• Persona 3 Reload and Persona 5 Tactica are both highly anticipated releases in the Persona franchise, introducing new gameplay mechanics and storylines.
  • Persona 3 Reload features updated mechanics that closely resemble Persona 5, allowing players to control the entire party during battles.
  • Persona 5 Tactica incorporates turn-based tactics gameplay, introducing new features such as Ailments and the ability to incorporate party member movement into strategy.

Persona 5 Tactica and Persona 3 Reload are both slated for release within the next year, with each bringing fun new facets to the Persona franchise. Developed by Atlus and published by SEGA, Reload is a comprehensive remake of the original game from the ground up, while Tactica introduces the beloved characters of Persona 5 to a new storyline and fighting style. Screen Rant recently attended a special hands-on preview event that gave a clearer picture of what fans can expect from the two titles.

The Persona 3 Reload demo consisted of two different sections: New Moon and Full Moon. New Moon was an exploration of Tartarus, the tower filled with Shadows that appears during the Dark Hour. The game’s protagonist and Junpei set off to conquer as many floors as possible, ending with a boss battle. As the duo fought, the updated mechanics of Reload became quite evident, as they’re now nearly identical to the style of Persona 5. One of the biggest changes is that players now control the entire party instead of just the protagonist – gone are the days of assigning members tactics and hoping for the best.

Related: Missing Persona 3 Portable Features The Remaster Must Bring Back

Full Moon centered on the climax of the game’s first chapter, which sees Junpei, Yukari, and the protagonist trying to stop a runaway monorail train, with remote help from Mitsuru. This consisted of several smaller battles across the train’s cars, culminating in the game’s first narrative boss battle with the Arcana Priestess. Alongside individual party member commands, the combat menu itself has been simplified for a smoother experience, now with just four main options: Persona, Attack, Guard, and Item. Arguably one of the most requested Persona 3 improvements, the game’s graphical upgrade is standout change, having been entirely redone in Unreal Engine with stunning results.

Persona 5 Tactica‘s demo began with the gang gathering at Café Leblanc, discussing their plans for college as well as the mysterious disappearance of political candidate Toshiro Kasukabe. As they watch a news report regarding the politician, they find themselves mysteriously transported to the Metaverse. Here players are introduced to both the game’s new mechanics and Lady Marie, a pink-skinned tyrannical leader who barrels in on a spiked tank adorned with “Just Married” regalia. The formidable new foe possesses those around her with a “kiss of love” to fight on her behalf, including Ryuji in one of the playable demo scenes.

Persona 5 Tactica‘s gameplay will feel familiar to turn-based tactics fans, with players now incorporating party member movement into their strategy each turn alongside combat choices. There are standard features like cover granting damage resistance and the ability to chain multiple attacks using Persona‘s long-used One More mechanic, which in this particular game activates when characters target enemies with no resistance. Characters can also inflict certain Ailments – the title’s term for status effects – on enemies with Persona moves, like Despair, which steals the afflicted’s movement for a turn and grants it to the attacker.

Erina firing a critical shot in Persona 5 Tactica.

The latter part of the Persona 5 Tactica demo jumped ahead several chapters, with a new character named Erina being added to the party, although not much background was given on her besides the fact she’s a revolutionist fighting in the Metaverse. This portion introduced the concept of characters becoming Charged, which occurs if every member doesn’t attack during a turn. This grants different abilities for each fighter – for example, Erina becomes able to down covered enemies. Tactica‘s take on an All-out Attack was also demonstrated; called Triple Threat, it can be initiated by a fighter with a One More when three members surround a downed enemy.

Both Atlas demos showcased engaging turn-based combat that adds new dimensions to both Persona 3 and Persona 5‘s old mechanics. It’s exciting that Tactica introduces not only an additional dimension to strategy but a fresh face as well – previous Persona 5 spin-off Strikers‘ new characters became a big hit with fans, and it seems likely Erina may receive the same reception. Reload‘s impressive makeover can’t be overstated, and the overhauled combat makes fighting a much more controlled and pleasant experience. Players can dive into Persona 5 Tactica this fall, but will unfortunately have to wait until next year to explore Persona 3 Reload.

Source: Official ATLUS West/YouTube

Persona 5 Tactica will release November 17 for PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Persona 3 Reload will release February 2 of next year for PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, and PC, and will also be available through Xbox Game Pass. Screen Rant attended a special hands-on preview event for the purpose of this preview.

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