The announcement arrives at the end of a new trailer released today, which showcases Persona 5‘s gameplay for the first time alongside newly divulged story elements.
This week’s trailer reveals that Persona 5 will retain the series’ traditional town-exploration segments and day-to-day gameplay that takes place in and around a Japanese high school. Players can chat with classmates to forge bonds that result in stat boosts and new skills in battle.
The Persona series revolves around the exploration and investigation of otherworldly phenomena that crops up in otherwise realistic modern settings. Forming a party consisting of their in-game classmates, players explore these dangerous worlds and use their inherent “Persona” abilities to summon demons and perform magic attacks in battle against deadly creatures.
The Persona games are unique in that players have to balance their characters’ social lives in addition to forming extradimensional search parties after class. Interacting with friends and allies levels up characters’ linked Persona abilities, upping their combat capabilities.
While few storyline details regarding Persona 5 have been revealed to date, previous games in the series tackled weighty themes and interpersonal drama alongside traditional turn-based RPG mechanics. This week’s trailer indicates that Persona 5 will follow suit, demonstrating that characters can now keep track of their teammates via in-game text messaging and other features.
Persona 5 also introduces a physical training component. The new trailer shows a character testing their skills at a baseball batting cage and practicing with a training dummy, likely boosting their stats as a result.
Persona 5 will debut in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and PS3 in the summer of 2016. Atlus has confirmed that a localized English-language release will arrive in North America by the end of 2016.