Persona 5 releases in just a few months in North America and Europe, and Atlus has released a new gameplay video that showcases one of the new key gameplay mechanics in the game: palaces.
Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled youth who live dual lives. They have the typically ordinary day-to-day of a Tokyo high-schooler - attending class, after school activities and part-time jobs. But they also undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people. Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the "self;" the game's heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective mask and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and use it to strive to help those in need. Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception and see through the masks modern-day society wears.
While the Phantom Thieves keep up their guises as normal Japanese high-schoolers during the day, they travel to another world via their smartphones during the night. This world is known as the "Metaverse", essentially the "collective unconscious" of all mankind. In the Metaverse, the most distorted desires of people manifest themselves as Palaces, and it's up to the Phantom Thieves to infiltrate and defeat the evils within a Palace.
To enter a Palace, they need to pick a target, figure out certain information and then put it into the Metaverse Navigator app to gain access. Once inside, they must fight hordes of Shadows, solve puzzles and defeat the Palace's ruler to steal the target's deepest desire (taking the form of treasure, of course). Once it's stolen, their heart will be changed and they'll understand the evilness of their core desire. Unlike prior games, however, where getting caught by the enemy just meant you either missed an early attack or got attacked yourself early on, in this game you can get kicked out of the Metaverse entirely until the next day if you're not careful if your security meter fills up completely.
Battles work similarly to Persona 3/4, although now there's a new "Hold Up" option to negotiate with them to yield money, items and even a chance to avoid a battle entirely. The protagonist can even convince them to join the Phantom Thieves as a Persona! There's also a Baton Pass feature that lets an attacking party member switch turns with another character to maximize attacking weaknesses.
Remember that the game will be available in two versions, a "Take Your Heart" premium edition and a SteelBook launch edition. The former will be priced at $89.99/CA$109.99 and is exclusive to the PS4 version with the following:
Soundtrack CD: A selection of music from Persona 5 by legendary series composer Shoji Meguro in a CD wallet featuring P5 artwork.
4" Morgana plush: Morgana the cat is not just the mascot of the Phantom Thieves, but is also a member--and also not just a cat! The premium edition includes an exclusive 4" plush of Morgana.
64-page hardcover art book: This art book is full of concept sketches, character art, and more by character designer Shigenori Soejima.
SteelBook: As strong as a vault, the game disc for the PS4 will come specially packaged in a SteelBook collectible case, emblazoned with Persona 5 designs.
School bag: Designed after the traditional school bags in Japan, the exclusive replica bag comes complete with the Shujin Academy crest.
Collectible outer box: Easily the largest premium edition in ATLUS' history, the entirety of the "Take Your Heart" Premium Edition comes in a colossal collectible box.
The SteelBook edition will be available through pre-orders and a limited number of day-one purchases, while supplies last, for $59.99/CA$79.99. As for the PS3 version, it will release in a regular game box, and will retail for $49.99/CA$59.99.