Persona 5 Tactica (Xbox Series X)

The  Phantom Thieves are back with Persona 5 Tactica, sending Joker and Co on another adventure. This time around, the game is a tactical RPG similar to games like XCOM or Mario + Rabbids. The game released November 17th, 2023, for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation 4/5.

The story of the game sends the Phantom Thieves onto another adventure in another world. Each area of this new world is ruled over by tyrants. After meeting newcomer Erina, the group joins the Rebel Corps, a force of rebellion in this world and attempt to overthrow the tyrant. Another newcomer, Toshiro also joins the crew, supporting the group as they try to get to the bottom of this new world. Without spoiling much, the story of the game is great with the newcomers being good characters along with the games villains and areas being interesting and having some good theming. With Persona 6 potentially being on the horizon and no more announced Persona 5 spin-offs, this could be the final outing of the Phantom Thieves and if so, they go out with a bang with Tactica.

Tactica plays a lot differently to the other Persona 5 titles, being a tactical RPG. In combat, you control 3 party members and move around the map a certain distance depending on your characters stats and can either use melee, ranged or skill attacks on enemies, positioning and cover is vital to success, with you taking reduced damage or blocking entirely while in cover.

People who have played games like Mario + Rabbids will feel right at home here, with the game feeling more similar to that than more complex titles in the genre like XCOM. Tactica also has a few unique mechanics to set it apart from the rest of the genre such as the one more mechanic returning from the other Persona games which gives you an extra turn if you knock an enemy down by hitting its weakness. After knocking an enemy down, triple threat unlocks, which lets you deal massive damage to all enemies caught in the triangle of all three partymembers, giving even more impact of having good positioning. Baton pass also returns in Tactica, this time letting you replace knocked out party members with reserve members. All of these mechanics make for a very satisfying combat system that keeps you thinking about the best way to tackle the enemies. Each mission also has optional objectives to aim for such as complete the mission in a set amount of turns, or take damage less than a set number of times. 

The game feels fairly linear, with the bulk of your time being spent in story missions with the rest of it being spent in the hideout. The hideout lets you speak to your companions about events in the story or other optional conversations or upgrading your party by buying new weapons or fusing new personas for your party members. Each party member also has their own skill trees that unlock new skills and bonuses for characters as you progress and earn points. While the game is more linear, the side missions that unlock as you play are fantastic. They task you with completing them under set conditions that really test your understanding of the games mechanics such as getting to the target area in one turn by taking advantage of the one more mechanic or defeating every enemy in a single turn. Overall, the gameplay of the game is fantastic, bringing a great take on the tactical RPG genre that still feels approachable to newcomers to the genre, although the game can feel slightly more linear than Persona 5 and Persona 5 Strikers with less side content however the side content that is available is great. 

The striking presentation Persona 5 is known for is still going strong in Tactica, even with a new art style. The game has a more chibi art style and feels very vibrant and colourful. The characters and environments look great with this new style, while still keeping the distinct style of Persona 5. The menus also look great, being much more stylish than your standard game menus. The animations in combat also look great, particularly the special voltage attacks that have more extravagant animations to go alongside the attack.

The voice acting is also fantastic, with the cast bringing their characters to life well once again with their performances to where the characters wouldn’t feel the same without their voices behind it. The soundtrack is exceptional as is expected from the series with some great themes, particularly in battle and the vocal themes are fantastic as usual. Overall, the game has fantastic presentation with its stylish visuals and fantastic soundtrack.

Overall, Persona 5 Tactica is a great spinoff to Persona 5, bringing a great take on the tactical RPG genre with an interesting story and striking visuals and soundtrack. If it does in fact end up being the last game featuring the Phantom Thieves, it is a great send off and fans of the series will enjoy.



A great tactical RPG with stylish presentation and a good story

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