Test: Persona 5 Royal (JRPG, PS4)

Persona 5 Royal - Release Trailer


About three years ago Persona 5 was our game of the year 2017. With the offshoot Royal Atlus brings a kind of “Ultimate Version” onto the market and extends the high-class role-playing experience with a new playable character, new areas and a new school semester. For us, Persona 5 Royal conquers the throne of Japanese role-playing games and brings so much new and great that even P5 veterans should definitely access it – a fantastic JRPG experience!

Kasumi as a new character
Discover new urban area
Scarce 30 hours of Content-Plus
Extremely smooth gameplay
Optimized for PlayStation 4
Very much already known from P5
PS3 owners go empty-handed

Persona 5 Royal in the test: This is how the JRPG plays

Persona 5 Royal acts as a kind of “Director's Cut” for Persona 5. Atlus already brought in Persona 3 and Persona 4 PS2 times specially optimized successors on the market – but then actually for another console like the PlayStation Vita. Persona 5 Royal is a specialty here because, like Persona 5, it is coming onto the market for the PlayStation 4. No PC, no Xbox One and – to the displeasure of many fans – no version for the Nintendo Switch. This is unusual since the majority of potential buyers were able to dive into the history of Phantom Thieves three years ago. And now – in the year 2020 – should we relive the whole thing? The full 100 – Hourly gameplay pack with a few tweaks? So be it – we're going to steal hearts again!

In terms of the general gameplay, comparatively little changes. If you have never played a persona part before, you should take a look at our review of Persona 5 throw. Here we go into most of the gameplay aspects in detail. It would be a pure repetition to kick this one over again. But in a nutshell: in the role of a transfer student, we experience the dichotomy between supposedly boring everyday school life and exciting dungeon adventures in modern Japan. Together with our friends and the eponymous personas – a kind of manifestation of our personality that stands by our side in the struggle – we explore the cravings of malicious people in so-called palaces and try to drive them to repentance. Sounds crazy? It is! As already said: There is more in the test by Persona 5 . Here we want to go into the differences and improvements of the Royal version compared to the original.

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Persona 5 Royal: Kasumi is the new playable character. Image: Atlus

Persona 5 Royal: These are the improvements

Persona 5 Royal offers some adjustments and improvements compared to the original. It is certainly exciting that Persona 5 Royal finally also has German texts – the voice output remains English, but reading is much easier. From the story point of view, Kasumi is added – a new female character who joins our group. Kasumi naturally becomes part of the party and we meet her very early on. However, she only changes to the playable team later. Her character also has another exciting twist up her sleeve, which we don't want to reveal at this point. In short: Kasumi is a successfully designed new addition and sensibly complements the Phantom Thieves (and general storytelling). Of course, we can also build a friendship with Kasumi and integrate it into our everyday life – this should be a nice building block, especially for P5 veterans.

Also offers away from Kasumi Persona 5 Royal more of the good anyway. The playing time is extended by one semester in order to do justice to the additional content. There is also a new district of Tokyo, Kichijoji. Here we can play pool or darts with our friends and hang out in a jazz bar. In addition, we are now allowed to invite familiar people to a mighty large aquarium and spend time there to increase social rank, possibly get on board, or at least acquire the associated combat bonuses.

In addition, the developers also optimize the core gameplay. For example, many boss fights were changed and – if desired – supplemented with complex mechanics. Specifically, new phases were built in, which make the battles appear more dynamic. At the same time, this does not mean that beginners are suddenly faced with huge challenges. Those who play in the simplest level of difficulty still miss some of the great combat system and the satisfying learning curve. But if you just want to enjoy the story (we can understand that, it's unbeatably great!), You can continue to do fights that are child's play.

Interesting, but also clearly expandable, is the “Thieves Den” – a kind of special location where we can play cards, watch trailers or enjoy the soundtrack with our friends. Most content has to be unlocked against a kind of in-game currency that can only be used in this zone. The Thieves Den is a nice addition, but we weren't particularly impressed. At its core, it simply offers too little content to be captivating for a long time.

Top 3 shops for Atlus Persona 5 Royal Launch Edition (PS4)

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Persona 5 Royal: Kasumi has an appearance quite early. Image: Atlus

Persona 5 Royal: Is it worth it – or rather not?

For us, Persona 5 Royal is a very successful expansion of the original. Anyone who has not yet played Persona 5 and is interested in it should definitely go directly to Royal. Anyone who has played through the original version will encounter a lot of “already known”. The majority of the content corresponds to Persona 5 – with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. If you don't like the sedate storytelling, the often curious focus on teenage trivialities and the sprawling dialogues of Persona 5, you will hardly appreciate the Royal offshoot. This aspect can (and must) be turned around. If you like it exactly, you will get a lot more of it in this version and will be happy about new content that will pay for it.

The price is a bit bitter. Publisher Koch Media wants to be full again 60 Euros for the standard PlayStation 4 version. In view of recycling, this is not without. In our opinion, that's too much. 40 to 50 Euros would have done it too and would possibly also attract undecided players. Who does not want to go to the max financially and also with 80 Percent of the content is satisfied, Persona 5 currently gets from short 36 Euro for the PS4 . Here, however, you have to do without localization – the original does not offer a corresponding German translation, not even on the screen text level.

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Persona 5: The original is still a great game. Image: Atlus

Florian Holzbauer

Florian Holzbauer

As an expert for PC -Hardware, virtual reality and game consoles Florian Holzbauer is particularly interested in technical innovations and the influence of powerful hardware on video games. He also writes tests on games.

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