The saga of Star Ocean continues in this exciting chapter! Square Enix and tri-Ace come together for the fifth installment of the series in Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Since it's being released internationally for both PlayStation 3 (Japan only) and 4, both fans and players new to the series can rejoice. Here are some aspects of the game we think you should definitely be looking forward to:

1. A Little Bit Older and Wiser...

Hey, we're not getting any younger - and that's being reflected in our games. Just like us, the characters of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness are just a little older, too. Protagonist Fidel Camuze is 23 years old instead of the typical teenage demographic, in an attempt to connect with the fan base. How does this affect the game? We suspect more adult choices, a mature point of view, and - gasp - romance. 

Even if it doesn't have a huge impact on the storyline, I know it makes me personally feel better to see heroes in my own age group, proving that you don't have to be a wide-eyed teenager to make a difference in the world.

2. A "Seamless" Feel

The Introduction of Fidel Camuze

Here, we have an excellent example of how well the integrated cutscenes are.

Great effort was taken to ensure this game flowed as smoothly as possible. In many games, there is an obvious graphic difference between cut scenes and gameplay - something that Integrity and Faithlessness has worked hard to omit. This is pretty fantastic, since plenty of complaints about next-generation games stem from a lack of gameplay, and more focus on cut scenes. 

Every scene is intended to be interactive, with options to respond right in the animation. Also. a lot of cut scenes had been removed during editing, to further preserve the action of gameplay.

3. New Planet, New Story

Besides the breathtaking environments and impeccable graphics, Integrity and Faithlessness takes place between The Second Story and Till The End Of Time. This being said, it introduces a new host of characters and new problems to overcome. Set on the sparsely populated planet, Faykreed, Fidel Camuze is a talented fencer who defends his village during "The 7 Dark Years". Together, with his childhood friend Miki, they must find a way to withstand the chaos brought on by the new visitors from space. 

Described by Kobayashi as a "reboot", more than a sequel, Integrity and Faithlessness gives us a new side of Star Ocean along a timeline we recognize. 

New Friends

The Star Ocean franchise is known for it's unique cast of characters, and Integrity is no exception. This installment features a wide variety of party members, each with their own special attributes. And...

You can use all of them. At the same time. 

That's right. For the first time, you can strategize with six main party members, while defining their attributes with unlockable skill sets, and weaponry. Again, this type of battle system is complimentary to the 'seamless' feel of the game, as cut scenes are enmeshed directly into game play. 

Multiple Endings

Everyone knows offering multiple endings to a storyline will produce more replay value, right? But Integrity takes it to a new level by introducing a system that will judge and pick apart every decision and action between you and your party members. Some decisions will be larger than others, and some will be minimal, but all will reflect at the end of the game. 

We've seen this type of dynamic roleplaying in games like Dragon Age and Silent Hill, and each had their own caveats and tricks to get all of the endings. Integrity has three possible endings, perhaps leading us to believe there will be a system where these choices play into the next installment? 

Are You Game?

There's plenty more to offer, between the Standard release and the Ultimate Edition - so much that we just don't have room to list it all! Integrity and Faithlessness looks better than it ever did, and I'm excited for it's North American release on June 28th. What about you? Are there any aspects you just can't wait to see? 

If you just need more on Integrity, be sure to check out our review too!

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