One Persona 5 Royal Tool Would Be Sorely Missed in Persona 6

Highlights Persona 5 Royal’s grappling hook added excitement and puzzle-solving to the game’s dungeons. The shift in design philosophy in Persona 5 allowed for the implementation of the grappling hook, but the next entry in the series may require a different theme and therefore a replacement for the tool. Persona 6 needs to maintain the crafted dungeons and exciting level design of Persona 5 Royal to meet the high expectations set by it, even if the grappling hook doesn’t make a return.

Persona 5 Royal and the base game of Persona 5 were a big departure for the series. While past Persona titles had strong themes, such as Persona 4’s strong homages to Twin Peaks and its presentation of small-town life, Persona 5 leaned in harder than previous entries with its gentleman thief theme. While in palaces, players were given the ability to sneak up on enemies while hiding behind cover, and a variety of other tools related to this theme. One of these tools is the grappling hook which allowed for traversal puzzles and more vertical spaces to explore than past entries. Persona 5 Royal’s grappling hook will be sorely missed in the franchise’s next entry.

Persona 5 did a lot to modernize the Persona franchise. Persona 4’s combat system and social links system provided the foundation of Persona 5, but the fourth entry was a PS2 game and very of its era. While 4’s RPG mechanics remain strong today, 5 had a lot of work to do in bringing the franchise’s pace and presentation up to modern standards. Persona 5 did this largely by crafting one of the best user interfaces and menu systems in gaming. It is a joy to move around and interact with. It also tried to make dungeons more exciting than the previous procedurally generated ones. This is where the presentation and themes of the game came together.

Persona 5 Royal’s Grappling Hook Represents a Shift in Game Design persona 5 royal grappling hook

Persona 5 Royal’s grappling hook is only possible because of the shift in design philosophy that accompanied it. While previous Persona games had flat, randomized dungeons, 5 switched primarily to a deliberately designed approach. The grappling hook is made possible by this deliberate design. Palaces in Persona 5 are heists. Getting in and out of each one undetected in something of a puzzle for players to solve, and the grappling hook allowed players to move between spaces in a way that added to these puzzles and made the game more exciting. Persona 6 will presumably have a different theme, and as such, the grappling hook will likely need to be replaced.

While the loss of Persona 5 Royal’s grappling hook will surely sadden some, it must not accompany a return to exclusively randomized dungeons. While Mementos was an important part of the game and kept that element alive, the specially crafted dungeons are too good to let go of. The loss of the grappling hook becomes unacceptable if it accompanies the loss of Persona 5’s environmental puzzles and approaches to design. While Persona 4 can still hold its own against Persona 5, it is important the series keeps moving forward.

Persona 6 is a Big Question Mark Right Now

Little is known about Persona’s next mainline entry. The developer has said nothing about it publicly, though leaks indicate Persona 6 is in development. A new game in the series may not be able to fit the grappling hook in a way that feels lore-friendly, but it’s important that the game holds onto what the grappling hook represents. Persona 6 needs to have palaces with set pieces and puzzles that feel exciting to explore in the same way 5 did. While the grappling hook will be missed, the developer could find a way to fill in the blank with something equally interesting.

While Persona 6 is a true wild card and likely still years away, it already has big shoes to fill and high expectations to reach. Persona 5 Royal took the strong RPG elements of Persona 4 and brought them to a wider audience with its stylish presentation, and Persona 6 needs to hold on to its predecessor’s leaps forward in level design to see the same success. The grappling hook will be missed in future entries if it does not return, and new mechanics need to fill in the blanks it will leave behind and the problems that it solved for the franchise.

Persona 5 Royal is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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