The Star Ocean series may not be well-known as JRPG juggernauts like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, but it is still a popular franchise with an extremely loyal following that hasn't given up on it yet despite the release of some middling titles like Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.
With a much higher budget and an experience that feels close to the classic entries in the series, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is setting out to be a return to form for the series and a game that may surprise JRPG fans who never had the chance to experience the series at its finest.

Release Date, Platforms, Editions

Star Ocean: The Divine Force's announcement caught many by surprise, as no one knew that a new entry was in the works before the October 2021 PlayStation State of Play event where the game was officially announced for PlayStation consoles with a generic 2022 release date. On the same day, the game was also confirmed for PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. Months later, Square Enix confirmed that the new entry in the series would debut worldwide on October 27th.

Unlike other JRPGs published by Square Enix, Star Ocean: The Divine Force will not receive a Collector's Edition. The game's Standard Edition will be released alongside a Digital Deluxe Edition that will include the full game, the Digital Deluxe Edition Original Soundtrack, the Radiant Hildegrim and Holy Sigrdrife armor and the Bunny the Lagomower Broock, tri-Emblum, Gold Bunny Statue, and Andvaranaut's Ring accessories. It hasn't yet been specified if these items are exclusive to the Deluxe Edition or if they can be obtained in-game.

The Standard Edition is priced at $59.99, while the Digital Deluxe Edition is listed at $74.99.

Genre, Setting, Mechanics

Like its predecessors, Star Ocean: The Divine Force will be a Japanese role-playing game with a varied cast of characters, multiple locations to explore, and lots of different enemies to defeat. The game takes features from previous Star Ocean titles to create a unique mix that both newcomers and veterans will love.

Star Ocean: The Divine Force is set in S.D. 583, between the events of the mobile game Star Ocean: Anamnesis and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. In this age, the Pangalactic Federation, which always stood to protect order and peace in the galaxy, has changed for the worse, becoming an organization that forces planets to join its ranks by force. Raymond, captain of the merchant vessel Ydas, experiences the darkness that has engulfed the Federation first-hand when his ship is attacked by the Astoria, a Federation vessel that carries a member of the Kenny family, a name that fans of the first two entries in the series should know well. Following the attack, Raymond and his crewmates are forced to abandon their ship, landing with their escape pods on the underdeveloped fourth planet in the Aster System. Here, Raymond meets the crown princess of the Kingdom of Aucerius, Laeticia, a meeting that will change not only his life but that of the entire planet and the Pangalactic Federation.

Like Star Ocean: The Second Story, Star Ocean: The Divine Force features a dual protagonist system that lets players experience the story from either Raymond or Laeticia's points of view. It is not yet known how much the two stories will differ, but, looking at the second entry in the series, they will likely be almost the same, featuring slightly different events and endings.

Some notable changes will also spice up the series' typical gameplay. Taking a page from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, combat will not occur in dedicated arenas, as both regular enemies and bosses will be fought right where they are encountered. Combat party size, however, has been reduced to four, but this will not limit combat options at all, thanks to the AP system that allows characters to unleash skills in quick succession. Playable characters Raymond, Laeticia, Elena, Albaird, Nina, Midas, Malkya, and Marielle will all come with unique combat styles, so players will have no trouble finding a character that best suits their playstyles. The action combat system will also feature mechanics seen in previous entries in the series, such as Blindsides, quick maneuvers that leave the enemy defenseless for a short while, opening to big damage.

Another major change featured in Star Ocean: The Divine Force over previous entries in the series is D.U.M.A, a companion robot that grants characters the ability to fly and glide for a short while on the field and perform advanced combat skills like the dashing attack called Vanguard Assault, which is also used to perform the aforementioned Blindsides. D.U.M.A. abilities can also be expanded during the course of the adventure to keep combat fresh and exciting.

Star Ocean: The Divine Force will also sport more returning features like Private Actions, special events that deepen the bonds between characters, and Item Creation, which lets players create and customize all sorts of items. A new minigame called Es'owa will also be included, although its mechanics have yet to be outlined.

Star Ocean: The Divine Force promises to be a return to form regarding music as well, as series composer Motoi Sakuraba returned to compose and arrange the game's soundtrack. L'Arc-en-Ciel, Vamps vocalist HYDE has also provided the game's theme song PANDORA.

Playable Demo

A playable Star Ocean: The Divine Force demo has been released on September 20th on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, allowing players to experience the first few hours of Raymond's story and the improved exploration and combat mechanics. The demo will not release on Steam.

PC System Requirements

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Windows 10 / Windows 11 (64-bit)
    • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1500X / Intel Core i7-7700
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 70 GB available space
    • Additional Notes:  720p, Medium settings, 50+ frames per second

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Windows 10 / Windows 11 (64-bit)
    • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X/Intel Core i7-8700k
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8 GB)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 70 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, High Settings, 60 frames per second

Trailers

Star Ocean: The Divine Force's first trailer was shown during the October 2021 PlayStation State of Play event, providing an overview of the game's main characters, story, setting, and action combat.

Fans of the game had to wait a few months for the next trailer, which was shared in late June 2022. Their patience was rewarded with a release date announcement.

With Tokyo Game Show returning in full force in 2022, there was no way Square Enix would not take advantage of it to showcase Star Ocean: The Divine Force further, releasing an extended trailer that provided an in-depth look at the game's story, setting, and combat.

Fans who wanted to know more about the Star Ocean: The Divine Force story, characters, and gameplay mechanics were also treated to several Mission Report videos that go more in-depth than any regular trailer could.

Short character trailers have also been released to better acquaint players with Raymond, Laeticia, and their companions.

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