At the end of Sonic Generations, modern-day Sonic makes clear to past Sonic that there’s a bright future ahead. At the end of that wonderful game we wanted to believe that, but 3D Sonic games simply have not been able to deliver.
With mess after mess of 3D games, the Sonic Franchise was going at sonic speed into the dumpster. The only light of hope was Sonic Mania, even though that was a game to pay homage to the early days of the franchise.
But now, after many failed attempts at a Sonic 3D game, the risk was high for this new 3D Sonic game that attempts to reinvent the entire Sonic gameplay mechanics. Sonic Frontier is a bold new move that, in many ways, is all but original. But is it any good? We do have to say right here and now that it delivered a nice surprise to us. Yes, you’ve read that right, finally a surprise from a 3D Sonic game. So let’s talk about this game, keeping it as spoiler free as we can.
A whole new world?
Even if you’re not a Sonic fan, you’ll notice that most Sonic games seem to be set in similar levels and worlds, and that’s because, for the bigger part, they are. And that’s still a little truth in this case, but what’s the biggest change here is the way we’ll go through this world.
Sonic is one of the latest tricks coming from the Nintendo playbook and turned their new Sonic Frontiers into something similar to the style we’ve seen games adopt since Breath of the Wild was released. We’ve seen games adapt to this style ever since the massive success Zelda had done so, now even the Pokémon franchise is going in that route.
However, it is a little more tricky when it comes to a game based on moving very fast. However, it is nicely implemented in the different levels and mechanics of Sonic Frontiers. Giving us the different play modes of speed and exploration.
The story in Sonic Frontiers is indeed pretty predictable and simple, but then again, it is rare to see someone play a Sonic the Hedgehog game for the sake of getting to know the story. But we do have to mention here that we were pleasantly surprised by the story too, it is well-written and got our attention until the end. There’s an interesting exploration of the characters and their interactions with each other.
Not to mention that there are tons of references thrown in there for the Sonic fans. Overall it is a well-written game, but none of that would matter all that much of the gameplay was terrible. Luckily it isn’t. It has some solid transitions of going too fast to exploration and having to make precise movements.
There are even some boss fights included in this game that is on a completely different level from what we are used to seeing when it comes to other Sonic games. However, the gameplay is far from perfect, you’ll find yourself with annoying lockings of the camera and sometimes the “precise” movements may not be as precise as we wish they were. This game also faces some of the difficulties other 3D Sonic games have had, and that’s making the “going fast” part of Sonic games look fast. We have to give them credit as it looks better than ever before.
The visuals of the game may look good from afar, but the moment we see the character models they fall apart. Both the characters and the animations look out of place with the more realistic visuals of the surroundings. But Well, it is really hard to make these colorful anthropomorphic animal characters fit in this kind of visuals. Still, the visuals are a solid downer for this game.
- Impressive scale
- Combat is fine
- Poor game feel
- Laughable story
- Frustrating boss fights
- Ugly graphics