Persona 5 Tactica may finally convince me to give strategy RPGs a go

 Two characters fighting
Two characters fighting

Turn-based combat has always baffled me. Patience isn't always my strong suit, so the idea of waiting around while your enemy fires a shot and then misses wasn't exactly my idea of a good time, that was until I gave Persona 5 Tactica a go.

Players will be transported back into Persona's iconic universe, where they join the Phantom Thieves, a faction set on restoring the hearts of evil-corrupted adults. Though all of the old characters are making a return, this time, players will have to face a new threat.

After an unnerving incident, the Phantom Thieves are transported to a strange and unfamiliar realm where the citizens are living under tyrannical oppression. Cornered in by the Legionnaires, the revolutionary Erina eventually rescues them, but only time will tell if the team can trust her.

A new perspective

Persona 5 Tactica ultimate character
Persona 5 Tactica ultimate character

The time I spent at Gamescom playing through a few chapters of Persona 5 Tactica was my first chance at playing through this series. While the soundtrack and outstanding visuals had always appealed to me, I was hesitant to throw myself into the fray thanks to the long runtime and turn-based strategy elements.

Thankfully, the demo left me surprised as to just how much I enjoyed my time plotting moves and exploring this universe. I had always expected strategy RPGs and turn-based games to be slow and tedious. However, having more time to think ahead was a welcome change to the usually chaotic games I typically play.

This revelation won't be anything new to veterans of the strategy RPG community. However, having more choice and time to reflect and plan out attacks in a chess-like fashion was unexpectedly appealing to me. This slow and systematic approach to fighting meant I was forced to explore every inch of the map while changing my offensive strategy to suit different enemies and locations.

Persona 5 Tactica three characters ready to fight
Persona 5 Tactica three characters ready to fight

Persona 5 Tactica challenged me in ways that I hadn't expected

Having access to several characters with various abilities was also great fun. I got to fight through levels 1, 6 and 7. Playing primarily as the main character, Joker, you're also joined by the feline Morgana and the revolutionary Erina. While these characters have similar move sets, the various Persona ultimates were a breath of fresh air that offered an exciting range of offensive and defensive benefits.

I used Morgana's to move the enemy around so Erina or Joker could finish them efficiently. Or I positioned each of the three characters so the enemies found themselves trapped in the centre of a deadly triangle formation. Only after this formation was complete was I able to unleash a fatal three-way attack that obliterated anything that stood in its way.

While my time with Persona 5 Tactica was short-lived, every scenario I encountered was exciting and demanded different skills; it challenged me in ways I hadn't expected. I learned to hold my attacks back and wait for the right moment to strike or charge head-first into battle to demolish my enemies before they knew what hit them.

Persona 5 Tactica is scheduled for release on November 17 and will be available to play on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.