Sonic Frontiers lays the foundation for a bright future!

Sonic has always been a very important part of my life and in many ways our connection goes beyond video games. Although it defies all logic and reason, when I think of the blue hedgehog, I think of not only a virtual character, but a friend with whom I have spent many good times and others not so much…

From our first meeting on the Mega Drive with an imported cartridge, through later cartoons, thematic books Think carefully, the end of SEGA consoles, the rise and fall of cross-platforming, and even the birth of my orange kitten named Tails… these were decades of friendships and, frankly, some of the best memories of my life. So it’s no wonder I was so looking forward to it Sonic Frontiers After your application!

After all, Sonic Team’s latest effort promised to bring the character into the open world genre for the first time, and the simple challenge of integrating the classic speedster mechanics into this system got me very excited! This is exactly what I’ve been dreaming about since I put the record down. Sonic CD On my SEGA CD for the first time and I was watching this wonderful animation of a mascot running wild!

I say all of this not just to let you know up front how much I care about the character, but also to let you know how deeply emotional it was to be able to test your new game with early access straight from Hawaii. SEGA Invitational. As Sonic arrived at a new island full of adventure, I also went to a remote island where I experienced over six hours of gameplay. Check out my impressions below!

Live and learn

The first thing you need to know Sonic Frontiers is that it is very different from any other character game you can imagine – although some of their characteristics can be seen here and there more or less, as we discuss below -. But especially, know that it differs from the impression of the first and, frankly, anticlimactic promotional trailer.

The gameplay is much more interesting than the videos suggest.Source: Disclosure / SEGA

If you also use social networks, you have already seen some influencers and journalists commenting on various video game fairs and events. boundaries It was a lot of fun and I’m glad to confirm that opinion. In fact, if the game maintains the same momentum that I experienced in three different segments of the campaign, I believe it has a real chance to be the best 3D hero game out there. Let’s wait a little longer to see how bold this shot was.

But come on, what makes this new project different? Sonic Team christened its structure as open zones (or open zones), which in practice means that you can explore the star islands as you see fit and at your own pace, enjoying parallel activities, battles, bosses, challenges, puzzles. Lots of 3D platforming, timing, fishing, collectible hunting and even access to linear levels.

Regardless of what order you do, the common goal is to encounter sub-bosses called Guardians who will always give you portal gears. You’ll need them to be able to open the various portals hidden on each island in the game. There, you’re sent straight into cyberspace, a place shaped by Sonic’s memories.

The open world is already full of action, but there are also linear stages that are purely focused on adrenalineThe open world is already full of action, but there are also linear stages that are purely focused on adrenalineSource: Disclosure / SEGA

Besides having an absolutely outstanding soundtrack, these levels are also the point where you’ll find the most linear structure of the entire adventure, with the return of the good old system of scoring your performance based on your time and collectible rings. In addition, five red rings of return must be found in each corner of the map. Overall, the dozens of levels that I beat reminded me a lot of the electrifying atmosphere of the levels. in full swing!

Your performance there will earn you Vault Keys and you must use them to access and release the Chaos Emeralds. Meanwhile, you must also explore the map and complete activities to earn memory tokens that help progress the characters’ narratives. In other words, there’s a lot to do this cycle!

It’s like playing three games in one!

As long as you can change the order of all these activities as you see fit, I’d say sure Sonic Frontiers You’ll end up micromanaging three independent (but deeply intertwined for the above reasons) adventures. You get to choose how much time you want to spend exploring the open world, playing linear levels, and enjoying mini-games and challenges.

How about you stop for a while to go fishing with your buddy Big?How about you stop for a while to go fishing with your buddy Big?Source: Disclosure / SEGA

In my opinion, the linear part needs the least explanation: if you liked the modern action phases of the hero, you’ll continue to love them because they’re great and keep the nostalgia and old news alive. But if you’ve never liked their tracks, you won’t change your mind here.

The open world loop itself is more interesting because it hides some of the game’s high points, but also its main potential problems. In the first few hours, it’s great fun completing challenges to unlock a view of all the content that a sector of the map hides, but doing so frees up such a small part of the landscape that it soon becomes a little frustrating. .

At some point I wanted to play more stages in cyberspace and I couldn’t because I didn’t have the new portal marked on the map, so even though I had a lot of Gears in my pocket I needed to. Explore more and complete missions that I didn’t want to do at the moment, that could have been avoided with a little better balancing. This kind of stuff can make you feel tired after a few hours, so I imagine sessions of up to 2 or 3 hours at a time are ideal for average players.

At any time, the Sonic Frontiers soundtrack is outstandingAt any time, the Sonic Frontiers soundtrack is outstandingSource: Disclosure / SEGA

Side activities, on the other hand, almost always offer a nice break from the rhythm and distractions, so you’re organically rewarded with little-to-no perks that make your game even more fun. Points can be spent on the new skill tree, which is very easy to use and gives access to new new moves, as well as talking to the hermit Coco, with whom you can exchange collected seeds for new stat points, allowing you to run faster, carry more rings or improve damage.

The ultimate evolution of Sonic

Development is never an easy process, but it is definitely necessary. Over the years we’ve seen Sonic Team try to please the public, but the series has rarely stayed true to the same course for long. I hope that things are different now, because, most of all, in my time Sonic Frontiers I felt that something special was happening at this time.

Yes, there are problems: sometimes objects can take a while to load and cause the feeling that even on a powerful computer machine pop internets appear. The open world can also get repetitive quickly, and of the three islands I was able to explore (Kronos, the tropical; Ares, the desert, and Chaos, the lava), only the first managed to achieve a profoundly striking visual identity, leaving only two. Discovering others. anyway.

For the first time in a long time, the future looks bright for the heroFor the first time in a long time, the future looks bright for the heroSource: Disclosure / SEGA

But even if one prefers to focus on the negatives, I at least hope that people recognize not only that they will be easy to address in future games created in the same format, but especially that Sonic fans rarely get it. one. A 3D game so fun, promising and innovative already in its current form, with far more virtues than problems!

There is so much heart in this project and it is evident from your first step on the islands to the moment you say goodbye to them. And I still miss it already and can’t wait for its release on November 8th.

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