Sea of Stars will arrive on the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog right on its launch day. Available for Extra and Premium members, the Game Catalog will feature the retro-styled role-playing game starting on August 29th. Currently, all PlayStation owners can get a taste of the game through the demo, available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Developed by Sabotage Studios, Sea of Stars is set in The Messenger universe. A Kickstarter campaign funded the fantasy title in just 24 hours. Sea of Stars both harkens back to classic turn-based RPGs like Chrono Trigger while adding its own flair to the genre. Sabotage shares in a blog post, “By combining retro aesthetics and modern design, we shoot for experiences that capture what we love about games of old while leaving behind the elements we feel might hold them back today.”
Players can check out this blend of old and new for themselves in the demo. While Sea of Stars has turned-based combat without any time limit on turns, certain moves allow players to press buttons in real time to alter attacks. The game emphasizes that this is not mandatory, and turn-based purists can stick to classic turn-based combat. But those looking for a contemporary touch can time button presses to strengthen an attack, prolong an attack, or block part of an incoming attack.
The demo mostly focuses on combat and puzzle mechanics. However, Sabotage emphasizes how Sea of Stars revitalizes traversal in its take on the role-playing game genre:
With Sea of Stars, we set out to move as far away from tile-based movement as possible to create something that would feel lighter and more seamless, while allowing for a more varied moveset, and in turn, offer more opportunities for players to interact with the environment during their adventures. We wanted exploration to be as fully fleshed out as combat.
Ever come to a lake in an old school role-playing game and wish you can jump in? Or hop off a cliff to get to the area below? While the demo for Sea of Stars doesn’t highlight a ton of traversal, players can test these two examples of the system. Personally, I enjoyed the high degree of freedom and I’m excited to see how the full title promotes exploration even more when it arrives.
Sea of Stars will release on PlayStation 4 and 5 for free on PlayStation Plus (for Extra and Premium members). It will also retail for those systems and for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 29th.