Persona 5 Royal review – both better and worse than the original

March 31, 2020
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It’s a great intro: protagonist Joker darting along the casino roof, quick like a shadow. Making fast work of a handful of enemies while leaving others in the dust, his black coat swishing behind him. The excited voices of his team mates over the intercom as he’s almost reached his goal, but then! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! He’s surrounded!

The first sequence of Persona 5 Royal acts as foreshadowing and tutorial all wrapped up in one, showing you everything you will regularly be doing in each dungeon you crawl through – jumping between platforms and squeezing through ducts to find a way forward, hiding away from enemies or ambushing them when they’re not looking. Most importantly, in round-based combat you unleash Persona, manifestations of parts of Joker’s psyche who can use different elemental attacks, healing spells and stat buffs. Persona 5 Royal also adds a grappling hook to your arsenal, which you’ll mostly use to find shortcuts and additional treasure.

Joker and his friends, regular students at Shujin Academy in Tokyo, one day stumble into the Metaverse, a parallel reality that manifests Palaces where people live out their worst desires. There’s also Mementos, a sprawling maze of randomly generated dungeons. The group of high schoolers enter these palaces to steal people’s treasures, causing them to let go of harmful desires and confess their crimes.

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