Sonic Unleashed

Sega's Mascot Still Lives In A Hog Sty
by Ben Reeves on Sep 22, 2009 at 01:57 PM
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sonic Team
Rating: Everyone 10+
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3, Wii

Every time Sega plans a new Sonic game I hear someone talk about how they are fixing Sonic, and every time the game releases the developers do something new to mess it up. Look Sega, I don't want to play as Sonic's annoying animal friends. I don't want to wander around town talking to people about ice cream or hand puppets. And I don't want to play as some howling bestial, slower version of Sonic. I play Sonic games because I like to go fast.

Sonic is certainly good at going fast. Sega's tech is impressive, as Sonic's sprawling levels speed by without a hitch. Occasionally you'll have to dial in a button-pressing event or quickly jump over to a branching path, but for the most part Sonic's speedy levels are rollercoaster rides you cruise through. If these traditional Sonic levels were the only gameplay in this disc, I might have walked away amused. Sadly, they only make up about a third of the overall experience.

After Dr. Eggman uses the Chaos emeralds to split open the Earth's crust, thereby releasing a horde of evil spirits, Sonic becomes infected with some strange disease.

This disease turns him into a super stretchy Werehog monster whenever the moon is out. These Werehog segments play like a poor man's God of War. You fight hordes of enemies and level up his Werehog attacks, but many of the enemies look the same, Sonic's pace is plodding, and the platforming is frustrating.

Even worse are Unleashed's hub world areas, which have Sonic holding inane conversations with random pedestrians in tedious adventure-style quests. As much as I disliked lumbering through levels as Sonic's hulky Werehog, I disliked hunting through the hub worlds looking for coins even more. Sega, if you really want to fix Sonic, the first thing you should do is stop trying to fix him.

Sonic Unleashed cover
Game Informer's Review System
Concept It's been about a year, so it's time for Sega to shake another Sonic game off the tree
Graphics The ''Hedgehog engine'' impresses with bright cartoonish graphics that fly by without a stutter
Sound Like death and taxes, annoying voiceovers from Sonic and his pals are inevitable
Playability Sonic's racetrack levels require few inputs, and even on the Wii the controls feel fine
Entertainment The game is certainly fast, but speed has never been the problem. Sonic's Werehog levels and the explorative hub world squeeze the entertainment out of this package
Replay Moderately Low