Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (スターオーシャン５インテグリティ アンド フェイスレスネス, Sutā Ōshan Faibu Integuriti ando Feisuresunisu?) is the fifth installment in the Star Ocean series for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Of a smaller scale than previous entries, the game's events focus on the struggle of the underdeveloped Faykreed IV in the conflict between two spacefaring factions. It takes place in S.D. 537, and is thus set between Star Ocean: The Second Story and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.
The game features real-time battles, in which players transition directly on the overworld field, in four possible Difficulty Modes. Enemies also attack the player in the middle of some events. If party members get captured by enemies during these events, their Affection will change. The number of participants in battle was increased to seven characters at once. Similar to the Tactics system, characters not controlled by the player have their AI set to certain strategies via roles.
Item Creation makes a return in Integrity and Faithlessness, and is performed in the pause menu rather than workshops or ships. There are three branches: Item Creation, Synthesis, and Augmentation. The Synthesis system is an entirely new addition, allowing the player to deconstruct any item to create a different, random item based on Quality and Impurity ratings. The Augmentation system is similar to the Synthesis feature from previous installments and is nearly identical to that of The Last Hope.
Regarding Private Actions, each town has a designated PA "rally point" where Fidel can enter and scatter the party. Icons on the map will indicate that a PA is available with a given character and Fidel needs to walk near the character to activate it. Dialogue options affects Affinity Points gained or lost through the PA, while others reward roles to be used in combat. A few scenes occur while traveling on the field when certain conditions are met. As usual, Affinity Points will determine which of the multiple endings the player will get.
In Space Date 537 (A.D 2623), after spreading out from Earth and a multitude of trials during the expansion of the Galactic Federation, humanity is on the verge of peace. However, on the underveloped planet known as Faykreed IV, embers of conflict have begun to stir. The Kingdom of Resulia is at war with the Kingdom of Trei'kur, but has a cooperation agreement with the superior-in-magic Kingdom of Langdauq. Recently, however, Trei'kur soldiers have begun to wield mysterious, flashing weapons that cause death to whomever they target.
After one too many bandit attacks to their village, Fidel Camuze and Miki Sauvester leave and request aid from the Resulian army, in which Fidel's father, Daril Camuze, holds an important position. Their request is denied as no men can be spared, so they return to Sthal, only find the mysterious Relia.
- Playable characters
- Fidel Camuze - Taught by his father in the ways of the sword, he guards his hometown, Sthal Village on the borders of Resulia Kingdom.
- Miki Sauvester - Fidel's childhood friend and a signeturge blessed with the very rare ability to heal.
- Victor Oakville - A faithful, trustworthy Resulian soldier who belongs to the King's Chosen special force.
- Fiore Brunelli - One of the leading signeturges at Langdauq Kingdom's Signeturgy Research Institute.
- Emmerson T. Kenny - A secretive individual on a mission who appears seemingly out of nowhere.
- Anne Patriceani - Emmerson's companion, she is a skillful martial artist.
- Supporting characters
Current series producer Shuichi Kobayashi felt that it was a waste to see the IP that is Star Ocean remain dormant, so he decided to decided to step up to the task and take over from Yoshinori Yamagishi. Many at Square Enix thought the series was over due to Yamagishi being done with the franchise, so Kobayashi and series creator Yoshiharu Gotanda worked on a pitch for Star Ocean 5 in secret. Kobayashi also wanted to relaunch Star Ocean out of concern for the shrinking console market and the continued push by Square Enix and other developers for simpler games on mobile platforms, making further sequels impossible for less famous franchises.
Kobayashi stated that he wanted the game to draw its "essence" from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. The game uses the ASKA Engine, developed in-house by tri-Ace, previously used on Infinite Undiscovery. The game was developed primarily for the PlayStation 3, with the PlayStation 4 version as a port. A guiding principle was on making the game "seamless", such as smooth transitions between gameplay and combat, eliminating random encounters, as well as perfecting the angle of the camera so that players could see their enemies from the best spot. Also part of the seamlessness was the reduction in cutscenes to keep the narrative more cohesive and focused on the gameplay experience.
The game was revealed in April 2015. By this point, it was 30% complete. It was initially given a release date of February 25, 2016 in Japan and sometime in 2016 for the West. However, the Japanese release was slightly delayed due to optimization. A demo of the English version was playable at PAX East 2016, where the Collector's Edition of the game was announced. Localization was very nearly complete at this point in time. The game released in North America on June 28 and in Europe on July 1 of the same year.
While the game did not meet its sales expectations (which Kobayashi had expected), from the very start Kobayashi had no intention to stop right there. Much of Integrity and Faithlessness's engine and data were reused to make a "sequel": Star Ocean: Anamnesis. If the series' popularity continues, and there is enough demand from fans, Kobayashi hopes to be able to do the next thing for the series.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Star Ocean Producer On Rebooting The Series And Hopes For The Next Star Ocean Game
- ↑ Star Ocean 4 was nearly the end of the franchise
- ↑ Star Ocean 5's Producer on Localization Challenges and the Future of Console JRPGs
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Star Ocean 5 Announced for PS4, PS3
- ↑ Star Ocean 5 Is Being Made For Fans Of Older Star Ocean Games
- ↑ Star Ocean 5 for PS3 delayed to April 28 in Japan