain going, and this can be a devastating move if done right. This is because you’re not just downing enemies, you’ll be able to knock them out of cover, giving your other party members an opening to use ranged attacks.

Moving around, covering and attacking is all good and fine but nobody is immortal and the same can be said about your party and opponents. In true Persona fashion, your party’s HP and SP are always clearly shown with the character portraits, while your opponent’s HP is shown in a heart above them. Taking damage is pretty much par for the course but a critical hit is where the real damage can make or break a fight. However, one extremely important aspect to keep in mind is each character’s move range, you’ll be free to move within that range until you end your turn or attack but you can’t move beyond that range.

Now, it wouldn’t be Persona without the infamous Persona skills, even though they cost SP to use. Each member of the Phantom Thieves has their own Persona and unique skills, though things become a lot more heated with the fact that skills aren’t affected by cover and they can remove the resistance of any enemies that get hit while doing some damage. Once again, Persona 5 Tactica isn’t just a one and done turn-based strategy, and it has a lot more going on behind the scenes and skills come in all shapes, sizes, and flavours with various effects that can even throw enemies around or out of cover.

Persona 5 Tactica, Review, Screenshots, Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Tactical, NoobFeed

Just to throw in a little JRPG as well, you’ll be shown a quick summary after each battle, giving you your party in their best poses, Phantom Thieves and Persona EXP earned, money gained, items, and awards. Awards are basically bonus goals for each fight and these can range from finishing the stage within a set amount of turns, not taking damage, or simply clearing the stage. Perfectionists beware because it might start off easy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll stay that way.

This goes without saying; the Persona series is known for being heavily story-driven, and Persona 5 Tactica is just as story-driven with tons of cinematics to keep the flow. However, because of this, you won’t know from the start what Persona 5 Tactica has in store for you and you’ll have to progress through the game to unfold more of the story. It’s an interesting give-and-take situation that keeps the gameplay fun, but it also keeps you hooked for much longer. Anybody who likes a good story will definitely find themselves losing time in Persona 5 Tactica with its crazy and outrageous story and cinematics.

Sooner or later, you’ll get to meet our antagonist or BBEG, Lady Marie. This power-hungry tyrant seems to have a major inclination to marriage and mind-controlling others through collars that look like wedding rings, things only get worse from there as she starts taking control of the Phantom Thieves. It’ll be up to you to put an end to her reign of terror and bridezilla tantrums, but this can only be done with some outside help and by rebuilding the Phantom Thieves in Persona 5 Tactica.

Persona 5 Tactica, Review, Screenshots, Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Tactical, NoobFeed

Persona 5 Tactica isn’t just wild cinematics and fighting, you’ll eventually need to stop and smell the roses, or in this case… Change equipment. Making sure your team is well equipped is crucial to your survival, with a myriad of weapons to buy and tons of status effects and attack types to choose from, you’ll have nearly endless options to build the perfect team back at the Hideout. However, the Hideout isn’t just a convenient shop and planning area, you’ll also have a break to talk to the new members of the Phantom Thieves and get a bit more backstory for each member. Once you’re ready, you can jump into the next mission.

Persona 5 Tactica doesn’t hold back at all on the visual front, it has a crazy mix of comic book style, noir, and a nice sprinkle of cartoon on top but all this comes together to bring you Persona. The character designs are still as well polished as always between dialogues, cutscenes, and battles, though Persona 5 Tactica takes on a completely different look when it comes to the UI. The heavy use of ridged shapes combined with graffiti stylings gives Persona 5 Tactica a unique look that blends incredibly well with everything as a whole.

We can’t forget about the other side of Persona 5 Tactica that stands out just as much, what you can see is only half but what you hear is the other of this brilliant release. Persona 5 Tactica takes a lot of inspiration from Acid Jazz with a fair amount of Rock Guitar in between that gives the game a fun and semi-serious atmosphere, this might sound odd but it works so well with the visuals. Then there’s also the amazing voice acting to keep in mind, the game is mostly voiced and you won’t notice the loss in the parts where it isn’t. However, the voice acting alone is probably one of the bigger highlights of Persona 5 Tactica, especially considering how much each character’s dialogue adds to the atmosphere and overall feeling.

Persona 5 Tactica, Review, Screenshots, Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Tactical, NoobFeed

Overall, Persona 5 Tactica is a great spinoff from a brilliant long-standing series, the switch from RPG to Turn-Based Strategy is a nice touch and makes it a lot more approachable for others while maintaining the same story quality we all know and love. The best part is that you don’t have to play the other games to get into Persona 5 Tactica, so if you’re a fan of wild and whacky chaos, this is a must-play for you.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): Atlus, P Studio
Genres: Real-Time Strategy
Themes: Strategy, Fantasy
Release Date: 2023-11-17

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