Persona 5 is a role-playing video game where the player takes on the role of a silent protagonist,
a high school student who lives out a single year while attending high school in Tokyo: Tokyo is governed by a day-night cycle and weather systems that govern general behavior similar to a social simulation. The year is punctuated by both scripted and random events — the protagonist attends school, can go to part-time jobs within Tokyo, and pursue leisure activities or creating items for use in other areas of the game. These various activities raise character attributes, which in turn grant passive buffing effects during battle. When in the real world, the main protagonist can develop character relationships dubbed “Cooperation”. An evolution of the Social Link system from Persona 3 and 4, the main protagonist can converse with and improve his relationship with characters. The main cast are among those with Cooperation branches, with some leading to possible romances. Each relationship is symbolized by one of the major arcana, and each Cooperation link grants different boosts to the character: one character link enables the Baton Touch system which passes on an added turn to another character while granting a temporary stat boost, while others improve Negotiation abilities or give access to new items and equipment.
The game’s silent protagonist conducts two alternating lives over the course of a school year: a normal life involving going to class (top), and quests into the otherworldly Palace to fight hostile Shadows (bottom)
Alongside the normal school life is exploration of two different types of dungeons within a realm called the Palace: story-specific dungeons and randomly-generated Memento dungeons populated by Shadows, manifestations of suppressed psyches. Within Memento dungeons, the main protagonist can fulfill requests for non-playable characters (NPCs) received through a sympathetic in-game forum connected to one of the Cooperation links. While navigating, the party uses stealth to avoid the sight of enemy Shadows, and some areas hold puzzles that can be solved using an insight ability dubbed “Third Eye”. When exploring the Palace, an “Alertness Meter” is present, where the party being spotted results in security being raised alongside awareness of their presence. If security becomes too tight, the party is forced to leave the Palace. The Alertness level can be lowered by launching surprise attacks on and eliminating enemies.
Published by Atlus in Japan and North America and Deep Silver in Europe, the game was released in Japan in September 2016, and will release in North America and Europe in February 2017.