A surprise reveal during today’s State of Play, tri-Ace and Square Enix have announced a new Star Ocean game, which is set to launch in 2022. Star Ocean: The Divine Force is the first game in several years and while it looks a bit rough, there’s still time to get things ready for its launch next year.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Star Ocean series, having begun back in 1996 on the Super Famicom before moving to the PlayStation and then to several other consoles over the years. There have been five mainline games, one spin-off, and a mobile game. Now, we’re looking to the future of the series to celebrate over two decades of titles.
Speaking on the PlayStation Blog, Sho Ishida, PR for Square Enix spoke about Star Ocean: The Divine Force, confirming it’s coming to PlayStation consoles next year and that the series continues to blend science-fiction with fantasy, rich characters and exhilarating combat.
First, the double hero system returns to Star Ocean, having been present during Star Ocean: The Second Story. The idea behind the system is that it gives players the opportunity to see the story from the perspective of each protagonist — one from the stars and one from the underdeveloped planet. This allows events to unfold and the characters to differ depending on the choices made by the player.
The two protagonists are Raymond and Laeticia. Raymond is from the nonfederated planet of Verguld and captain of the merchant ship Ydas under Lawrence Logistics, a company owned by his family. He’s overconfident and that often gets him into trouble, but he has a big heart and cares about the family business. He also doesn’t get along with the Pangalactic Federation and because he doesn’t need to worry about the same rules as them, he doesn’t need to worry about the Underdeveloped Planet Preservation Pact.
Laeticia is the Princess of the Kingdom Aucerius, an underdeveloped territory on the underdeveloped planet Aster IV. She’s a bright personality and is admired by her kingdom but her prim demeanour betrays her penchant for wearing armour and remarkable skill with the dual blades. Dealing with a threat by the neighbouring kingdom, Laeticia sets off on a journey to find some but meets Raymond, kicking off the game.
We also meet Elena, a crew member of the Ydas and Raymond’s first mate. She handles the ship and is knowledgeable and always calm and collected. Albaird is a friend of Laeticia and serves as her knight. He excels at semiomancy and the wielding of chakram. He’s loyal and is always by her side. Albair’s left arm is mysteriously covered and he looks to protect the secrets he is hiding.
A first for the series, characters have the freedom to move around 360 degrees, and can even fly through the skies.
Players can fly in the sky and traverse three-dimensionally through one of the largest fields ever in the series.
Battles have changed from the Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, now there are no transitions and you can assault enemies and get out of battle before having them know what hit them.
Here’s the story synopsis:
The Pangalactic Federation. From their earliest days in the Sol System, this organization has sought to bring peace and tranquillity to the galactic multitudes. As their reach has expanded through the universe, many a hero has served under their banner; saviours to planets in need.
But by the year 583 SD, things have changed. The once peaceful Pangalactic Federation is now known for assimilating planets against their will. Once standing for justice, they are now wreathed in darkness.
Raymond, captain of the merchant vessel Ydas, departs from the nonfederated planet of Verguld on a standard transport mission. The job is simple, the route familiar, yet things go awry when the Ydas is attacked by the Astoria: a battleship carrying a member of the Pangalactic Federation’s preeminent Kenny family.
Raymond and his crewmate Chloe are forced to abandon the ship amidst the chaos and head for the remote, underdeveloped planet of Aster IV. Before their escape pods can even land, a burst of energy resembling an EMP from the planet’s surface knocks out their systems and brings them crashing down. They find themselves separated and stranded on an unfamiliar planet.
Upon landing, Raymond is immediately attacked by some of the less-than-friendly local wildlife. But when all seems lost, his life is saved by the crown princess of the Kingdom of Aucerius: Laeticia. Marvelled by the sudden appearance of this man who rode into her life on a “shooting star,” Laeticia asks Raymond to help save her kingdom from the threat of the neighbouring Vey’l Empire. He accepts in exchange for help finding Chloe.