Persona 3 is regarded as one of the best Japanese RPGs of its generation and the game is set to come back in style with its remake, Persona 3 Reload.
While Persona 5 is the game that propelled the Persona series to the fame it enjoys today, Persona 3 laid the runway for it to take off. The game introduced many of the gameplay, story, and presentation elements that now define Persona. The catchy music, the blending of the visual novel and dungeon-crawler genres, and story elements advancing based on the in-game calendar all came from Persona 3.
While it established a winning formula, many elements of Persona 3 haven’t aged especially well. This was addressed in re-releases of the game such as Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable, but there is no true “definitive edition” of the game that has all the content and all the gameplay elements. So is Persona 3 Reload set to fix that? And if not, what will be in the game and what won’t? Here’s everything that’s known about the game.
What is Persona 3 Reload?
Persona 3 Reload is a remake of the classic PlayStation 2 RPG Persona 3 for modern consoles. The game will feature the same story and structure as the original Persona 3 but with modernized gameplay elements.
The most noticeable change is the introduction of Persona 5’s UI elements and presentation. Persona 5 set itself apart from other JRPGs on the market by having heavily stylized menus and navigation. Persona 3 Reload utilizes those same elements but blends them with the game’s original look and style.
Persona 3 Reload release date
Persona 3 Reload is set to come out on February 2, 2024.
P-Studio has been working overtime lately. While they’ve mostly been shipping spin-offs of Persona 5, including the oft-leaked Persona 5 Tactica, the studio has been working on a variety of games both in and out of the franchise. Officially, the company is working on Metaphor: ReFantazio, post-release support for Persona 5 Tactica, and the mobile game Persona 5: The Phantom X.
Unofficially, its current slate of projects reportedly includes working on Persona 6, potential collaborations with games like Roblox, a party-game spin-off, and possibly a follow-up to Persona 4 Arena. That makes it all the more impressive that Persona 3 Reload is set to ship shortly after P5T, and less than a year before Metaphor: ReFantazio.
Is Persona 3 Reload a remake or remaster?
Persona 3 Reload is a remake of the original Persona 3.
The Persona series saw Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden given a light remaster treatment in 2023. Persona 3 Portable landed on modern consoles and PC with HD visuals, and Persona 4 Golden finally made its way to actual consoles after previously launching on PC and PlayStation Vita.
While these can be regarded as remasters of the games, Persona 3 Reload is definitively a full-blown remake. The game has been developed in Unreal Engine 4 and all-new models, overhauled character designs, new music, and a brand-new voice cast. Though the line between a remake and remaster can sometimes be blurry, this is as definitive as it gets.
What’s new in Persona 3 Reload?
One of the major changes to Persona 3 Reload is a major overhaul of the audio, which includes a completely new set of English-language voice actors and a new singer.
The new Persona 3 singer is Azumi Takahashi. Takahashi is a largely unknown artist who had just a few releases on music streaming services before the reveal that she is the new singer. She has a YouTube channel that features her doing covers of various artists including Ed Sheeran and Beyonce. Takahashi is re-recording tracks from the original game, as well as new songs for Persona 3 Reload. It is unknown whether the original Persona 3 singer, Yumi Kawamura, will be involved with the game or the series moving forward.
The game also has a completely new voice cast. The new cast includes established voice actors from video games and anime ranging from Apex Legends and Final Fantasy 7 Remake to Pokemon Journeys and Demon Slayer.
No exact details have been given for why these changes were made. Kawamura hasn’t made any statement on the matter on social media, nor have the studios surrounding the game. Much of Persona 3’s original English voice cast has undergone a career transformation since the game’s release in 2007.
Some of them are attached to the popular Dungeons and Dragons web series Critical Role, others have had their profiles grow, and some have left the industry. Much of the original game’s voice cast has also appeared in other Atlus games including Persona 4, Persona 5, and Catherine. It may be a cost-saving measure, a matter of availability, a desire to differentiate the cast from other games in the same series, or something else entirely. Nobody can say for sure outside the developers.
What platforms is Persona 3 Reload coming out on?
Persona 3 Reload will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The exact lineup of platforms has been obfuscated to some degree since its initial reveal.
The game was first revealed during an Xbox Games Showcase event in June 2023. The initial teaser trailer only indicated an Xbox and PC release. While this isn’t unusual for games shown off in a console manufacturer’s event, this was also reflected on Atlus’ own YouTube channel for multiple trailers for the game. Eventually, PlayStation-uploaded trailers also started being rolled out which explicitly confirmed a PS4 and PS5 release.
