Persona 5 stars a pack of anti-heroes who may have a rather casual approach to property laws.
Persona Team is finally ready to talk about its latest baby, releasing the first Persona 5 gameplay footage earlier today.
Reading between the lines of information released so far, somehave speculated that the game’s protagonists are delinquents – and thieves. According to director Katsura Hashino, that’s a pretty fitting assesment.
“One of the things that inspired us to make this question to begin with was how, say, a classic, iconic thief in the vein of Lupin III might win the hearts and minds of people in today’s day and age if they were out running around today,” Hashino told Famitsu in an interview translated by Gematsu.
“There have been a lot of books and films over the years that explored the sorts of lives that thieves live, but that’s not ground that’s very well covered in games.”
“There have been a lot of books and films over the years that explored the sorts of lives that thieves live and how they’re able to shake up the world with what many would perceive to be sheer brazenness, but that’s not ground that’s very well covered in games and we intend to rectify that.
“We want our players to be able to empathize with these characters and enjoy seeing what they get themselves into and we’re giving it everything we’ve got to make sure that comes through loud and clear in the final game.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Hashino described the group as “high school punks who are trying to bite back at a world that’s trying to pin them down”, and mentioned that he hopes the game gives people “a little courage to keep going in their day to day lives, to face things head on and do something with themselves”.
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say in this day and age that there are a lot of people out there who feel like they aren’t moving forward, that they have no future, and carry a lot of weight on their shoulders every day,” he said.
“They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, emotionally speaking; on the one hand, they might not be keen on living by the same rules and values that defined previous generations, while still lacking the will to go out and actually break those barriers down themselves. That dark side of society is a central pillar to the game we want to make with Persona 5.”
“In previous Persona games, the stories revolved around pretty traditional heroes. The protagonists of Persona 5 themselves are on the run for doing what they think is right after something happens completely out of the blue.”
Heavy stuff – and very much in Persona’s vein. Also explains the ball and chain key art pieces released early on. Hashino elaborated in a letter posted on the Persona Channel.
“In a nutshell, if I were trying to explain what this game is trying to evoke, I’d say it’s like if you took something like a picaresque novel and then threw in, for lack of a better word, realistic, down to earth ‘academy juveniles,'” he said.
“In previous Persona games, the stories revolved around pretty traditional heroes going after villains that most anyone one would be loath to associate themselves with; they pursued the bad guys for the sake of justice, essentially. This time around, though, the protagonists of Persona 5 themselves are on the run for doing what they think is right after something happens completely out of the blue.
“That mixture of thrills and not-so-larger-than-life cast of characters is what composes the idea of ‘academy juveniles’ for us. We think that these characters are going to be a little rougher around the edges than those who have come before them in the series.”
These new comments follow a producer’s letter published to the Atlus website.
Atlus parent Sega said it’s getting out of the console business, but it has also always said it will let Atlus run as a near-autonomous unit, so here’s hoping this won’t be the last Shin Megami Tensei games we see.