The lights are on
During its South By Southwest panel last night, Sega revealed the name for its upcoming mainline entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as Sonic Forces. The reveal was followed by a quick teaser clip showing some gameplay featuring Modern Sonic running through a European-style city as destruction rains down from above. We had a chance to see a longer version of this stage.
The Modern Sonic mechanics in Sonic Forces are inspired heavily by the 3D gameplay found in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, featuring a new version of the Hedgehog Engine used in those games. As seen in the teaser, Sonic runs through the streets while the city crumbles around him. As he turns a corner, two giant egg-shaped robots can be seen in the distance approaching the city via water. Sonic can't immediately do anything about those giant machines, so he opts to take care of the smaller bots right in front of him. He boosts through the first set before using his homing attack to knock out another group and reach a higher platform.
Throughout the rest of the stage, I see several familiar elements from the Sonic series, including grind-rails, ziplines, and boosters. As the level progresses, side-characters like Knuckles, Amy, and some members of the Chaotix communicate with Sonic via radio as if to report in on what they're seeing during the assault. Sega tells us that though these characters are present in the game, they are not playable. Instead, gameplay is focused on Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and a third style that Sonic Team is keeping close to its chest.
In Sonic Forces, Eggman has already conquered the world. He's won, and the effects can be seen throughout the various stages; this was immediately evident in the stage I saw. We don't know how the world has fallen under his control, but Sega is teasing further reveals for this in the lead-up to launch.
Later in the stage, Sonic lands on a platform and the camera shifts to a side-perspective to deliver the modern gameplay with a side-scrolling twist that we've seen in prior games. Though this gives the sequence a definite retro feel, this gameplay is completely separate from the as-of-yet unveiled Classic Sonic stages.
The stage was but a quick sampling of what one-third of the Sonic Forces formula looks to deliver, but I left my demo hopeful of what this game could deliver. Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations were among the best-received entries in the franchise's recent history, and the fact the Sega is promising it has turned over a new leaf with regards to its deadline structure and development cycle has me optimistic.
You can see the first footage revealed to the public below:
Sonic Forces is set to release this holiday season for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. However, before that hits, fans of the series can look forward to the previously announced Sonic Mania, which is being developed by a group of indie developers, sometime in the next several months. For more on that title, you can check out our most recent hands-on impressions.
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If you can get Sonic a La Che hat, I'm in.
What i love about Sonic Generations was the time attacks, it was always so interesting to see how people went through the levels (without breaking the game) Rooftop Run was easily my favorite.
Looks dope, I have no idea why they deviated away from Colors and Generations gameplay after the reception with those two games. I'll probably pick this up after I beat Mario Odyssey on this Switch.
Please be good. Good Sonic games are always a fun afternoon
Awesome to see direct-feed! And just great to see the return of that "Burnout x Platformer" design from (the good parts of) Unleashed/Colors/Generations return :)
I'm really excited for this and Sonic Mania.
Yea chili dogs
I loved Generations and the brief footage we saw here looks pretty good. I am cautiously optimistic.
I can hear Brian Shea putting on his Sonic costume... poor ***. Hope its not another clunker.
So good to see Shea excited for something.
Speed lines though...
Yeesh. I don't think they need to clutter up the game with that mess.
Sonic Generations was criminally underrated (I'd give it at least 9/10; and no, I'm not a mindless Sonic fan, I've played only 3 or so of his games over the past decade). If this game is anything like Generations, I am so totally in.
"Hold forward, tap X sometimes"
As decent as the visuals look, somehow all I'm seeing in this is Sonic 06 at the moment or Unleashed.
Why do people like Sonic? I am honestly perplexed by this and have been for years. Even reading all the comments, I can't seem to collect anything that actually explain what Sonic does that people enjoy.