Star Ocean: The Divine Force Interview - Tri-Ace on their first major release in over 6 years

Tri-Ace and Square Enix's Star Ocean: The Divine Force finally released last week, and we had the chance before launch to send the development team a set of questions about the work that went into making the game a reality. While some of the questions have now been answered with players having the game in their own hands, we still thought it would be worth posting what the company had to say about their first major console release in over 6 years.

Q. First off; thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Outside of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness and Star Ocean: Anamnesis, STAR OCEAN THE DIVINE FORCE seems to be the first major release coming out of Tri-Ace in 6+ years. Is there anything you’d like to tell fans about the journey to get to this point?

Tri-Ace: It’s surprising to think that it’s been over 6 years since Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. We’re delighted, as well, that we have been able to release this new title within this franchise. We started developing STAR OCEAN 6 after the mobile title STAR OCEAN: ANAMNESIS. Many resources were devoted to its development, but the title can now finally be released, so we’d like for everyone to enjoy it. 

Q. Notably, STAR OCEAN THE DIVINE FORCE appears to be the game which has Tri-Ace supporting more platforms at launch than ever. Not counting any potential PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X enhancements, the game seems to be targeting 6 platforms between PlayStation, Xbox and PC. What are some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome with supporting so many systems at once? 

Tri-Ace: There were many items that needed to be addressed individually per PF, and we devoted a lot of time to researching, reviewing, and responding towards these matters. We’ve especially worked until the very last minute to address performance issues. 

Q. As an aside, STAR OCEAN THE DIVINE FORCE is releasing on PC – Square Enix recently advertised Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade’s Steam release with how the title was playable on Steam Deck. Some of Tri-Ace’s existing Steam PC releases such as Resonance of Fate 4K/HD Edition are Verified to run on the platform; has there been any consideration from the dev team to get Star Ocean: The Divine Force working on the platform?

Tri-Ace: We don’t have anything to share regarding Steam Deck at the moment, but we hope to share some updates with our fans as soon as we can. (Editor's Note: While Star Ocean: The Divine Force has yet to be Steam Deck verified, the game runs on the platform with some shader compilation stutters that will be solved whenever Valve released precompiled shaders for the game to SteamOS users)

Q. One thing that stood out when playing the demo for STAR OCEAN THE DIVINE FORCE, is just how much D.U.M.A comes into play for both exploration and combat; when did the system come into play during development? Was it always there from the project’s beginning, or is it something that the dev team came to further along with the game’s development?

Tri-Ace: DUMA is one of the key concepts of this title and was considered from the initial conception of this project. As specified, it exists as a vital feature both for the system and scenario. 

Q. During the tutorial where players are taught how to use D.U.M.A, it’s pointed out that some enemies might have weak points that you’ll specifically have to target with the system in order to efficiently deal with them. Is this something players can expect to be a recurring theme throughout the game?

Tri-Ace: Yes. It exists as a vital element of progressing the game. 

Q. Here’s a bit of a fun question; STAR OCEAN THE DIVINE FORCE already seems to have a large, confirmed cast of characters. Are there any specific characters that appear that the dev team is excited for players to get familiar with?

Tri-Ace: All of the characters have their own personalities and strategies, so the development team is excited whoever the players choose. Among them, Nina is a special character who has healing VA ability, so we would like for players to use her to your full advantage.

Q. Thanks again for answering some of our questions. Finally – is there anything else you’d like to tell fans, both old and new, as we are quickly approaching the game’s release?

Tri-Ace: With the VA system, the battles have become the most exhilarating and speedy of the series. In addition, the VA has made field movements and exploration more enjoyable, so we hope you have fun with it.

(Editor's Note: We also asked the dev team another question about whether the abnormally tiny text that was present in the preview build that we played before launch could be changed, which the company was unable to comment on prior to the launch of this article. As per the launch of the full game there are no in-game options to change the size of the text in the User Interface)

Star Ocean: The Divine Force is available now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, and PC (Steam). Stay tuned for our full review of the game, coming soon.