Sadly, it seems like this gorgeous real-time tech demo isn’t the next Star Ocean game – but it really ought to be.

I was not a fan of Star Ocean: The Last Hope, to put it mildly. My problems with the game, however, had nothing to do with its graphics: On the contrary, I found it to be a very nice-looking game with some colorful and well-rendered (if not particularly original) environments.

This tech demo from Star Ocean developer Tri-Ace for its “Physically-based Rendering version 0.1” technology only goes to show that in terms of graphics, the studio knows its stuff. According to Tri-Ace, this demo runs in real-time at 30 FPS in 720p on Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware, and we can only imagine that it’d look all the better with tweaking.

It looks like a Star Ocean title. It sounds like a Star Ocean title, thanks to work by series composer Motoi Sakuraba. Hell, the main character even looks at model figurines that appear to be of Fayt Leingod and Edge Maverick, the protagonists of Star Ocean 3 and Star Ocean 4, respectively. Unfortunately, Tri-Ace also firmly states that the “contents in the video are not related to our developing titles at all.”

Well that’s a bummer. Frankly, my biggest problem with SO4 was that the plot was execrable and the characters were irritating, underaged brats with grating voice acting. Yeah, the “protagonist” in this video looks like every other space marine (hello, generic Commander Shepard) but he’s an adult, he seems reserved, and most importantly he doesn’t say a single annoying word.

I’d totally play this game, because maybe it could actually make the Star Ocean series good again.

(Andriasang, via Destructoid)

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