What I’d Like To See In Persona 6
Earlier this year, Atlus announced that it wants “to create a 6 which exceeds 5.” I can only speak for myself, but that’s a hard bar to rise above. Persona 5 (and its Royal expansion) is easily one of my favorite games of all time. The limited details surrounding the next game’s narrative, combat, and music have forced superfans like me to make their own wishlists. So, here are six – that’s right, six! – features I’d like to see in Persona 6:
Look, I love Persona’s tried and true narrative DNA – a crew of teenage outcasts call upon their mystical alter egos to defend the world from evil forces while also juggling hobbies, romance, and classes. Nevertheless, I’m ready for Atlus to bring the series’ mature themes to the adult world.
I’ve got two solid pitches for the writer’s room: keep the traditional school backdrop, but give us a university campus with a cast of 20 somethings instead. Or, a more unconventional route could thrust players into the white-collar world. Nothing says “evil supernatural conspiracy” more than a soul-sucking office job, complete with alienating cubicles and overseer-esque managers. Give us a crew of young adult professionals down on their luck, introduce them to an array of badass Persona, and let us run free in a distorted, hyper-corporatized Japan.
Mandatory Female Lead
We haven’t had a selectable female protagonist since Persona 3 Portable, which launched over a decade ago. Remember P5 Royal’s earliest teaser trailers and how fans hypothesized that all-star gymnast Kasumi Yoshizawa was the male MC’s playable counterpart? Sure, Kasumi might’ve had one of the best character arcs in the entire franchise, but finding out she was an NPC was a bummer. Here’s a hot take: When it comes to Persona 6, I don’t want a choice. Just give me a mandatory heroine or implement the following entry on my wishlist.
Artwork by Mocah
There’s a distinct difference between playable characters and playable avatars. The former indicates that we’re meant to inhabit people with pre-made backstories, ideals, and relationships, while the latter can’t work effectively without complete player-to-protagonist projection and customization. Persona MCs often straddle this threshold, but a deep character creator might help bridge the gap. We can already enter a preferred name for our voiceless hero; why not also let us choose backstories (à la Bioware games) and define important physical features?
If we can’t customize our protagonist, we should at least be able to spice up the looks of our favorite mythological entities. Besides, Personas reflect our innermost selves, so why wouldn’t they aesthetically reflect that spiritual parallelism? As it stands right now, persona collection relies on releasing, sacrificing, or fusing your favorite battle buddies for newer, stronger ones. If Atlus integrated a persona-centric cosmetics/accessories system - similar to gear you’d purchase for party members - players would feel less inclined to toss their favorite, weaker persona away. Here’s a thought: let us buy weapons for our trusty sidekicks! I mean, who wouldn’t want to equip Santanael with a legendary revolver?
Switch & PC Availability
It’s bad enough that Persona 5 isn’t on either platform, especially since Joker is a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the Strikers spin-off launched on Switch earlier this year. Moreover, Persona 4 Golden is a testament to the fact that Atlus can create fantastic PC ports. Persona 6 has an opportunity to bring both mediums into the fold. Switch and PC gamers are still missing out on 5 and Royal. It’d be cruel to overlook those same players again.
From Persona 4’s rural Inaba to Persona 5’s lively Tokyo, it’s hard not to fall in love with modern-day Japan. However, the next chapter might raise some eyebrows if Atlus went back in time.
We’ve seen several depictions of feudal Japan over the years, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in experiencing a Persona story in the Edo period. Hell, what if we explored a postwar Japan? How would yesteryear’s societal norms and technologies influence the fantastical, pocket monster-inspired loop or the life-sim mechanics that the franchise is known for? If Persona 6 took a page out of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles’ historical fiction, then we might find a genuinely compelling answer to that question.