Review: Persona 3 Reload

Review: Persona 3 Reload

By: Skylar Teddington

Persona 3 Reload is the reimagining of the game that popularized the Persona series–
Persona 3. It was released on Feb. 2 this year across multiple platforms, namely the
Playstation 4 and 5, the Xbox series X and S, Windows, and more. As someone who
played both the original and FES, I was very excited about the Reload announcement
… so I bought it for Windows.
A transfer student, the protagonist, is suddenly met with the Dark Hour – a freaky
phenomenon that allows monsters called “shadows” to essentially feed on a human’s
psyche which has negative effects outside of the Dark Hour. The protagonist discovers
a new power within himself that’ll allow him to defeat these shadows and save the
world; with some help, of course. The point of the game is to enter Tartarus, the game’s
dungeon, at night while forging social links and living out the life of a high school student
during the day.
As for the game itself, it received an ESRB rating “M” for mature, so you might not want
to play with your family. However, it can be played on multiple platforms which makes it
somewhat accessible. It isn’t too large of a download either, and for me, it runs at a
smooth rate of 60 frames per second on high graphics settings — though I’ve gotten
occasional blurriness during cutscenes. The price is nothing to sneeze at, though; it cost
around $70, so this is a game to invest in … but is it really worth the price tag?
As a whole, it’s a great game. It doesn’t deviate too far from the original while still
having a brand new feeling. The new character portraits are downright gorgeous and
the game looks great from an aesthetic standpoint. There’s also new additions for
veteran players, like new social links and the removal of the “Tired” effect in Tartarus.
It’s fun, and you can genuinely spend hours on the game without getting sick of it thanks
to the sheer amount of content packed inside. Let’s not forget about that awesome
soundtrack either!
However, it has its flaws. Maybe it’s because I played the OG, but I find that it lacks …
like, a lot. It may as well be a remaster of the game since none of the changes are
substantial enough to really differentiate it from the original. The biggest crime of all is
that there’s no female protagonist; why take away a feature that was already there back
in 2009? Granted she was only in Portable, but I would’ve loved to see her in Reload
since she added so much to the social link system.
As one of the most beloved games in the series, it’s no surprise that Atlus and Sega
decided to revisit it. After all, how many people talk about the first and second Persona
games? Many could even argue that the game made Shin Megami Tensei look like a
spinoff series to Persona instead of the other way around. Persona 3 and Persona 3
FES became a turning point for the series in terms of aesthetics and writing. With such
big shoes to fill, does Persona 3 Reload live up to the original?
Well … it depends. If you’re new to the Persona series, then I’d say: absolutely! It plays
well, it’s sleek, and it gives you almost everything that Persona 3 gave us back in 2008.
However, if you have played Persona 3, Persona 3 Portable, or Persona 3 FES, it really
isn’t worth it – especially for that price. It’s a faithful recreation to the old game, but
perhaps it’s a little too faithful; you can just play the original Persona 3 again and check
out the new social links online, I promise you aren’t missing out on much. I give this


game an 8.5 out of 10 since it is still a very good game, but it leaves much to be desired
for old players.

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