A new trailer was recently released for Sonic Frontiers, that upcoming open-world Sonic game that seems to be receiving some pretty mixed reception. And considering Sega’s past track record with the franchise, it stands to reason that fans are feeling a range of emotions, from hopeful optimism and excitement to a gnawing conviction that the world’s fastest hedgehog is going to be receiving yet another lackluster entry in his already struggling franchise.
On the surface, we know that Sonic will get to explore multiple Starfall Islands, which comprise the main open-world component of the game. These islands should, in theory, hide plenty of secrets to discover, along with access to these Cyberspace levels, which look closer to more traditional Sonic levels.
Initial impressions of the game’s open landscape based on some gameplay footage released about a month ago didn’t do the game any favors, as the large open spaces featured in the video looked quite dull and lifeless. I also couldn’t help but agree with many people’s assessment that the random grind rails, springs, and whatnot all look very unnatural and were not incorporated into the landscape very well. I also still can’t help but question the more realistic graphical style they went with rather than a colorful and cartoony look that would fit Sonic much better. (You can find some nice looking screenshots on the game’s official website, one of which can be found at the top of this post. But an attractive screenshot doesn’t necessarily make for an engaging place to explore.)
Now the Cyberspace levels, on the other hand, look a lot more interesting to me. In the trailer, I saw a small amount of Green Hill Zone and this city landscape. These levels are apparently a much smaller portion of the game and each stage might only take a couple minutes to complete, but I can’t deny that these locations look like much more fun than the Starfall islands did.
And no, the irony is not lost on me.
I normally really enjoy open-world games. And initially, the idea of a Sonic game in this style seemed really cool, just like I really enjoyed the additional freedom found in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. And yet, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m finding myself far more excited about Sonic Frontiers’ more traditional, constricted levels than I am about the open landscapes of the Starfall Islands. Could it be that…I’m not as open to the idea of Sonic tackling an expansive open-world game as I thought I was? Sure, it’s possible that the Starfall Islands may end up being legitimately dull and boring places to explore…or maybe I simply prefer more traditional Sonic gameplay, after all.
Dear readers, are you excited for an open-world Sonic game or do you have the same concerns as me? Do you plan on buying Sonic Frontiers this holiday season or do you plan on passing on this game? Let us know in the comments below!
Banner image from official Sonic Frontiers website