Do you know Sonic, that cute little hedgehog from the games we played when we were kids? A lot has changed in 20 years, and Sonic and his friends evolved (just like us). However, they still have the desire to save the world and fight the villains. They will get another chance to do that in Sega’s newest installment of the franchise that has the official name Sonic Forces.
It’s Still Sonic, but a Lot Darker
Aaron Webber, Sega’s manager for social media, revealed that Sonic Forces would be an entirely different game because it will feature a new layer of darkness. The development of the game is put into the hands of the Sonic Team, the division of Sega that works solely on the franchise featuring the blue hedgehog. If you take a look at the official trailer, you notice the new tone from the start. The heroic blue guy is running down the streets of which you can see severe explosions, collapsed buildings, and roads, as well as a scary robot wielding his massive tentacles. The setting of the game is apparently post-apocalyptic, and you can feel the dark atmosphere from the beginning. That is far from the green hills where we are used to seeing Sonic, Tails, and others from the gang.
Even if you start feeling like you are not playing a game featuring our favorite blue hedgehog, some things will remind you it is still Sonic. He will still collect those shiny rings, as well as have his signature red sneaks. The former Sega mascot can use his ultra-high speed to destroy the villains, and he will regenerate the power by the “wisps,” which you might remember from Sonic Colors. Considering that we are talking about a platform video game, expect to do a lot of jumping, too.
The Quadruple Combo – Sonic on All Consoles
Unfortunately, Sega lost the battle for the console market itself, but they are still one hell of a developer/publisher when it comes to next-gen games. The fact that they are not making their consoles cleared the path for Sonic and the gang to appear on other devices, and it won’t be different for Sonic Forces. The game will appear on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The developers created an entirely new engine to satisfy the graphics expectations of even the most demanding players.
That will particularly be noticeable when Sonic is using his break-neck speed because you will see a lot of debris and metal he is leaving flying around behind him. Other contributions to the visual experience include reflective events, fire, water, smoke, and dynamic destructions. Even if you just saw a glimpse of the trailer, it will become apparent that game from this franchise never looked this good.
The demo also features a level that has a side-scrolling section, and we saw Sonic using a zip-line and breaking the speed limit to crash through a gate. The view will change between 3D and 2D, with the changes seeing pretty natural depending on the sections of the level. The side-scrolling parts are an excellent homage to the traditional platforms, but the 3D mode seems to take the major part of the game. The camera is in this case always behind Sonic, which is something that hasn’t changed compared to previous hedgehog games.
The action happening on the screen is Sonic Forces is incredibly quick, just like you would expect from the hedgehog and the gang. Among the enemies, you can see Moto Bugs and Buzz Bombers, which look familiar although they now have that modern, stylish look thanks to the new graphics. Aside from the regular array of moves, you will have some new skills, such as special attacks used to inflict tremendous damage to your opponents.
Create Your Hedgehog!
We don’t know a lot about the plot of Sonic Forces, but you shouldn’t expect anything too complicated or profound (after all, it’s a platform game that should offer pure fun). What we know is that Dr. Robotnik is set on ruining the city and Sonic needs to get to him on time. The game will feature some “classic levels” where you will get to play as old-generation hedgehog (he prefers classic Sonic). Aside from the modern and the older version of our favorite hero, you can add the third playable character to the game by creating it yourself!
That is what should be Sega’s main surprise for Sonic Forces. You don’t get to build it from scratch, but you can choose one of the archetypes offered. There are seven different types with their special abilities, including:
- Wolf – collects rings automatically when close to them
- Rabbit – more invincible time after getting damaged
- Hedgehog – collects rings when getting damaged
- Dog – has five rings when you restart the fame after dying
- Cat – keeps one ring when an opponent hits it
- Bird – better jump abilities
- Bear – can inflict more damage to foes
Aside from choosing the archetype, you can also equip the character with a bunch of new costumes and accessories you unlock as you play. It’s a fairly nice selection that can add innovation to the game. Whichever character you choose, it will play an integral part in the plot. However, we don’t think that the story will (significantly) change depending on the archetype you select. The only thing that will vary is the gameplay experience, but we are not sure that the character types are different enough to offer great replay value.
When Is the Release Date of Sonic Forces?
The date is not officially set, but we can expect the game to appear before the end of 2017. If we are going to be even more precise, it will be the Q4 of this year, so it’s only several months until the release. As we mentioned, the game will be available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Although it might not be as deep as complex as some of other today’s games, it’s still Sonic, and it’s refreshed with several new ideas. That’s more than enough to give it a shot and remember the old days when platform games were on top of their popularity.