A brief preview of Sonic Frontiers was enough to get folks talking about Breath of the Wild again, but now that we have more footage, it’s clear what this upcoming game is all about. Sega finally listened to YouTube comments and hired one of those “remade in Unreal” guys.
Sega shared a decent chunk of Sonic Frontiers gameplay this morning, showing off some of the shenanigans the blue hedgehog will get up to in his next adventure. Sonic collects rings. Sonic dashes through verdant fields. Sonic grinds floating rails. Sonic climbs (and then eventually runs up the sides of) ancient towers. Sonic solves simplistic puzzles for collectible knick knacks.
Basically, it’s everything you’d expect from an open-world game, only with a few more speed lines.
But is that what Sonic fans really want? The franchise used to pride itself on its unique personality, and I’m not getting any of that from this early Sonic Frontiers footage. The game looks nice, don’t get me wrong, it’s just weird to see Sonic in a melancholy world that seems cobbled together from bits and pieces of other games when his whole vibe used to be “Mario is old and tired, I’m the new punk rock hotness.”
If you had showed me Sonic Frontiers last week and told me a fan reimagined Sonic with Unreal stock assets or even that someone simply modded the blue blur into Xenoblade Chronicles, I wouldn’t have argued. It so perfectly achieves the same level of lifelessness as countless “realistic, high-definition Sonic with god rays and puddles” demos on YouTube that I’m half-convinced it’s a parody of those videos.
All that said, Sonic Frontiers still has a lot of time left in the oven. While there’s no concrete release date, Sega says it’s coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year.