Sonic Frontiers has generated plenty of discussion since being fully unveiled last week. While the game’s new open-world approach has generated some excitement, others are worried the game is straying too far from Sonic’s fundamentals. Thankfully, while we haven’t seen all of it yet, a new hands-on preview from IGN reveals a lot of classic Sonic elements, including linear stages, races, Chaos Emeralds, and more are returning.
On the subject of Sonic Frontiers’ new sandbox, Sonic Team is calling it “open zone” rather than open world, and it sounds like it won’t be entirely seamless. IGN hints the game will be split across multiple islands and that you’ll need to solve certain puzzles to unlock additional areas of the map. That said, the game’s wide open spaces will be put to good use as players will be able to take part in various races. The game will also have some basic RPG elements, with Sonic earning XP from defeating enemies, which he can use to unlock new moves from a skill tree.
So, all that stuff is new, but again, there are classic elements as well. Defeating world bosses, like the giant one seen in previous footage, will grant you Portal Gears, which will unlock more traditional linear Sonic zones (IGN isn’t clear if these stages be strictly 2D or perhaps 2D-3D hybrids as in games like Sonic Colors and Generations). These stages will come with optional challenges (collect the red rings ect.) which will grant you Vault Keys that are needed to unlock those pesky Chaos Emeralds.
As for Sonic Frontiers’ story, while we’ve only seen Sonic featured in the game’s trailers and footage, IGN says Tails and Amy are seen during the game’s intro. Additionally, during their Sonic Central livestream, Sega teased a Sonic Frontiers animated short featuring Knuckles, so obviously he’ll be involved in the game too. Whether any of these other characters will actually be playable, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, if new footage is what you’re looking for, Sega also offered a brief look at a new Sonic Frontiers boss fight. This battle sees Sonic chasing down a flying boss that trails a ribbon-like road behind itself. Check it out for yourself, below.
Sonic Frontiers blasts onto PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Switch during the 2022 holiday season. What are your thoughts now that we know a bit more about how the game works?