Star Ocean: The Divine Force – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Square Enix, tri-Ace
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Star Ocean: The Divine Force – Review

Site Score
Good: Nice setting, Fast-paced combat, Fun to explore
Bad: Very shallow at times, Clunky menus, Very odd character movements
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s already been three years ago since we took a closer look at the HD remake of Star Ocean: First Departure R, which was the starting point of the Star Ocean series. Fans of the franchise have been waiting for a new game for many years, and that time finally arrived with the release of Star Ocean: The Divine Force, which promised to be bigger and better than ever. We took the game for a spin on PS5, and for the most part, we enjoyed the grand adventure that awaited us. Sadly, the game did come with quite a few flaws preventing this one to be the best entry in the series.


In Star Ocean: The Divine Force you can choose between two protagonists: Raymond Lawrence or Laeticia Aucerius. Depending on who you choose, you’ll see the story unfold differently. Raymond crashlanded on Laeticia’s planet, so he’ll be more consumed by finding his lost crewmate, while Laeticia will do her best to protect her country from the Vey’l Empire. Of course, both storylines intertwine, as Laeticia stumbles upon Raymond’s crashlanded pod, and she promises to help him if he also aids her in her quest. The story is a lot more complex than this, but all in all, that’s pretty much the gist of it. Due to the different points of view, the game does motivate players to play through the adventure a second time to see the different stories evolve as well as the different endings. The story is brought mainly via voiced dialogues.


The graphical quality of The Divine Force left us with mixed feelings. On one hand, you have gorgeous environments and backdrops throughout the entire game, on the other hand, you have the characters who feel like animated dolls with hardly any emotions. Don’t get us wrong, we loved the cast of characters in the game, but the character models move very awkwardly and the facial expressions are pretty much nonexistent. Sadly, the aforementioned environments are often quite empty, and you’ll notice that you won’t be able to explore them to the fullest either due to invisible walls and other obstacles. That being said, this iteration of Star Ocean still looks quite pretty, but it will not give your PlayStation 5 a run for its money.


Overall, the sound design is very good. The game has a cinematic soundtrack, and it’s fun to explore the world with adventurous music playing in the background. The voice acting has also been handled nicely, even though the Japanese voice acting is still a bit better than the cheesy English voice acting. The latter reminded us of the typical RPGs from more than a decade ago, where there are very long pauses between two characters speaking. This, of course, still has its charm, and the voices themselves are still of high quality. The sound effects during combat pack a proper punch, and the SFX outside of combat sound a bit generic but still decent.


Star Ocean: The Divine Force is a fairly traditional JRPG. The story is the focal point of the game, and you’ll be going from one region to another in order to complete your quest(s). Of course, the game does offer a fair few side-quests as well, but these are completely optional, so if you wish to focus on the story, you can easily skip the many fetch quests. From start to finish, you’ll be leveling your party by battling the monsters in the overworld, while traversing between different regions. You’ll also have the D.U.M.A. at your disposal, which is a small android helper that allows you to fly for very short distances. D.U.M.A. will also assist the selected party leader in combat, allowing for very fast-paced battles.

The main gameplay loop is quite simple. You’ll run around, battle, and complete quests. While leveling, you’ll collect SP, which you can invest in your skill tree, which will unlock stat boosts, passive skills, and active skills. These skills can be further enhanced, but it will already take you a while to unlock most stats and skills on your skill tree. Gear is fairly limited, as you can only equip a piece of armor, a weapon, and two accessories. One very annoying part is that when the party changes, your party members will constantly unequip their accessories. This wouldn’t be such an issue if the game didn’t have extremely clunky menus. The menus feel as if you’re playing a game that was released more than a decade ago, and navigating the menus also slows down the overall fast-paced gameplay. Outside of the aforementioned skill trees for the different characters, you can also upgrade your D.U.M.A. skills, which allow you to be stronger in combat or give you better field skills in the overworld.

We found the combat to be very enjoyable, albeit chaotic. You’ll have limited actions you can perform, so you’ll need to think about strategies other than mashing your buttons. You’ll have to do your best to surprise attack your enemies or blindside them, as this will grant you more action points. When pulling off the aforementioned actions, you’ll notice that combat starts becoming even more pleasant. That being said, blindsiding enemies isn’t always that easy, and it’s sometimes very hard to get an overview of the battlefield.


Star Ocean: The Divine Force has a lot of likable components for longtime fans, but it also has a lot of flaws. These flaws can overshadow the good parts, and those who are not familiar with the series will probably not be persuaded to make this their entry point. Series veterans will probably need no extra persuasion, as they will probably know what to expect by now. That being said, the game does have a cast of appealing characters, a fun world to explore, and overall fast-paced combat. Sadly, it also has a very clunky menu system, graphical inconsistencies, and just some odd design choices. All in all, you’re getting a decent JRPG, but it could have been a lot better.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Star Ocean: The Divine Force - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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