When Sonic Frontiers The first small parts of the gameplay debuted, fans immediately drew comparisons breath of the wild. It wasn’t difficult to do. We were shown Sonic racing through realistic, natural-looking environments and exploring magnificent stone artifacts that dot the landscape. There was no timer, no counter showing the number of rings acquired, just Sonic and what appeared to be an open world.
And while Sonic Frontiers Creative Officer Takashi Iizuka understood why the game looks like Sega’s late-night recreation to some fans BOTW‘s success, it’s actually nothing like that. “We’re starting with a design perspective that’s completely different from other open-world games,” Iizuka told me through a translator at Summer Game Fest earlier this month. “We don’t see ourselves as an open-world game.”
Iizuka told me that the idea for limits came after sound forces delivered in 2017. For 10 years, he said, 3D sound Games fell into a certain pattern and that the team was “at the limit of what they can create that will excite the fans.” To the limitsthey decided to rethink an idea they had but couldn’t implement with the technology of the time, a kind of “open zone” concept in which sound would not be tied to a lane or forced perspective typical of his games at the time.
“We tried to extend the 3D platform action gameplay from previous games in the sound series,” he said, “and takes that linear, traditional format and expands it to make it a platform action game in this vast expanse of 3D environments.”
In my hands-on with that Sonic Frontiers Demo, I could see this vision. Although I don’t necessarily agree with that limits isn’t an open world game – it still speaks the same open world language of “if you see it, you can go there” – I can see why Iizuka doesn’t think that. limits is a platformer like any other sound game, but now platforming isn’t tied to a discrete track that you can select from a menu screen like in sound games past. It’s up to you to discover the platform sections by exploring the world. And with the variety of new moves in Sonic’s Kit, the way you travel the world is as varied as the types of puzzles you can find.
Taking Sonic’s wall-climbing or homing attack and moving it from an obstacle course on rails to a more open world breathed new life into what has been Sonic’s standard formula for a decade. previous sound Games bring you to a starting line and guide you to the finish. It presented you with the platform sections one by one, requiring no more thought than a button press. I really enjoyed the trail limits reversed that formula by presenting me with a finish line — like a collectible in an otherwise inaccessible place — and asking me to work backwards to figure out how to get there. Instead of giving me a stage to traverse, I can essentially create one from the landscape itself.
But all that puzzle solving while creating a fun and intriguing new formula for sound, but is unfortunately slow. A core part of soundThe appeal of , whether 2D or 3D, is “it has to be fast”. Luckily, Iizuka and his team added a bit of the old to the new. As Sonic works his way through the mystery of the island he is trapped on, he opens portals to cyber space. in cyberspace, Sonic Frontiers Forgoes the slow-paced puzzle-platforming of the open-zone environment in favor of some good old-fashioned on-rail sonic speed-running.
Pretty much everyone sound Fan will tell you that Sonic unleashed is abused up to his daily values. Cyber space is leveling in limits feel like the daily stages Sonic unleashed. Complete the stage while completing challenges like “Complete the stage in X minutes” and Sonic will be rewarded with items he needs to advance.
Even though I was only able to play a demo that lasted about 25 minutes, I have the feeling Sonic Frontiers can do for 3D sound play what sonic mania did for the 2D ones. The open zones with deep puzzle platforming and monster battles that require Sonic to fight harder and more strategically than just unleash a few homing attacks bring exactly the kind of novelty to the franchise that Iizuka and his team were looking for. The cyber space levels, meanwhile, incorporate the older, more established style of play that fans continue to enjoy.
Iizuka is aware of the criticism of those first looks limits. The game looks unfinished and sparse, but he’s hoping that when fans finally get their hands on the game, they’ll see the vision I’m making.
“If people sit down and play the game, they will understand that it has everything sound essence inside,” he said. “As you play the game it will feel mysterious and maybe like there is nothing here. But as you start exploring, you will find things and make things happen that will take you on this adventure. Hopefully people will play this experience and really enjoy it.”