New Persona 5 Dungeon Crawling Mechanics Revealed
The latest issue of Japan's Dengeki PlayStation magazine, as translated by Domi on Tumblr, revealed new dungeon mechanics for Persona 5 that revamps the system players have become accustomed to in previous iterations, allowing for more fluid dungeon exploration.
The first page discusses a new feature called "Safe Rooms" that allows players to save their game mid-dungeon, as well as consult with their party members to discover useful information about the palace they are exploring. Palace seems to be the name for dungeons in Persona 5, but that is simply speculation for now.
Page two details the ability to swap party members at anytime while exploring a dungeon in order to coordinate attacks according to enemy weaknesses, a convenience not found in previous Persona games. It also confirms there will be support systems like "assist" and "navi" (navigation). These were designed with first-time persona players in mind.
The focus of page 3 was on dungeon crawling convenience. Persona 5 will have hotkey functions like "auto-recover" and "high speed dash" that will allow players to speed up their exploration if they choose to do so. "Auto-recover" fully heals your team and "high speed dash" provides faster movement speed. Whether this will require MP, a.k.a. your characters' energy, was not discussed.
Party members will also provide verbal hints while exploring, such as "there's something around here". A similar feature was included in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, so it is possible they are re-inventing the idea for Persona 5.
Finally, the last page confirmed the ability to select a difficulty at the start of the game. The four difficulties featured in the image are Safety, Easy, Normal, and Hard.The publication also mentions the Maniac mode from previous Persona games, but it is not confirmed whether this hyper-difficult mode will be included in Persona 5. There may be a chance that this mode must be unlocked, but no one can say for sure at this moment.
Long-time fans of the Persona series would probably agree that these new dungeon-exploring mechanics are radically different from the usual pop-in, pop-out cycle that previous Persona dungeons required. While at times infuriating, the risks of not being able to save or swap party members within dungeons was part of the Persona experience. With the ability to save your game and swap party members mid-dungeon, the series is sailing into uncharted territory.
The Shin Megami Tensei series, including Persona, is known for its difficulty and strategy before entering battle. Until release, it will be unclear how Persona 5's new features will effect difficulty and fluidity. Then again it is developed by Atlus, so difficulty is almost a guarantee.
For the full translation of the Persona 5 feature in Dengeki PlayStation Vol. 617, visit Domi's Tumblr page.