Persona 3 Reload Brings Back One of the Best Parts of the Original
This game has style to spare.
Video game remakes are all the craze these days, and it's not hard to understand why. Every remake brings a beloved classic back to life with gorgeous new graphics and a plethora of quality-of-life improvements that make old and creaky games feel new. 2023 was a banner year for remakes with the likes of Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 showing just how good they can be and 2024 isn’t any different. But Persona 3 Reload — a remake of the 2006 Atlus RPG — is bringing one improvement over its original release that will make this classic more stylish than ever.
The elevator pitch for Persona 3 Reload is that it is a remake of the original 2006 game bolstered by the latest console generation’s technology and graphics. That means it looks and plays better — even if they aren’t bringing over some fan-favorite content from later Persona 3 releases. One feature that Persona 3 Reload is lifting from Persona 5 is gorgeous animated cutscenes.
Ahead of Reload’s February 2 release, Atlus released the game’s opening movie on YouTube. The stunning animated cutscene is filled with the game’s signature style and rendered in gorgeous color. It evokes Persona 5’s opening cutscene more than Persona 3.
While the original release of Persona 3 did have animated cutscenes, they were few and far between. The animation is of much lower quality and only occurs at key points in the game’s lengthy story. The most widely available version of Persona 3 on modern consoles (Persona 3 Portable) doesn’t include these animated cutscenes at all. So, the return of the animated cutscenes is a welcome one, not to mention it looks to be a massive improvement upon the original.
This is another way Persona 3 Reload owes its improvements to Persona 5. While the series has always been stylish, Persona 5 turned that up to eleven. The very first cutscene on Persona 5 sets the stage for a colorful heist adventure full of interesting characters and larger-than-life settings. The rest of the game only continues to adhere to this style and vibe. Persona 3 Reload seems to be embracing this love of style in the same way by fully leaning into the moody blue color palette and supernatural story of the game.
We already know how good Persona 3 can look. Persona 3 has been adapted into incredible anime, available to stream, and worth watching if you can’t sit through an over 50-hour RPG. The modern animation seen in the adaptations adds expressiveness to the characters that, if Persona 5’s animation is any induction, will only help the new remake look even better.
The remake trend often goes hand in hand with a focus on realism and high graphical fidelity in games. Persona has never been a series to dive into realism and Persona 3 Reload is a nice sign that if anything, Atlus is doubling down on the unique art style of the original game and using modern animation to emphasize it even more.