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Persona 5 Strikers review | PC Gamer

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What is it? An action game sorta-sequel to Persona 5.
Expect to pay £50/$60
Developer Omega Force / P-Studio
Publisher Atlus
Reviewed on RTX 3080, Intel i9-9900K, 16GB RAM
Multiplayer None
Link Official site

Strikers has all the style and confidence of Persona 5, plastered with bold colors and glittery character animations that give each scene the liveliness of a manga panel, all the way down to the menus. A smooth, jazzy soundtrack establishes a psychedelic ’70s spy movie energy, even though we’re dealing with teens taking on criminals throughout Japan. There’s even a 30-hour story with most of the cast and voice actors returning. It walks and talks almost exactly like Persona 5, a game that isn’t even on PC yet. 

But Strikers isn’t Persona 5, and the comparison isn’t flattering for it. Its social elements and combat aren’t as fully-featured or its characters as deeply considered as Persona 5’s, so any expectation of parity will lead to disappointment. Strikers is a wild, but bloated visual novel with almost no room for expression or choice, and with the some of the best turn-based combat in existence swapped out for repetitive action game combat. Strikers will give Persona 5 lovers some painful whiplash.  

Fake friends

In Persona 5 Strikers you return as the same nameless high school student and reunite with the Phantom Thieves, your group of friends that faced down the invisible psychic threats plaguing the Metaverse in Persona 5. It sounds complex, but the Persona series just dresses up social and cultural issues in surreal fantasy garb. People fight one another with physical manifestations of their psyche, which basically makes it a game of surreal Pokemon. I choose you, weird sewer monster shaped like a penis, also why are you crying?! And so on. 

Persona 5 Strikers

(Image credit: Atlus)

The big bads have shifted from greedy adults to the more intangible effect of social media on young people, with villains building massive dungeons out of ego, from Hot Topic-infused nightmare amusement parks to goofy fantasy castles ripped from the pages of contrived young adult literature. These scenes, split between a real-world road trip through Japan, make Strikers sound like the ideal side story, a special summer reunion episode. And the story is fine, it’s just missing Persona 5’s special ingredient. 

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