Peter Triezenberg
Star Ocean 5 "Won't Be A Repeat" of Star Ocean 4
There go my hopes for an Edge Maverick cameo (I actually wasn't hoping for that at all, just so we're clear).
06.22.15 - 2:09 AM

The producer of the upcoming Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Shuichi Kobayashi, who's been working on the Star Ocean series ever since Blue Sphere for the Game Boy Color, had quite a lot to say concerning the latest entry in the franchise at this year's E3. Something he was keen to point out in an interview was the the new Star Ocean wouldn't repeat the past mistakes of last gen's Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

star ocean 4 the last hope 5 integrity and faithlessness edge maverick

"When they started making 4, they didn’t continue to take on the same attitude about development. The feel of the game was slightly different, and the way they produced the story was different as well. I was the producer for 4, and looking at it, there was something not really right. Something didn’t really click," says Kobayashi, going on to mention that Square Enix' focus on appealing to Western audiences may have hurt the final product. "In Star Ocean 5, we’d like to bring back the attitude we had in the first three games. Our priority is going to be to push out a very tri-Ace creative direction. That’s our main pillar and we’ll stick with it. Story-wise and visual-wise, number five is going to have the feel of a direct sequel to Star Oceans one, two, and three. It’ll be very different from Star Ocean 4.”

The Last Hope has gained a somewhat infamous reputation as a black sheep over the years, so this news should please longtime fans. As with the recent NieR announcement, it seems as though Japanese developers are ready to start playing to their own unique strengths again. Another new detail brought up is that, while the new gameplay trailer showed six characters active at a time, there will be more than six characters in the final game. Kobayashi explains, “In more traditional RPGs, as the story unfolds, you get more and more people joining the party. Sometimes, at some point, if you have more than four or six, you have to choose who to form the party with. In this game we don’t have that. We’re going to make all party members featured and physical in the field.” Series staples such as Private Actions will also make a return. Sounds exciting!

star ocean 5 integrity and faithlessness fidel camus combat characters

Along with some new artwork, Kobayashi took some time during Square Enix Presents at E3 to discuss all things Star Ocean 5. Below, you can see the series' official timeline, and where Integrity and Faithlessness fits into the larger universe.

star ocean timeline

There was also some new concept artwork for protagonist Fidel and his allies, including a pair of characters that haven't been detailed before- an "attractive, good-looking" swordsman, and the green-haired witch.

star ocean 5 fidel art

star ocean 5 miki art star ocean 5 relia art

star ocean 5 mysterious man art star ocean 5 green haired witch art

To hear about these characters in more detail, you can watch the entire archived broadcast on YouTube here (it starts at about the 1:35 mark). Kobayashi certainly seems passionate about the Star Ocean franchise, and hopefully the fruits of his team's labors pay off when Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness hits PlayStation 4 next year.