Persona 5 is already four years old, and 2020 is an exciting time for fans of the acclaimed JRPG. Not only did 2020 begin with Persona 5 Royal — and enhanced and expanded version of the original — but now we're getting Persona 5 Scramble, a fully realized sequel. Scramble has a uniquely Dynasty Warriors-esque combat system but retains the classic Persona 5 flair in all other ways.
Here's everything we know about Persona 5 Scramble.
When is the Persona 5 Scramble release date in the west?
Persona 5 Scramble was released in Japan on February 20, 2020 but has yet to be officially announced for the west.
However, a financial report from Tecmo Koei detailing releases from mid-2020 until the end of the fiscal year in March 2021 claimed that Persona 5 Scramble would launch this fiscal year in North American and European territories. So we should expect it to launch in the west sometime prior to March 2021.
Is there a Persona 5 Scramble trailer?
Yes! There are multiple trailers for Persona 5 Scramble, actually. But thus far they're all in Japanese for that initial release. We've placed one of the more telling previews below.
In this trailer, you can get a brief glance at all the additional elements found in Persona 5 Scramble. There's a shot up top where they call this "Volume 2," admitting that this should be considered a sequel to the original Persona 5. Additionally, we get a look at how gameplay will work this time around, providing ample visualization for how it differs from vanilla Persona 5.
Joker seemingly has a new shop where he makes and sells food. Speaking of Joker, there's a point in the trailer where he turns into a shadow of himself, hinting that even the virtuous protagonist will be prone to the allure of greed this time around. We also get a look a Lavenza's new role in Persona 5 Scramble. The trailer closes on Zenkichi, the newest Phantom Thief in Persona 5 Scramble, awakening his Persona. Notably, he's the series' first playable adult Persona user since Persona 2.
What is Persona 5 Scramble gameplay like?
From social stats to dates, Persona 5 Scramble replicates every facet of its predecessor. The only notable difference comes in the combat. Rather than utilizing the series' typical turn-based combat mechanics, Persona 5 Scramble is a Musou-style game. This means you'll fight large swaths of foes as a single all-powerful character. You'll switch between characters using a Baton Pass, and there's even a showtime mechanic that was introduced in Persona 5 Royal.
Due to the change in gameplay, how you collect new Personas has changed. Rather than charming each persona through a conversation, they're now obtained through random and by defeating mini-bosses. You can also combine personas in the Velvet Room, as you did in previous Persona games.
It's notable that Confidant relationships have been replaced by a system called B.A.N.D. By improving your B.A.N.D. level, you can obtain better stats. The B.A.N.D. level can be improved by completing story milestones and interacting with your party members as you would for Confidant levels in vanilla Persona 5. B.O.N.D. is effectively the same thing as Confidants with more truncated emotional sagas.
If you'd like a better idea at the gameplay, try the currently available demo.
What's the story in Persona 5 Scramble?
Persona 5 Scramble is a full-on sequel to Persona 5. You're assumed to have completed at least one version of Persona 5 as the characters in Scramble will reference the first game and show changes from it.
Major Persona 5 spoilers follow.
For example, Caroline and Justine act as Lavenza throughout Scramble.
The main game takes place four months after the conclusion of Persona 5. The Phantom Thieves are preparing to spend their summer vacation together. While using a popular new app called EMMA, they discover it operates similarly to the Metaverse Navigator, allowing users to explore an alternate version of Shibuya called a "Jail."
Like the Metaverse, activities performed in Jail directly affect the real world. The discovery thrusts the group on a new adventure to cease operations of Jail and save Japan yet again. For this escapade, the Phantom Thieves surprisingly join forces with an adult Police Officer named Zenkichi Hasegawa and an AI named Sophia.
Is Persona 5 Royal canon to Persona 5 Scramble?
Maybe? Both games add to different parts in the canon. Royal adds content at the start of the year, while Scramble takes place a bit later. According to fans who enjoyed both games, there's no reference to the narrative developments made in Royal like the addition of Sumire and Maruki in Scramble. Akechi's fate also remains ambiguous in Scramble.
Scramble effectively only references vanilla Persona 5 but does nothing to contradict Royal from being canon as well. Another sequel could perhaps clarify the canonicity of both.
Persona 5 Scramble should be released in the west sometime before March 2021.