The SEES squad as you’ve never seen them before!
The Persona franchise is very well-known at this point in time, but it wasn’t until its third outing that it began to get the love it always deserved. Sure, it was nice to be able to play Persona 3 Portable on modern platforms, but a true remake of the incredibly stylistic RPG from 2006 was what fans have been waiting for. Now, with the upcoming Persona 3 Reload, their prayers have been answered! But what does this reimagining of a classic do to improve upon a game that still holds up well to this day? Let’s have a look!
Starting with the most obvious improvement: the updated visuals. From improved character models to a new look for Tartarus, these graphical upgrades push it above that of the already stunning Persona 5 Royal. The UI also bears a striking resemblance to Persona 5, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, as that game was highly praised for its unique and stylistic battle menus.
It’s not just the visuals that have changed, though, as the audio has seen major improvements across the board. A new battle theme for battles that start with the player having the first strike is as upbeat and pulse-pounding as one would expect from the Persona series, joining an OST of already incredible music. Much of the text-only dialogue now includes fully-voiced lines as well, to help add some extra emotion, especially to the Social Links!
Speaking of Social Links, the new Link Episodes are optional, character-specific side missions that add much more depth to members of SEES and characters such as Jin and Chidori. In addition to new dorm activities and the new Mangastar Net Café, there’s more interaction with this band of already well-fleshed-out characters than ever, giving players more time to spend with their favourites.
In the original release, players were only able to control the main character in battles, with others being controlled via simple tactical commands. Thankfully, Reload has done away with this and now allows each party member's actions to be determined by the player. This was a feature first added in Portable, but we’re glad to see a few things making the jump from that game into the remake.
Two entirely new mechanics for combat are being introduced, however: Theurgy and Shift. The Theurgy gauge will fill as you perform actions and, when full, allows the character to perform a unique unblockable attack to devastate your enemies. Shift allows you to take control of another party member after downing an opponent, which can then lead to an All-Out Attack
That was everything we could find that sets Persona 3 Reload apart from the original. Whether it’s your first time delving into the Dark Hour with SEES, or you’re a returning player, Reload is sure to delight fans old and new alike! It won’t be long until you can get your hands on this one, as it releases 1st February 2024.