Game Review | Persona 5 Tactica is Turn Based Activism

Persona 5 Tactica, the latest spin-off in the acclaimed Persona series, not only delivers an engaging tactical RPG experience but also serves as a thought-provoking exploration of power dynamics, friendship, and the challenges of fighting for a better world. Released on November 17, 2023, the game skillfully combines strategic gameplay with a narrative that resonates with real-world issues.

The game takes place at the tail end of Persona 5’s story, immersing players in dungeons crafted around characters’ perceptions of their conflicts. The Phantom Thieves find themselves drawn into these dungeons, encountering exaggerated representations of power dynamics, corruption, and control. The narrative unfolds through newcomers Erina and Toshiro, providing a fresh perspective on the ongoing struggles against societal injustices.

Tactica introduces a tactical twist to the traditional turn-based mechanics of Persona 5. The initial hours may feel sluggish and tutorial-heavy, but as players delve deeper, they unlock a more rewarding and strategically satisfying game. The battles emphasize displacement, holding positions, and using cover rather than relying on elemental strengths and weaknesses. Environmental twists keep the gameplay dynamic, offering a unique spin on familiar mechanics.

Character builds in Tactica, while rewarding, are more limited compared to some genre contemporaries. The focus is on equipment upgrades, skill tree advancements, and sub-Personas, adding a layer of strategy to battles. While battles can be puzzle-like and enjoyable, the game could benefit from more diverse character builds to encourage experimentation with different party compositions.

Advertisement

The narrative choice to focus on newcomers Erina and Toshiro, sidelining the main cast, may frustrate some fans. However, the game’s emphasis on the power of friendship and the evolving dynamics of iconic characters provides a compelling narrative thread. Tactica’s storytelling weaves themes of societal change, personal growth, and the challenges of activism into the tapestry of the Persona universe.

In addressing the exhaustion and weight of fighting for a better world, Tactica aligns with the contemporary struggles faced by individuals globally. The game prompts reflection on the responsibility of those with the capacity to enact change and acknowledges the collateral damage that often accompanies such endeavors.

Despite its initial hurdles and spin-off tropes, Persona 5 Tactica emerges as a valuable addition to the Persona series. It not only captivates with its tactical gameplay but also engages players in a narrative that resonates with the complexities of our world. Tactica serves as a reminder that, even in the face of challenges, the pursuit of positive change is a collective effort, and the bonds of friendship can provide the strength needed to carry the weight of progress.

As players progress through Tactica, the game’s true strength unfolds in its ability to address the existential questions that echo in the minds of many. In a world burdened by political turmoil, social injustices, and the constant struggle for personal and collective liberation, Tactica doesn’t shy away from examining the toll of activism and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of a better tomorrow.

The protagonist’s team, the Phantom Thieves, once served as a power fantasy for players, allowing them to vicariously bring down corrupt figures in positions of authority. However, Tactica takes a poignant turn by acknowledging the weariness that accompanies the fight for change. In an era where demands for essential rights, justice, and equality seem to fall on deaf ears, the exhaustion experienced by the Phantom Thieves and their allies feels all too relatable.

The game’s narrative grapples with essential questions: Is the fight for a better world worth the pain? Must individuals endure suffering for progress to occur? Tactica contends that, even amid the weight of adversity, the pursuit of positive change is a noble endeavor. It encourages players to reflect on their own struggles and the collective responsibility we share in shaping a brighter future.

The allegorical nature of Persona 5 Tactica extends beyond its gameplay mechanics and into a reflection of our current societal challenges. As players navigate the intricate battles within the game, they are metaphorically navigating the complexities of activism, where the path to victory is rarely straightforward, and the sacrifices are felt deeply.

The thematic depth of Tactica is complemented by its tactical gameplay. The initial hurdles and tutorial-heavy segments give way to a more engaging experience as players master the intricacies of the game’s mechanics. The emphasis on environmental twists and strategic positioning adds layers of complexity to battles, rewarding players for their adaptability and creativity.

In conclusion, Persona 5 Tactica stands as a testament to the enduring relevance of the Persona series. Beyond its role as a tactical RPG, it serves as a mirror reflecting the challenges of our time. Tactica invites players to grapple with the complexities of activism, the exhaustion of fighting against formidable odds, and the enduring belief that positive change is not only worth pursuing but is a responsibility we all share.

Featured Image Credit.