BGS 2023: Persona 5 Tactica shows off the Phantom Thieves’ versatile skills

persona 5 tactica

Brasil Game Show 2023 opened its doors yesterday and for the first time ever, Sega had a booth at the event. Among the many demos there, the upcoming Persona 5 Tactica, the XCOM-inspired spin-off starring our lovable Phantom Thieves.

The 10-minute demo on the show floor was a vertical slice of the game’s combat encounters, wherein Morgana, the protagonist, and a new character to the story faced off against five shadows. The arena consisted of a square room with a large pillar in the middle and plenty of mid-body cover, likely built to be used not only as a tutorial for the demo, but as part of the full game once it hits next month.

As expected, combat in Persona 5 Tactica plays a lot like the king of turn-based tactics, XCOM: you get to control each of your characters in your squad, one at a time, inside of a limited grid. Although, similar to the newest Mario + Rabbids game, you control their movement freely instead of clicking around, which makes encounters more flexible.

Speaking of flexibility, the suite of skills on display for each of the party members reflects their RPG counterparts: you get to use guns and melee weapons as well as Persona magic, much like the main game. And depending on your positioning, if you manage to get your fighters all around a target, the option to unleash a powerful all-out attack pops up, and as expected, it becomes the key to getting the upper hand during fights.

The enemies, on the other hand, didn’t prove to be much of a challenge, but more like cannon fodder for show participants to learn the gameplay with, unlike the other Persona-related demo at BGS. That was kind of disappointing, because not having much of a reason to be more tactical didn’t allow for a whole not of variety, but it’s an understandable limitation, knowing that the demo is supposed to be enjoyed by as many people as possible under very small windows of time for each of them.

persona 5 tactica
Careful positioning is crucial to any tactics game.

While not much of the story was divulged in the demo, the entirety of the gameplay section dripped Persona style, from the graphical presentation to the soundtrack, the latter full of new beats which are expectedly great. Voice-wise, it seems that the English VO that the demo showed off indicated that the talent from the main Persona 5 game will all be making a return, along with the new actors coming in to fill the cast.

I’m particularly excited to play this after a not so impressive time with Persona 5 Strikers, the spin-off that had the team embark on a musou adventure in the vein of Dynasty Warriors. Knowing that these kinds of games can easily suck dozens and dozens of hours of playtime because of their inherent save-scumming nature, I’m sure I will have plenty to say once the time comes for the full version to hit shelves on November 16th, so please be on the lookout for Entertainium’s review around then!  

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