Square Enix's Foamstars will arrive as PS Plus monthly free title on February 6, will reportedly include AI art


Foamstar, Square Enix's Splatoon-like 4v4 online party shooter that was announced last year, is coming next month. The PlayStation exclusive will release as a day-one launch title on PS Plus on February 6, Sony and Square Enix confirmed on Tuesday. The game will be available to download for free on PS5 and PS4 as part of the PlayStation Plus monthly games lineup from February 6th to March 4th next month. Foamstars was announced at a PlayStation Showcase in May last year, where the soapy shooting and gameplay were shown. Colorful characters, both heavily inspired by Nintendo's Splatoon games. The PS Plus release will likely attract more players to the multiplayer title in the early days.

PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to redeem, download and play FoamStar at no additional cost. Like all free PS Plus monthly games, the Square Enix shooter, once redeemed, can be accessed beyond February as long as players keep their PS Plus subscription intact, the publisher said on the release date. While making the announcement, he confirmed this in his blog. Following its PS Plus run, Foamstar will be available for purchase starting March 5 on the PlayStation Store for $29.99 (approximately Rs. 2,494). Keep in mind, playing multiplayer titles online will still require a PS Plus subscription.

Ahead of the release of Foamstars, Square Enix also confirmed that the party shooter will include some AI-generated art. FoamStar creator Kosuke Okatani recently told VGC that the developers used MidJourney, a popular generic AI-based image generation tool, to create some art for the in-game icons. “AI was used in the creation of in-game album covers for the music featured in the FOAMSTARS soundtrack. As developers, we are always looking at new technologies to see how they can aid game development,” Square Enix later clarified to the publication.

Okatani stated that the bulk of the game, including its core gameplay elements, was hand-crafted by the developers, adding that AI-generated content in the game was “0.01 percent or less”. The confirmation follows a company-wide New Year's letter from Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu, claiming that AI has the potential to reinvent video games and the way they are made. “We intend to be aggressive in implementing AI and other cutting-edge technologies in both our content development and publishing operations,” the letter said.

FoamStars will launch with three PvP modes – Smash the Star, Happy Bath Survival (both previously released in the FoamStars Open Beta party), and the newly announced Rubber Duck Party. Smash the Star will require teams to band together to defeat the opposing team and reach their star player. Once a team has seven players defeated, the highest performing player on that team will receive gameplay buffs and be named the Star Player. Defeating the star player of the other team will result in instant victory.

Happy Bath Survival mode splits two teams, placing half inside the playing field and the other half outside the field. The people inside engage in hand-to-hand combat, while the outside team members provide defensive support. The new Rubber Duck Party mode requires players to capture a rubber duck in the center of the stage. By boarding the duck it will move towards the opponent's goal. The team that crosses the line first wins. Each of these 4v4 modes includes three maps, which will be randomized during matchmaking.

Additionally, FoamStar will also include a single-player PvE mode called Missions, which will feature both single- and four-player co-op experiences. The mission mode will reveal more about the Foamstar characters, allowing players to experiment with their abilities and take on waves of enemies alongside friends.

Square Enix confirmed that Foamstars will receive free themed seasonal updates over a period of one year. These will include cosmetics, playable characters, maps, and additional game modes. Additionally, each new season will include an optional premium season pass priced at $5.99 (approximately Rs 498).

Foamstars will be coming to PS4 and PS5 on February 6 as a PS Plus launch title.

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