If there is one franchise that has always been at the top of SEGA's list, it is undoubtedly Sonic. The Japanese publisher has released several installments and spin-offs in the iconic platformer series. Some have seen success, while others were doomed to epic failure.
Fans have been cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Sonic Frontiers with these thoughts in mind. It was announced last year with a cinematic teaser of the popular blue hedgehog blazing through a forest, and it finally received new gameplay.
Sonic Frontiers introduces the series to a fully open-world formula
The initial barely-a-minute-long tidbit on the media's official account showcases snippets of a little bit of everything. The vast open world, the sprinkled grind-rails, and combat with enemies.
A lot of it seems promising at the very least, especially the enemy design and bash-based combat. However, much of the footage is taken from IGN's exclusive First gameplay debut, which covers four minutes of full gameplay.
For one, it showcases Sonic's moveset well. He can walk, run, grind, dash and bounce - as is usual for the hero. But it seems like he also has a ground pound or stomp move, or at least something that looks akin to one.
Otherwise, the map is expansive and littered with towering monoliths and designated rails/bounce pads with rings and coins to collect. There also seem to be destroyable structures.
While the extensive gameplay does not showcase combat, it does depict activities around the map. Some seem active, while others are disabled or waiting to be kindled. These include puzzles to solve (like changing an atatue's position or walking across pads in a pattern).
Completing them seems to unlock some collectible, the purpose of which is not yet known. Looking at how the concept is handheld in collect-a-thon 3D platformers, it could contribute to world progression.
When does the game release and for what platforms?
There is still no confirmed release date for Frontiers. Fans can expect to get their hands on it sometime later in 2022. It is released on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.
Development on the game began after the flop that was Sonic Forces. This time, the blue hedgehog will arrive on an island called Starfall Islands. There are said to be various kinds of biomes. From a visual standpoint, it has drawn comparisons to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, it seems more akin to Super Mario 3D World's expansion Bowser's Fury in execution.