Adding to the confusion were retailers taking preorders on versions of the game that didn’t exist. In reality, the game will be released on modern PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Persona 3 Reload will be available on PC via Xbox Game Pass and Steam.
Will Persona 3 Reload come out on Nintendo Switch?
Persona 3 Reload will not be released on Nintendo Switch. Some notable online retailers created listings for Switch versions of the game and even created placeholder box art indicating a release on the platform. No official announcement of a Switch release was ever made, however.
The Nintendo Switch is nearing the end of its lifespan at this point and downscaling games for the weaker hardware has always been a challenge for publishers and developers. Persona 5 Royal was released on Switch, but the original Persona 5 also received a native release on PlayStation 3. Given how the game isn’t exclusive, it’s possible Persona 3 Reload will come out on the Nintendo Switch 2 after the console releases.
Will Persona 3 Reload come out on Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox has confirmed that Persona 3 Reload will be available on Game Pass on day one. The game is also set to receive a native release on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles.
With its release on Game Pass, subscribers who play on both PC and Xbox consoles will have access to the game. Make sure the subscription is topped up, though! A playthrough of the original Persona 3 could run for over 100 hours, so the game will last for some time.
Will Persona 3 Reload have a female main character?
Persona 3 Reload will not have the female main character from Persona 3 Portable. While there have been plenty of questions about what features and story elements will be brought into the remake from Persona 3 Portable and FES, there hasn’t been any mystery about the female main character. Only the male Persona 3 protagonist, Makoto Yuki, will be available in Persona 3 Reload.
It’s unclear how Atlus is going to handle the wealth of other additions from Persona 3 Portable. The female protagonist didn’t just change the menu colors. She had several different social links and those that were shared with the male protagonist had different starting conditions, making the game play out in a new way. This made things different enough that the 80-hour-long RPG warranted two playthroughs.
It’s unknown whether the new characters that were added for the female main character in Persona 3 Portable will appear in Persona 3 Reload. Though different gameplay elements are confirmed to be coming to the remake, story elements aren’t entirely clear. It is unknown whether Persona 3 Reload will see the female main character added via DLC.
Will Persona 3 Reload have The Answer epilogue chapter from Persona 3 FES?
Persona 3 FES’s “The Answer” epilogue chapter will not be in Persona 3 Reload. Developers have stated that their intent is to provide a proper remake of the original base game. While that sounds nice, it’s code for saying that it won’t include the various additions that came with Persona 3 Portable and Persona 3 FES.
Some story-relevant additions will be kept, though it’s not entirely clear what falls under that umbrella. FES added a social link for Aigis and new cutscenes that expanded on the stories of certain characters. These could return in the remake. While it’s unknown what elements will be kept from FES and Portable, The Answer will not be in Persona 3 Reload.
Will Persona 3 Reload have DLC?
Persona 3 Reload will likely have DLC but it’s unclear what will actually be in it.
Persona games have traditionally been light on DLC, with only some extra costumes or boss challenges available. Major post-release content is typically held for re-releases of the games such as Persona 3 FES, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal.
That may or may not change with Persona 5 Reload. There’s certainly going to be interest from fans regarding the female main character of Persona 3 Portable and “The Answer” from Persona 3 FES. That’s not even mentioning the possibility of original content for the game.
Unfortunately, it’s unclear what could be made and whether P-Studio has the bandwidth to create anything substantial. The studio is confirmed to be developing multiple new projects and is rumored to be working on even more.
Alongside Metaphor: ReFantazio, Persona 6, and Persona 5: The Phantom X, according to leaks the current goal is to branch the Persona series out further. Executives reportedly discussed creating an augmented reality app with Pokemon GO developer Niantic and have been working with an outside studio on a new fighting game in the vein of Persona 4 Arena.
While there’s a strong likelihood of cosmetic items and other small DLC options, it’s unclear whether something larger is possible. Fans likely won’t know the answer until after the game releases.
Will there be new endings in Persona 3 Reload?
It is unknown if there will be new endings in Persona 3 Reload, but it seems unlikely.
The developers have been explicit that the goal is to have Persona 3 Reload be a faithful remake of the original Persona 3. The original game had multiple endings, most of which are bad. The canonical “good” ending to Persona 3 is widely regarded as one of the best in gaming history, and it would be a surprise if P-Studio opted out of its goal of a faithful remake to change one of the original’s most memorable facets.