In case you spend loads of time with Sonic followers, you’ve in all probability heard the identical few takes time and again. “Sonic had a tough time transitioning into 3D.” “Sega must cease with the enhance components.” “Sonic wants a brand new Journey sport to come back again.”
Properly, now the brand new Sonic go-to line amongst Blue Blur loyalists is “Open world design is the perfect subsequent step for the Sonic franchise.” And as a Sonic fan because the 1991 authentic, I’m totally on board on board with that take. Sonic Frontiers has me excited as a result of it’s precisely what the sequence must sustain with the occasions.
All through the years, the Sonic the Hedgehog sequence has turn out to be identified for its tendency to evolve. We’ve seen every thing out of your customary 2D platforming of the unique title to extra exploration-based video games like Sonic Journey. Sonic Unleashed experimented with speed-boost hallway ranges, whereas Secret of the Rings didn’t nail the “auto-runner.” Sonic The sequence has by no means been one to stay to a playstyle. Whereas the outcomes of those adjustments have tremendously different from sport to sport, Sonic Workforce hasn’t stopped looking for the proper components, and that exploration is now taking it to Sonic Frontiers.
It’s very clear that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had a hand in inspiring Sonic’s new massive journey and that isn’t a nasty factor within the slightest. The truth is, out of each character that might doubtlessly star in a grand sandbox open-world sport, Sonic is definitely on the high of the ladder.
There’s at all times been a fantastic sense of exploration and discovery all through the Sonic franchise that’s extra evidently seen within the authentic trilogy of Sonic 1-3&Ok and the Sonic Journey sequence. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for a quicker pathway, the easiest way to search out Particular Stage rings, a trendy path to up your ending rank, or simply further merchandise packing containers, there’s at all times an incentive to experiment with development in well-designed Sonic video games. Whereas that’s been considerably misplaced in some titles, it’s a core facet of the sequence that at all times set it other than related platformers. And it goes hand-in-hand with the sequence’ emphasis on “velocity breaks,” which let gamers zip by way of ranges through the use of the momentum-focused sections of phases.
Sonic’s strategy to hurry is an ideal match for the open-world format. Think about taking part in as Sonic and utilizing his agility and talents to traverse Breath of the Wild‘s Hyrule. He might run from space to space whereas taking out Badniks to succeed in new heights, encounter bosses, and spindash or use the lightspeed sprint to search out new areas. These momentum-based concepts rapidly morph into sensible exploration instruments, not not like Hyperlink’s sailcloth, that might marry the sequence’ two best strengths.
With the correct amount of affection and care from Sega and Sonic Workforce, Sonic Frontiers might simply turn out to be among the best Sonic video games there may be. All of it comes down as to if or not they will use the open world to amplify the sequence’ strengths, not erase them.
For a very long time, followers knocked round concepts with open-world and Sonic, generally leading to nice concepts. Fan-made video games like Sonic Utopia have proven simply how enjoyable it may be to manage Sonic in a sandbox created only for him and his toolkit. Now Sega is making an attempt its hand at a extremely experimental components that might each impress or depress followers of the sequence relying on the way it finally ends up.
Like every other Sonic fan, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic and hope that the curse of Sega not giving the sport ample growth time doesn’t comply with right here. Or else we’ll all simply be caught ready for Sonic Mania 2 to save lots of us all.