In Sonic Frontiers, the endlessly popular Sonic Cycle keeps going. Even though Sonic Origins just came out and was a bit of a mess, Sega seems eager to take the series in a new direction. The next big adventure for the blue blur is a less linear, more exploratory version of the familiar “run fast, grind rails, jump on robots” formula.
I’m cautiously optimistic, and even though I’m a bit of a pessimist, most modern Sonic games have still been fun for me. Here’s what we know so far about Sonic Frontiers and what makes it different (for better or worse) from the dozens of other games starring Sega’s true blue mascot.
Sonic Frontiers Release Date
Sega said at Gamescom in August that Sonic Frontiers will come out on November 8, 2022. That does match what its most recent forecast for “Holiday 2022” says.
Sonic Frontiers – arriving November 8, 2022! pic.twitter.com/jjaMDOSTdy
— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) August 23, 2022
Here Is Gamescom’s New Sonic Frontiers Trailer
During Opening Night Live at Gamescom, a new trailer for Sonic Frontiers was shown. The team calls it a “story trailer,” but it was also meant to remind us that the open-world Sonic game does have some traditional running and jumping platforming sections. It seems to say, “Don’t worry, there’s still Sonic in this Sonic game.”
Will Pc Be Able To Play Sonic Frontiers?
Yes, and so does pretty much every other game console, including the Switch. So far, Frontiers hasn’t been given any system requirements, but since it works on the Switch (which is basically a mid-spec mobile device) and last-gen consoles like the Xbox One and PS4, you probably won’t need a huge computer to run it at lower settings.
What Sets Sonic Frontiers Apart From Other Sonic Games?
Even though the Sonic series has gone in some strange directions in the past, like a bad RPG by Bioware and that weird Werehog game, Frontiers could be one of the biggest changes yet. Even though the overworlds of Sonic Adventure and Sonic ’06 could be explored, most of the levels were linear. Sonic Frontiers is moving toward an open-world style that doesn’t have as many rules.
Sonic’s usual worlds are abstract and cartoony, but this time he’s exploring a chain of islands that look much more natural. He has to get through flower fields, dense forests, and sharp cliffs, but grind rails seem to be floating just about everywhere, giving him more ways to move. It looks like Frontiers got some ideas from Breath of the Wild since devices and mini-puzzles in the overworld can be used to find collectible items.
So far, gameplay footage has also shown that combat is getting more attention, with fast combos and dodging. Over the course of the game, Sonic will be able to unlock and learn new ways to fight, like being able to shoot swarms of energy blades at enemies and a parry move for close combat. It’s a strange change of pace since Sonic usually fights by bouncing past enemies as quickly as possible instead of standing still and fighting toe-to-toe.
What Do We Know About The World Of Sonic Frontiers?
For this adventure, Sonic is going to the mysterious Starfall Islands, which used to be home to an advanced but now lost civilization. This means that you can speed around miles of open, mostly unspoiled hills with strange techno-ruins, grind rails, and floating platforms.
Also killer robots from the past, which Sonic can’t get away from. At least they look cool and abstract instead of Eggman’s usual designs, which look like he took them from Kinder Surprise toys, which is fitting.
Thankfully, they aren’t getting rid of all of the linear, speed-focused levels. Recent preview videos showed a few ‘Cyber Space‘ levels that were based on Sonic’s past adventures and had enemies from older games making a comeback. It looks like these will give Sonic the keys that he may need to move forward in the story. No one knows how much of the game is focused on these more classic stages.
Since this is a Sonic game, they have to add another marketable friend character for Sonic to interact with. This will help fill out IDW’s ever-growing comic cast. Leaks have made it hard to get a lot of information, but it looks like that role will be filled by a mysterious girl named Sage, who seems to be some kind of guardian with a glitchy red holographic look.
Leaks suggest that at first she will be hostile and try to get Sonic to leave the Starfall islands, but I think the power of friendship will win out by the time the credits roll.
As likely as not, Sega will forget about the character as soon as the game comes out.
Where Are Sonic’s Other Friends This Time?
This time, the custom-made mascot-hero of Sonic Forces is nowhere to be found, and the rest of the cast is also staying out of sight. It looks like Sonic is doing most of this job by himself this time. Early hands-on previews said that Tails and Amy make an appearance during the intro, but that the group gets split up when they fall through a portal. This leaves Sonic alone to search for the Chaos Emeralds, which are the ultimate all-purpose “MacGuffins,” guided by the voice of a mysterious AI.
Eggman is always around the Chaos Emeralds, which seem to be everywhere (they’re worse than the Dragon Balls), and recent clips have shown some of his equipment being set up on the island. You should be ready to fight him and his robot thugs at some point. Still, the machines on the islands seem a bit more dangerous than they did before. And big.
Who Is Developing Sonic Frontiers?
The original Sonic Team at Sega, led by producer Takashi Iizuka, is making Sonic Frontiers. Since Sonic 3, when he was named Game Designer, he has been an important part of the series. Even though he has had some highs (Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors) and lows (Sonic Lost World and Sonic Forces), he knows the old Blue Blur better than most people.
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