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Sonic x Shadow Generations

Takashi Iizuka Explains Why Shadow Has New Powers In Sonic X Shadow Generations

by Brian Shea on Jun 19, 2024 at 02:17 PM

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The release of Sonic Generations in 2011 gave players a series-wide greatest hits remake package to celebrate 20 years of Sonic the Hedgehog. Though other characters appeared in Sonic Generations, Sonic – in both his Classic and Modern forms – was the sole playable character. Now, 13 years later, the well-liked celebratory release returns as the latest Sonic remaster, but it's not simply the same package with performance enhancements. Sure, those are there, but perhaps the biggest selling point is the inclusion of Shadow the Hedgehog as a playable character. 

But Shadow is much more than a reskin of Sonic. Yes, the base of Shadow in his Sonic Adventure 2 debut was that he could match Sonic's abilities, but we've seen him appear in a variety of gameplay styles, with varying powers at his disposal. During my hands-on session, I was able to experience his Chaos Control ability, which was the power that introduced players to Shadow back in his debut scene. That power lets Shadow slow down projectiles like rockets so he can easily dodge them or use them as platforms.

Sonic x Shadow Generations

The notion of giving Shadow a distinct skillset in his standalone campaign in Sonic X Shadow Generations originated with the dark hedgehog's first starring role in a game. "The original Shadow the Hedgehog game was thought of as a spin-off from a Sonic game," Sonic Team creative officer Takashi Iizuka says. "In order to really spin it up to be something fun and interesting and new, we had to think of, 'What is something we haven't done or don't do in Sonic games? Let's put that in and have it be part of the Shadow gameplay.' That's where the shooting action came in for Shadow the Hedgehog. It was to really make sure that it doesn't just feel like we're changing the character, but it's still the same game; we want different gameplay as well."

Shadow the Hedgehog has garnered notoriety due to its structure, poor critical reception, and oddly mature twist, in which Shadow shoots enemies with a gun while uttering mild curse words. However, it laid out the blueprint for what Sonic Team wanted to do with Sonic X Shadow Generations. "For the Generations content, because Shadow Generations was coming inside of the whole Generations format, we wanted to keep the same game format for Sonic Generations that we have for Shadow Generations," Iizuka says. "So, the platform action game style was something you could put in and have it be this unified package, but we didn't just want to have it be like, 'Oh, okay, so you have levels just like Sonic." We needed something extra. And that something extra – all the new actions Shadow can do that Sonic can't – that's where we're differentiating the gameplay inside of Shadow Generations. So, it still feels like a Generations game, and this is just the Shadow story, but you still get the new actions and abilities and the new gameplay because of Shadow."

Sonic x Shadow Generations

At the end of the Summer Game Fest trailer, which announced the release date of Sonic X Shadow Generations, fans we shocked to see Shadow suddenly sprout wings, hinting at a potential new ability Shadow may have in this new game to continue differentiating Shadow Generations from the preexisiting Sonic gameplay. "Shadow has Chaos Control, but outside of that, it may feel like too much of the same and we wanted to make something new and interesting with the Shadow content," Iizuka says. "We said, 'We have the same platform action format. We have similar running and jumping. We have Chaos Control. But what else can we put in here to really make the gameplay different and unique?' That's where the idea came up for the Doom Powers: We need to give Shadow these extra abilities and extra powers to allow new gameplay formats to be born."

We're sure to learn more about Shadow's unique abilities and Doom Powers in the lead-up to the game's launch. Sonic X Shadow Generations arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on October 25. For our recent hands-on impressions of the game, head here.

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Sonic X Shadow Generations

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
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