Unfortunately, Atlus has now announced that the game’s release has been delayed until April, 2016.
Like previous entries in the series, Persona 5 challenges players to balance a high-schooler’s social calendar in between treks through an otherworldly realm filled with dangerous creatures. Players will want to keep close friends throughout, as building relationships will grant access to powerful magic-wielding Personas, among other perks.
Similar to the Social Link system in Persona 3 and 4, Persona 5‘s Cooperation mechanic doles out stat bonuses when the main character improves his relationships with his friends and classmates. Players can also pursue relationships with their party members, unlocking new tactics and abilities for use in battle, along with persistent passive bonuses.
The trailer reveals that players can participate in a number of optional activities in order to improve their character’s stats outside of combat. Over the course of the game’s lengthy quest, Persona 5‘s protagonist can become a part-time waiter or barista to earn extra cash, while restaurants, movie theaters, batting cages, and fishing spots offer additional chances for self-improvement.
Specific side quests also unlock new conversation options for friends and comrades, and players must choose their words carefully in order to achieve a positive result. As in previous Persona series games, saying something out of line may irritate or offend those around you, and spurned acquaintances can set off a chain of unintended consequences that are reflected in the game’s combat and exploration sequences.
Released in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and PS3 in September, Persona 5 has unfortunately been delayed until April 4, nearly two months later than its original anticipated launch date of February 14, 2017. Atlus announced the delay in a live-stream, but don’t fret — the publisher is attempting to sweeten the deal with a couple freebies. First off, the English version of the game will now launch with Japanese vocal options. And second, Atlus is giving away a free Persona 5 PS4 theme, but only for 24 hours, so you’ll have to act quickly.
Updated on 11-17-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added news of Persona 5’s delayed release in the U.S.