What is Sonic Frontiers and how is it different from the other games in the Sonic franchise?
In Sonic Frontiers, Sonic Team decided to do something completely different from traditional Sonic titles and set it in an open environment. It is an action-adventure game that takes place on Starfall Island, which has a variety of different biomes for Sonic to explore including forests, deserts, ancient ruins, and flowery fields. The story of Sonic Frontiers starts with Sonic, Tails, and Amy Rose being sucked into a wormhole, though they don’t all end up in the same place. Sonic is taken to a mysterious island where an artificial intelligence guides the player as they try to find Sonic’s friends and locate the Chaos Emeralds.
Even though this is a new 3D-style platformer, Sonic still has the same abilities he had in the previous Sonic the Hedgehog games; he still has to collect rings, grinds on any rails that he comes across, and runs at super-fast speeds. Sonic will be able to double jump, use the shoulder buttons to sidestep, and can use a boost if he has enough energy. He has also learned a few new tricks like running along walls, combat attacks, and using the Cyloop to interact with objects that you draw a circle around. The controls can be customised and players can adjust Sonic’s speed, defence, attack, and number of rings that can be carried as the game progresses.
This new open-world (or open-zone as the developer calls it) still retains elements from previous Sonic games that players will recognise like springs, grind rails, and boost pads. As you explore this new island, Sonic will have to climb towers in platforming challenges to reveal hidden parts of the map, along with solving puzzles, and performing speed runs to collect Memory Tokens, which are needed to rescue your friends, or items that can be used to upgrade Sonic’s move set.
Sonic will battle robotic foes on the islands using dodge and parry attacks along with the Cyloop, which makes enemies easier to hit. Once defeated, enemies will give experience points that can be used towards extra abilities for Sonic. Besides these smaller baddies, there are larger boss battles that, when bested, will give the player a piece of the portal that will be used to let players play short linear levels reminiscent of past Sonic titles. These levels allow players to collect red rings and give the keys required to collect one of the Chaos Emeralds.
The main game takes about 20 — 30 hours to finish, but if players are completionists it can take as many as 60 hours.
This is a Sonic title unlike any we have seen before but seems like an interesting change for fans of other more open-world type games like Super Mario Odyssey. Sonic Frontiers is sure to be a new experience for fans of the Sonic franchise when it releases later in 2022.