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Star Ocean The Divine Force Review: Will Star Ocean Fans Love It?

Is it finally a good Star Ocean game?

Star Ocean The Divine Force

DISCLOSURE: This game was reviewed on the following platform: PS4 – Check out our Review Policy page for more information.

The action role-playing video game known as Star Ocean: The Divine Force was created by tri-Ace and was distributed by Square Enix. It is a game with a long history and background of other games so players have high expectations of it.

Does it live up to the hype though and will it make up for all those previous games that weren’t all that good? Everything will be explained in this review and you shall see. Let’s get started.

Star Ocean The Divine Force Review

You have the choice of playing as either the space trader Raymond or the princess Laeticia, making Star Ocean: The Divine Force a game with a twist in that it gives you the ability to choose who your principal protagonist is likely to be for the remainder of the adventure.

Although this decision doesn’t have much of an impact on the plot for the majority of the story, there are points in the game where the two main characters are split up and forced to figure out their own solutions to their problems and their own ways to move forward, and during those times, you only get to see half of the story.

With a strong start like that, you would expect this game to be a blast. Well, stay tuned to find out if that is really the case.

Pros

We shall start off with the good sides of things.

Fun Story

Even from the very beginning, something that is quite new for Star Ocean games is the choice to be able to take a couple of different characters. This by itself will provide you with more replayability. Overall you are looking at something around 40-60 hours, which is quite good.

As the name of the game might suggest, you won’t spend the whole thing on one planet, and as is usually the scenario with JRPGs, the storyline will eventually reach a celestial level. That means that you will be traveling from planet to planet and seeing all sorts of environments.

Characters

Overall, the story has some slow parts, but it’s actually fun, in large part due to the fantastic cast of characters. Even the 3 characters you play with from the beginning—Raymond, Laeticia, and Albaird—have a good bit of chemistry, both in how they joke around with each other and in how most of what they say to each other sounds like it’s coming from the heart.

Instead of using typical anime tropes, the game’s main characters feel like they have their own personalities. Because once you think about it, there’s not much else you need for a 40-hour adventure through magical kingdoms and even space.

Cons

Let’s take a look at the bad sides of things this time.

Performance

The performance is the biggest thing that is disappointing players as of right now. The optimization is terrible and players have been complaining that even with a high rig and strong engines they aren’t able to fully run Star Ocean The Divine Force.

Getting framey and choppy scenes is a normal thing in the game as of right now. You will be seeing lots of random FPS drops and spikes that will completely freeze your screen. This is especially the case when you are in a big battle with lots of effects.

You can go ahead and try to lower the visuals, but they are not the problem. It is simply not optimized as it is and you will need to live with this very poor performance state that this game is in right now if you want to play it.

Bugs

As it is to be expected. It is a new game that doesn’t feel as it is finished yet. The biggest problem is the performance that we’ve stated, but you will get very big bugs from time to time too.

Something like characters clipping on walls, to simply not attacking when they should be. There are some incidents that happen with the shop and logging in that players have been just discovered. Hopefully, they will get polished in the future by the developers.

Dull Gameplay & Combat

Even though all of the characters in Star Ocean: The Divine Force use different styles of weapons, the way real-time combat works in the game means that they never really feel different in any real way.

Almost every fight comes down to spamming strikes till you run out of Action Points and sometimes dodging enemy attacks. It doesn’t help that many fights. Especially the random ones that will happen as you discover the open world of the game, feel like a mess. This was especially bad in the early fights.

You will feel as though you’ve won about half of the fights by accident, which is definitely a bad thing for any type of game.

Messy Menu System & Leveling

Leveling up each character takes a long time, too, because each attribute comes with a notification that sounds nostalgic and takes a few seconds to get through. It may be a small thing, but you will spend twenty minutes buying skill points after each important plot point.

When characters get hundreds of SP per level, which lets them unlock a lot of nodes, this can take a lot of time, not to mention the time it takes to figure out the menu system.

Also, your companions just leave your group out of the blue for personal reasons. That is all good and might be helping with the story and immersion of the game. But the thing is, once they come back they will have everything messed up.

So if you decided to play with their traits and inventory, it will be completely revamped once they come back. Very annoying indeed.

AI Is Extremely Dumb

As an instance of how they don’t always seem to know where they are, we’ve seen protagonists run and stand in highly toxic swamps while their health quickly goes down. Characters who are presumed to be better at fighting from a distance can often put themselves in danger by getting close to their enemies.

It is very annoying because it doesn’t just happen once, but once every 2-3 fights.

Linear Dungeons

You will keep seeing the same things over and over again. It just feels like a copy and paste just with different textures. The visuals aren’t anything that looks like a 2022 game. Plus, seeing the same things will definitely make you quickly bored.

There are some dungeons that you will be interested in exploring more. But even these dungeons will end up feeling exactly the same after a while.

Overall & Rating

If you are a long-time enthusiast and follower of the Star Ocean franchise, surely you will want to give it a try. But just in case you are a newcomer and might be interested, we would advise you to wait until the devs have actually fixed all the performance issues first.

Star Ocean The Divine Force Review

David Mickov

Performance & Visuals
Gameplay & Combat
Story Length & Characters
UI & AI

Summary

Overall Star Ocean The Divine Force feels as though it needed much more work. There are multiple actually straight-out bizarre design choices that completely ruin the whole progression of the game. Then you might expect something good out of the dungeons or combat. Well, you will get disappointed by it as well. That is why we give it a 2.4 out of 5.

2.4

Thank you very much for checking out our review! We hope that you agree with our review. What is your opinion about Star Ocean The Divine Force? Did it live up to your expectations or did it disappoint you as it did us? Be sure to let us know down in the comments below.

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