A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game features themes of friendship, loyalty, and helping those in need, as well as numerous other positive messages and traits. Characters are working together to help each other while also moving forward to accomplish their own goals with the help of their newfound allies.
Positive Role Models
The primary protagonists, Raymond and Laeticia, are both strong characters, honorable and willing to fight for they friends while defending those in need. There are other characters that can be recruited to players' parties with their own diverse personalities and motivations.
The main protagonists include a strong and capable female hero with Laeticia. Other potential party members have a fair range of genders and ethnicities, including characters of different species or even mechanical natures.
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Ease of Play
While the combat and movement is relatively fluid in motion, it requires a lot of timing and observation to make use of action points in real time. Also, there's a huge amount of character management involved when keeping party members properly equipped, and trying to make use of each character's extensive skill tree.
Violence & Scariness
Combat is a constant part of the gameplay, with players' parties attacking foes with a combination of fantasy and sci-fi weapons, as well as numerous special abilities. Attacks have a lot of flashy effects, but there's no blood or gore and defeated enemies simply fall over and vanish from the screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many female characters appear in revealing clothes, spotlighting cleavage, legs, etc. Some lines of dialogue contain some mild sexual references.
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Some profanity, such as "damn" and "a--hole" appear frequently in the characters' dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
This is the latest chapter in the Star Ocean franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Ocean: The Divine Force is a sci-fi/fantasy action role-playing game available on the Xbox Series, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows based PCs. The game's the six game in the Star Ocean franchise, but is a standalone story with no requirements on playing any of the previous game. Players explore the planet, recruit people to their missions, and fight all manner of both humanoid and non-humanoid foes with a combination of fantasy and sci-fi weapons and abilities. Violence is constant, but there's no blood or gore shown onscreen. Female characters are often portrayed in a somewhat sexualized manner, and the game's dialogue makes frequent use of some profanity.
Is It Any Good?
From Mark Twain to Star Trek, the concept of a culture clash between futuristic sci-fi and medieval fantasy is nothing new. But that stale plot device manages to feel fresh and fun in Star Ocean: The Divine Force. A big part of this is because the overall plot seems to develop organically right from the start. These are characters you can't help but get invested in and want to help through their adventures. The game's dual protagonist system also gives players the unique option of seeing the events of the game, as well as interactions with other characters, from two distinctly different points of view. It gives the game an added layer of replayability that doesn't feel repetitive or forced.
While the story and the characters in The Divine Force are instantly likable, the gameplay takes a little more time and effort to appreciate. On the one hand, the open world and seamless battles are engaging and fluidly move things from exploration to combat. But the actual fighting is a bit awkward. It feels like a hack and slash, with a focus on timing and positioning. But every attack, including basic ones, burn up a set number of the character's Action Points (AP). While they fill up quickly, it still leads to frequent issues where players chain together moves or even just try to initiate attacks, only to be met with a prompt stating they're out of AP. It forces players to dodge or switch characters often in battle, rather than pressing an attack, which trips up the otherwise smooth flow of combat. Finally, the game requires an insane amount of micromanagement, from what weapons and armor they have to which attacks are equipped for combos to the ridiculously large skill trees. And that's got to be done for each character individually, something the game's clunky menu system doesn't help with. These are all issues that players will easily adjust to as they play the game, but they make the initial experience a bit overwhelming. Even so, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is an absolute blast to play, whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to the Star Ocean legacy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.