Persona 5 was one of the best games released in 2017 - it represented the modern evolution of the Persona formula. The game improved the dating sim social mechanics and masterfully weaved them into the turn-based combat aspects. With Atlus's tradition of doing a "remaster - semi expansion" version of every persona game since 3, Persona 5 Royal's confirmation was not much of a surprise to fans of the series. P5R is going to be released globally in two days - while the game improves a lot of aspects from the original, the new characters and story arcs are the most notable ones.

The gameplay loop is more or less the same as the original - the Royal version only extends the play period pass the original ending date of the game. In persona, you and your compatriots "The Phantom Thieves" would target corrupted individuals, attack their "cognition dungeons" and beat up the manifested evil versions of those guys in the "metaverse". Each character in the gang would have a power called "Persona", which summons a spirit to do battle on their behalf. And you have to do all that while keeping a normal life at school with friends - the secret of gaining more power is to connect with various people from real life and gain their trust. The more a confidant is developed, the more powerful you and your Personas become.

Persona 5 Royal
Akechi would get a bigger role in this remaster/expansion of P5

Royal gives you plenty of reasons to return even if you have played the original release. Royal improves all interactions with Akechi, one of the most important characters - and if you manage to deal with his issues, the guy would survive his original end in P5. Besides Akechi, two new confidants are added: team member Kasumi and therapist Maruki. Both abilities given by those characters are great - Kasumi gives HP and ambush dodge while Maruki gives maximum SP, the most important stat in P5.

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The new confidant Kasumi is pretty much designed to go with the protagonist

While interactions with Kasumi and Maruki happen throughout the majority of the game, their plot does not kick in until you have beaten P5's final boss - the overall storyline of P5 is preserved intact. The new Royal dungeon introduced a lot of new puzzles, exploration elements - and it is overall unique comparing to the previous palaces in-game. The new boss battle is also done rather well - it does not take away anything from the original finale and ending.

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A lot of new events are added into the base game

Various details in the original games that fans were complaining about have been revamped as well. Joker is now able to use a grappling hook in exploration - more palace areas are made available than ever before. A new collectible named Will Seeds is added as well - for every three of those you found in palaces, a new special piece of equipment that carries a powerful skill would be added. These item-based skills, along with the new Showtime attack mechanics would be a great help in dealing with the new powerful enemies. Speaking about enemies, all the bosses now have an extra form based on the theme of their sins, and each of those forms would add a twist to how the battle plays out. Overall, even if you are very familiar with the original game, there would still be a lot of unexpected stuff.

Verdict: Persona 5 Royal is a great improvement over the base game - and if you have never played a Persona game, this would be a great starting point. Interested in more of our articles related to video games? Please check out this post for the top 10 most famous games released in the last decade.