Posted:  Oct 29, 2022
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Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!


The next entry into the Star Ocean series is here! The Divine Force takes you on a wild ride to save a princess's homeland from an invading empire and what happens could change the entire universe. Run around a massive open world in full 360 degrees. This entry brings in the action and high-speed combat to demolish large amounts of enemies all at once.

While the game has a beautiful setting and supports some nice QoL features like just walking over items in the world to pick them up and fluid transitions from combat to free-roam, some of the script writing and animations felt a bit stale. Overall, it feels like there's a good game deep in there and if you like JRPGs, this could be a well-worth it experience.

After trying a bunch of setting combinations in different environments, I felt the most stable way to play was prioritizing image quality at 30 FPS. You can prioritize framerate, which could push your game to 40 FPS, but I felt there were too many spots that brings the FPS down to 32 - 34. It also made the game look just a bit too blurry to enjoy. And with 30 FPS on prioritizing image quality, using the normal preset options worked fantastically.

The game also has a couple issues. The biggest one would be the stuttering. When first trying the game, there was some massive stuttering that occurred. It seems this could be a shader issue, but Twitter user Orion5007 figured out a launch option that does curb a lot of the stuttering. There is still some minor ones here and there, like when going into new areas initially, but it took out the significant ones to make the game much more playable! It is also worth noting that this launch option can only be used with Proton GE.

Launch Option:

DXVK_ASYNC=1 %command%

Other than that, I noticed a little bit of ghosting and slow loading into new areas. All the textures and models took a few seconds to load in some areas, but once they loaded, there wasn't an issue anymore. I did also notice the gamepad icons telling you how to do certain actions did change to the KB+M counterparts once or twice. This wasn't a big deal, but it did happen.

I need to play more to get a really good feel for other builds, but I believe that setting the cap at 30 with a normal preset feels fantastic and plays great for the most part!



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Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Star Ocean: The Divine Force has some great mechanics and a beautiful world, but performance on the Deck has some minor stuttering and some heavy areas.

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Let us know what level of playability you consider STAR OCEAN THE DIVINE FORCE to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
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  1. One thing worth noting is that the "DXVK_ASYNC=1 %command%" launch option works ONLY on GE-Proton.

    Regular proton doesn't support async shader compilation.

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