Roleplaying video games are making a huge comeback lately. The popularity of RPGs, and JRPGs, is at a high that hasn’t been seen since their inception in the nineties. With many games getting remakes, and so many more demanded, it’s no surprise. Another popular trend is sequels to older games! And with the PlayStation State of Play earlier today, we saw a welcome return to Star Ocean. Five years after its last iteration, Star Ocean: The Divine Force has been announced for 2022!
The Star Trek-Inspired JRPG
Star Ocean, though a less popular JRPG, has a special place in history. The original game was released in 1996. It takes the RPG to new places, giving it heavy sci-fi elements. The creator of the game admitted that the game is inspired by Star Trek itself. It gave a unique spin to the series in a genre that was very saturated at the time. Not to mention, the Star Ocean series was one of the first to introduce alternate storylines and endings in RPGs. Through the use of branching storylines and a social relationship system, many things were affected in the game. It’s fair to believe that thanks to work like this, modern RPGs of all kinds were able to develop cornerstones of gameplay.
The Star Ocean series has a smaller fanbase than a series like Final Fantasy, but they are very dedicated. Fans have been dying for a sequel to Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness since it was released in mid-2016. With the series website revamped and relaunched earlier this year, they were hopeful. Now, they can rejoice with the announcement of Star Ocean: The Divine Force.
What’s in Store for the Star Ocean Series?
Star Ocean has had a bit of a struggle with critical reception in their last few games. Though the combat and social relationship system are well-refined, the modern plight of RPGs seemed to slow them down last time. Players are looking for fresh, enriched, and wholly engaging experiences in their JRPGs these days. Star Ocean 5 just couldn’t keep up. Square Enix has been putting a lot of work into their worldbuilding and cinematography in modern games. It’s proven fruitful lately, with wild success from recent FFXIV expansions and FFVII Remake. Star Ocean: The Divine Force seems to bring this modern flavor as well. Impressive scenery abounds in the new PlayStation State of Play trailer, as do interesting story points. Fans can only hope that this game will culminate everything together into one great experience.
What are your thoughts on the new Star Ocean game revealed at the State of Play? Leave a comment below!