Persona 5 Tactica – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: Atlus, P-Studio
Publisher: SEGA
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Persona 5 Tactica – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Story, Fluid gameplay
Bad: Could have used full voice acting
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The first Persona game already dates from 1996 and is part of the even older (Shin) Megami Tensei franchise. The first Persona games didn’t immediately reach our shores when they came out, but what was initially a niche franchise gained such a following that it has spawned several sequels and even more spin-off titles in recent years. Persona 5 received a near-perfect score on our site, and it remains one of our favorite JRPGs up to this day. That being said, we didn’t immediately expect this six-year-old JRPG to receive a second lease on life, but here we are looking at the recently released spin-off title, Persona 5 Tactica. We traded in classic JRPG gameplay for turn-based strategy mechanics, and we quite loved it.


Persona 5 Tactica takes place at the same time as the events of Persona 5. The Phantom Thieves suddenly find themselves transported to a Metaverse-like universe, but things aren’t exactly the same as they are during their other escapades. The troupe finds their powers reduced, and they are thrown in the midst of what seems to be an ongoing conflict between a tyrannical queen, Marie, and the Rebels who are fighting back. It doesn’t take too long before almost all members of the Phantom Thieves find themselves under the mind control of Marie, who is now using the elusive members to bolster her forces. In the nick of time, Joker and Morgana are rescued by Erina, the leader of the rebel forces. Together they will try to fight back, save the possessed members of the Phantom Thieves, and hopefully find a way out of this eerie Metaverse.

All in all, the story is very much in sync with the one in Persona 5. You’ll get decently written dialogues, as well as fun cutscenes, and the story progresses at a steady pace. There are several filler dialogues, but these often flesh out the different characters just that bit more.


Unlike Persona 5, which had a mix of realistic graphics with anime-like character models, Persona 5 Tactica opts for a slightly more colorful style for its visuals, and normal-proportioned characters make way for chibi-like character models. While it did take us a few moments to get used to the somewhat more cartoonish visuals, it grew on us quite quickly. All character models are designed with care, and it’s clear that the developers designed everything with massive respect for the source material. The environments may be a bit more monotonous compared to Persona 5, but there is still enough variety to ensure the game never grows stale. The enemy models may feel a bit limited at times, but given the sudden shift in genre, it also makes sense that the player shouldn’t memorize too many attack patterns.

During dialogues, you’ll get 2D character portraits that clearly show different emotions. When dialogues occur, it’s also nice to see the different character sprites in their regular outfits and their Phantom Thieves outfits. There’s quite a bit of variety in terms of artwork during dialogues, but we would have perhaps liked a few more interesting backdrops here and there. Even so, the game also throws in a few cutscenes in the mix, and these generally look good (and cute).


In terms of sound design, Persona 5 Tactica also does a formidable job. Even though the tracks may loop a bit quickly during battles, they never grow tedious or annoying. We loved the amped-up soundtrack, and it truly got us in the mood to drive back the evil, brainwashed forces of Marie. The voice acting is also great, and while there are a lot of fully voiced dialogues, we would have loved it if all the dialogues were fully voiced. Now, the game opts to have full voice acting for most of its key dialogues and cutscenes, but we feel like a lot of important conversations were left in the cold. The SFX are decent and provide a proper oomph when shooting enemies or using your Personas.


Persona 5 Tactica is a turn-based strategy title much in the same vein as the XCOM games. P5T does put a heavy focus on its story, and it often feels a bit more like a visual novel with strategy elements. Even so, you’ll spend time progressing the story while also battling villainous forces on grid-based maps. The game also has a bit of side content that will reward you in the long run. The offset is easy to get, but the finer mechanics will take you some time to get the hang of.

As there is a heavy focus on the narrative, you’ll have the option to also go through quite a few optional dialogues. When completing these, you’ll get GP, which you can use for the characters’ skill trees. During some interactions, you’ll also be able to make a few choices, but these only impact the dialogues in a fairly subtle way. The additional dialogues flesh out the characters more, and they often give you a bit more context for the events that are unfolding.

Combat is fairly straightforward. Your units are placed on a grid-based map, and before each battle, you’ll get the option to prepare your team. You can swap out members and make sure they have the right Personas for the job at hand. Personas in P5T are comparable to spells that you can equip. During your turn, you’re able to move around freely in the range that is highlighted for the selected character. The moment you perform an action, you will not be able to move anymore. Putting characters behind cover is key before using Personas or attacks. While this may sound like the genre’s standard, Persona 5 Tactica does spice things up a little. In P5T, you’ll truly have to think about your actions. If you weaken one of your enemies, you may land a critical hit with the attack of one of your other characters. When doing so, you’ll unlock a ‘One More’, which allows you to play another turn with that character. It also unlocks the option to do a Triple Threat Attack, which deals massive damage to all the enemy units standing in the triangle that connects your three units on the field. The further you progress, the more you’ll need to think about your strategy. Each battle also has its specific, clear goals, as well as bonus goals.

The game also has a lot of side content you can occupy yourself with. There is the option to complete Quests, which grants you bonuses for specific characters. These Quests, however, are rather tough to complete, and you’ll truly have to use your wits to complete them successfully. Other than that, you can merge Personas. As stated before, Personas are somewhat akin to spells, but they are all powered by a demon of sorts. When completing battles, you’ll collect more Personas, and these can eventually be upgraded by merging them. This will in turn unlock new Personas that you can equip. Equipping Personas not only grants you with new spells to cast, but they also provide passive stat boosts to the character it is equipped to. Each character can only equip one Persona. Outside of Personas, characters also have guns they can equip. New guns can be bought in the store, but we would have liked it if new weapons would unlock at more regular intervals.

While the overall gameplay loop proved to be very enjoyable, the battles aren’t always overly exciting. This is mainly due to somewhat limited enemy variety, and it feels as if the game focuses more on stage design rather than unique enemy encounters. After a while, it becomes clear that the battles are more like puzzles, rather than actual brawls. Of course, you’ll still have to think about overall strategies.

Credit should be given where credit is due, and Persona 5 Tactica nails the overall controls. It’s clear that this title has been designed with console gamers in mind, and we haven’t encountered many strategy games that play this smoothly on console. The free movement works perfectly, switching between targets is easy, the UI is clear, and you’ll basically never slip up.


Persona 5 Tactica is a fun spin-off for Persona 5 fans with accessible turn-based strategy mechanics. The story is interesting, and it fleshes out the members of the Phantom Thieves even more, while also offering a nice change of pace from the more traditional JRPG mechanics of the main series. Even if you’re not necessarily a huge fan of strategy titles, this one is still worth checking out because it does contain all the elements that make up a good Persona title. While not every battle in the game was as exciting as the last, Persona 5 Tactica is one of the best console strategy titles we have played in recent years.

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Persona 5 Tactica - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

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