Persona 5 Trailer Analysis: But I Don’t Want to Wait Until Summer 2016

Unfortunately Persona fans will have to wait until next year to play Persona 5, as it was delayed until Summer 2016 recently. The delay announcement came with a brand new trailer, which makes the wait even more difficult because it's awesome. It showcases animated cutscenes, new bits of gameplay, and the revamped dungeons among other things. Let's take a look at the trailer again and dig deeper to find out what makes Persona 5 tick.

The trailer opens with the protagonists running down a collapsing pyramid in the blazing sun, so right out of the gate it looks like the characters in Persona 5 will visit far more interesting locales. As the group escapes potential doom, the female character Anne throws the cat-like creature Morgana sky high into the air. This is the kind of humor and silliness we've come to expect from the Persona series.

Then the trailer transitions to the main protagonist as he walks Japanese city streets and explores his high school. The video briefly showcases cellphone messages, which calls to mind the Atlus-developed Catherine from 2011. That game featured its own messaging aspect with phones, and it looks like Atlus plans to utilize the concept again in Persona 5. The Catherine similarities don't end there. The character design in particular gives off strong Catherine vibes, which makes sense since the game came out on PlayStation 3. Let's not forget that Persona 4 was originally a PlayStation 2 game.

The intensity ramps up following the brief look at the city and high school. Next up is a giant castle enveloped in a purple sky, and the protagonist and his buddy Ryuji enter it. Then we see the protagonist tied up in a chair with cuts and bruises before the trailer shifts its focus to dungeon exploration and combat. There seem to be some platforming aspects in Persona 5, as the party climbs obstacles and heads on to roofs in their cat burglar attire. In one of the coolest moments at 1:37, the party enters paintings in order to progress. It seems like Atlus wants to avoid the monotony of exploring linear dungeons, and the trailer showcases some inventive level designs.

As for the combat, the characters summon personas by putting on/removing masks. Persona 5 looks to continue the trend of turn-based combat, but in a far more stylized manner and with some fantastic artwork. One of the personas is some kind of skull pirate, and the party battles a purple king creature with a long tongue and multiple arms for carrying weapons and glasses of wine at the same time. There's never a dull moment when it comes to Atlus' enemy designs. Then my favorite moment in the trailer comes at 2:17 – the characters have been transformed into mice. They come across a dangerous knight and flee in terror in the most adorable way possible.

A quick look at mini-games follows, in which the protagonist takes batting practice and punches a wooden dummy. These may be tied to character growth from past games, in which players could raise courage, knowledge, and other attributes by completing various activities. The mini-games may also play a role in social links, which have been confirmed for Persona 5 despite the lack of coverage.

The last minute of the trailer features a compilation of cutscenes with plenty of drama. There are crying voice-overs, police raids, explosions, and at least one case of murder. The final shot is of the protagonist in cuts and bruises, just like an earlier scene in the trailer. He looks at the camera and sports a creepy grin before the "Summer 2016" message confirms the new release window.

A lot more information could be gathered with a proper translation, but all translated videos of the trailer have been taken down by Atlus. I think we need to get GameRevolution's own Heath Hindman on the case. In any event, the new Persona 5 trailer does an effective job of building anticipation for the upcoming JRPG. It seems as though Atlus is expanding on dungeons and adding another layer of interactivity with mini-games, and those two improvements alone could result in the best entry in the series. Now excuse me while I continually watch this trailer until Summer 2016 comes along.