Lately, Square Enix has been using some pretty unique viral marketing techniques to announce their upcoming games. Just last week, the studio launched a mysterious Twitch Alternate Reality Game that ended up promoting Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
More recently, Square Enix unveiled a strange website that received incremental updates that slowly spelled out (what many assumed to be) the new game's title. A full reveal of the upcoming game was planned for tomorrow.
However, much like the news regarding Mankind Divided, which leaked a few days early, the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu went ahead and ruined the surprise. Before the announcement, observers guessed that Square Enix's mystery game was a new Star Ocean title. That was a smart bet. Officially, Square Enix's new game is Star Ocean 5 - or, as it's also called, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.
According to Famitsu, Star Ocean 5 takes pace in-between the events of the second and third games in the series. It is set on a planet called Feycreed, which is said to be 6,000 light years away from Earth.
Famitsu didn't say much about Star Ocean 5's story, although fans do know that the game will center on a conflict brewing from within the Galactic Federation. A few characters were revealed as well, including the main protagonist, Fedel, his childhood friend Miki, and a young girl named Lilia, who is suffering from amnesia.
Gameplay details are also sparse at this point. The combat is said to be "seamless" and runs in real-time. As far as exploration or other gameplay systems, nothing else has been revealed.
The combat will be similar to previous entries in the series. Most fights will be one-on-one affairs, while boss battles will allow the entire party to participate in the fight.
Fans of the Star Ocean series will be happy to know that tri-Ace, who created the series, is handling development. Square Enix will publish. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is being built for the PS3 first, and will be ported to the PS4 later. Development is apparently going smoothly, and the game is already 30 percent complete. Even so, no release date has been announced. Furthermore, whether or not the game will see release outside of Japan is currently unknown. However, the previous games in the series have been released in western markets, and have sold fairly well despite being part of a relatively niche genre.
More details about Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness will come tomorrow during the official reveal event.
A return to Star Ocean is a surprising move for Square Enix, as it's been six years since the last time a game in the series has released. However, the announcement of this game is in line with what the company announced last year, as Square Enix plans to return to its roots after a number of high budget games failed to meet sales expectations.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness will be available on PS3 and PS4 at some point in the future.