Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness will not be a repeat of Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope, producer Shuichi Kobayashi assured fans during a post show E3 interview.
Below is a transcript of the interview given to GameBeat
“As you may know, Star Oceans 1, 2, and 3 were a kind of trilogy, if you like,” Kobayashi said.”That was over. When they started making 4, they didn't continue to take on the same attitude about development. The feel of the game was slightly different, and the way they produced the story was different as well. I was the producer for 4, and looking at it, there was something not really right. Something didn't really click. I knew some things weren't in the right places.
“When we were making Star Ocean 4, when it comes to the visual aspect, it was part of Square Enix’s business strategy at that time. In those years, the company was really keen to expand their business in the west. There was a general idea that we should make sure our games had global appeal, not just Japanese appeal. That made things very complicated, really. We used outsourcing companies to establish the story, not just tri-Ace. Our mission back then was to expand the universe, rather than sticking to what we’d already created. We derailed a bit from the main plot, which was another issue we had. We learned a lesson from that experience."
“In Star Ocean 5, we’d like to bring back the attitude we had in the first three games. Our priority is going to be to push out a very tri-Ace creative direction. That’s our main pillar and we’ll stick with it. Story-wise and visual-wise, number five is going to have the feel of a direct sequel to Star Oceans one, two, and three. It’ll be very different from Star Ocean 4.”
Prior to this, Kobayashi had mentioned how people liked the JRPG aesthetic of Star Ocean 3, and how “we don’t want to make it halfway toward a game specifically formulated for Western fans,” which he admits they did “exactly that” for Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
“We wanted to give the visual element which we believed would be appealing to western gamers, and it didn’t really work for either western or Japanese fans,” Kobayashi said of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. “It was a bit of a muddle, really. We don’t want to repeat that. We just want to establish our image and stick with it.”
One of the main new details extracted from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness‘ E3 trailer were the six-character parties. However, the game will actually have parties of more than six characters, Kobayashi confirmed.
Kobayashi also confirmed the return of Private Action scenarios, item creation, and various other features. He also added that with so many characters in battle, the AI is going to be “very complex.” You’ll even be able to customize the AI to an extent.
Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness is set for a Japanese Q4 release for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, with a PlayStation 4 only western release somewhere in early 2016.