Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a console role-playing game developed by tri-Ace and published by Square Enix initially only for the Xbox 360, and the fourth installment in the Star Ocean series.
The Last Hope takes place on Earth in the year S.D. 0010 where the world is on the brink of destruction. In A.D. 2064 World War III broke out after several clashes between the World Republic Federation, the ruling government body on Earth, and its enemies around the world. Weapons of Mass Destruction were utilized by both factions of the war without hesitation, razing the lands on Earth. The declining situation lead the people to believe that the end of the world was nearing, but the critical situation forced both factions to declare a ceasefire. In the aftermath of the war, most of the Earth's population has been killed and the natural environment was deteriorating at an alarming rate.
The surviving population of mankind were forced to live in the confinement of underground cities and the countries banded together to form an organization known as the Greater United Nations. The Universal Science and Technology Administration or USTA was established by the Greater United Nations, its mission was to locate a new home planet for mankind in the far reaches of outer space. A.D. 2087, Professor Trillas Bachtein succeeded in his warp drive experiments which was a breakthrough in space travel. In S.D. 0001, the first year of the newly established Spacedate calendar, the USTA secretly put in motion its Space Reconnaissance Force or SRF project which would then in S.D. 0010 send the first human expedition into outer space to locate a suitable planet for the relocation of mankind.
The Last Hope utilizes the same real time battle system like previous games in the series, new features include a new Rush Gauge and Blindsides. The Rush gauge allows players to perform a pre-emptive strike against his opponent or use a special ability or attack. Each character will have and utilize their own individual Rush gauge. Blindsides allow the player to counter attack an enemy who is targeting the player by slipping behind the enemy quickly out of his line of sight and launching a pre-emptive strike on the enemy from his back. Another new system is the increase in the number of characters that can be controlled and fought with in battle to four, instead of the three from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.
Source: Wikipedia, "Star Ocean: The Last Hope", available under the CC-BY-SA License.