Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is the fifth installment in the main Star Ocean series, and sees players take to the vast expanses of the universe as they travel throughout the open world locating different environments as well as enemies. In addition to this the PS4 allows the game to add even greater depth to this exploration as players are now able to explore a far vaster open world than previous titles, each location containing unique enemies as well as characters, making it a fun title for series veterans whilst most likely turning away newcomers to the series.
Firstly, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithfulness utilizes the full potential of the PS4 allowing the title to contain an incredible range of beautiful and majestic environments, ranging from bustling towns, to hostile jungles. This diverse range of environments also permits a far larger number of enemies ranging from sword wielding beasts, to majestic floating fish.
To accompany this large range of enemies, Star Ocean 5 sees the debut of an improved and seamless combat system which allows players to easily enter and exit combat. When combat is commenced, players are able to roam around a specified walled area in which they and their enemies must remain. However, despite these restrictions, the ability to freely move around a designated combat zone allows players to target separate enemies as well as allowing them to damage several enemies adding extra depth to combat.
Another addition to combat is party based battles, in which players are able to designate a role to each character in their party. For example a sorceress could be tasked with supporting the player through healing magic whilst other characters are able to fight up front with the player. This once again adds extra depth to combat y prompting players to think about their location in battle as well as the agro they draw from enemies in order to protect supporting characters in combat. Despite its several features, Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness eases players into combat at first by slowly introducing them to a range of different enemies beginning with weak bandits and progressing to larger more imposing enemies as they progress through environments.
Star Ocean 5 manages to easily keep players occupied with a wide range of both main quests and side quests throughout the game’s vast world, with story quests ranging from mere reporting quests at the beginning of the game, to intense battles during its later moments. Meanwhile, side quests sometimes lack interesting or compelling features as players are commonly prompted to fetch items or complete small elimination tasks for NPCs. However, despite this, side quests also see gamers explore the game’s beautiful open world allowing them to thoroughly explore environments rather than just swiftly moving through them, making for serene and intense experiences throughout the open world.
Unfortunately, despite its new and improved gameplay features, Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness lacks in story telling aspects with a disconnected story that often results in boredom as players are forced to take part in lacking main storyline quests, making the game’s main storyline lackluster and tedious despite its other exploration and battle oriented features.
Graphically, Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness takes full advantage of the PS4 with beautiful anime styled characters, as well as detailed equipment and enemies. In addition to beautiful new graphics, the game also sees the debut of drastically improved audio features, ranging from both serene and intense music during exploration and battles, to detailed enemy types and equipment. Another advancement is the title’s large range of weapons that players are able to obtain throughout the game. These weapons not only allow players to alter their play style but also offer a larger incentive to take part in smaller side quests as well as exploration throughout the world in order to locate treasures such as common potions or large sums of money.
Finally, Star Ocean 5 possesses a wide character range which attempts, and sadly fails, to add to the game’s plot and story. In addition to this, players are also able to level other party characters, allowing them to obtain new skills and higher damage or healing outputs depending on their class. This once again prompts players to invest more time into the game’s side quests as well as exploration if they wish to level their party and obtain new skills for member. This part oriented feature also allows players to formulate a range of attacks and setups, drastically improving the excitement of boss battles as players deal damage to the boss, whilst the support class heals each damage of tanking character, adding extra depth into the game’s numerous battles and boss encounters. However, despite these promising features, the game’s AI is often lacking as players are forced to take initiative in battle whilst the AI merely follows them into battle whilst damaging the target enemy and healing, commonly causing tediousness during drawn out battles.
In conclusion, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness truly encapsulates a feeling of excitement and adventure with a wide range of locations and enemies testing even skillful player’s abilities. In addition to this the debut of a newer and smoother combat system allows even new players to easily access the game’s world and combat within it. Due to this the game welcomes returning series veterans whilst turning away less hardcore fans with its lack luster storyline and often clumsy features.
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