Hello there my good friends and welcome to Quillstreak’s GOTY Christmas countdown. We asked our Twitter followers and our staff to list their top games of 2017. Each day we’re dropping one of the final five with the GOTY being revealed on Christmas Day. Each one could have been Game of the Year in its own right if the competition didn’t exist. Basically, 2017 has been great for games. Here goes.
Blamed for a crime you did not commit. Forced to travel and start a new life in an attic above a cafe. Gifted by an unimaginable inner power. And, most importantly, joined by a group of memorable friends. In the term of one year, Persona 5 manages to introduce not just a complex combat system, it takes the classic formula from the series and expands it to a whole new level.
In this time period, you actually get to see and live every day of the protagonist’s life. His friendships, romances, fights and demons from the past that sealed his destiny are present in every moment. You get to assist with classes regularly, and actually experience that sense of joy when holidays are nearby. Soon, however, you get tangled in a contract found in a wicked place. There, as a prisoner, you are told that you have to fight your way through to regain your freedom, and friendships will be the best tool for the job.
Persona 5’s story starts slowly, and the first tutorials seem like they will never end (you still get tutorial messages every now and then until you reach the end), but as you start meeting your future friends and enemies, the game starts to become more and more interesting. A few hours into the game, you become the leader of the Phantom Thieves, a group of vigilantes that have one goal: to change the heart of evil.
In order to achieve this, friends will not be enough. In Persona 5, all the people take a huge part in the story and how the group will unfold after they get each target. They start recognizing you, begin to talk about these so-called Phantom Thieves that want to change the world by attacking bad people and changing the way they think. And, step by step, you’ll start to gain their support.
As in other Persona titles, players create bonds with Confidents, -previously known as Social Links – who represent a tarot card. All the enemies you encounter and recruit belong to one of the main tarot arcane, and the higher your relationship with them, the more benefit you will get once you decide to fuse personas. Oh, and they all grant different bonuses and new mechanics to use during combat and exploring the palaces.
Persona 5 is a big step from its antecessors, but it’s the new aesthetic and art direction that steals the show often. The sweet and stylish user interface, the groovy-jazz soundtrack that gets stuck in your head. Everything in Persona 5 is style in the purest form.
Perhaps my favourite aspect of the game is the loop behind the daily routine. I’ve got lost in the game more than once, spending over 14 hours a day and going to bed wondering what the next target will be or trying to figure out the answers to one of the many questions that arise throughout the game.
It’s an experience, a journey with friends that brings joy, laughs and sadness, along with tackling some serious themes. We are unsure of the future of the franchise, but in any case, this was the best goodbye letter I would have wanted.