Review: ‘Sonic Frontiers’ Goes Where No Hedgehog Game Has Gone Before

By Cole Bruce, Current Staff

Now that the new Sonic the Hedgehog game is out, fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

“Sonic Frontiers,” which was released Nov. 8, is the latest mainline game in the franchise. In the last few years, Sonic games have not been seen in the best light. The 2017 game “Sonic Forces” got horrible responses from fans and critics. Naturally Sonic fans thought the next mainline game would also be bad. However, I can say “Sonic Frontiers” is not as bad as “Sonic Forces” and is a great game.

“Sonic Frontiers” reinvents the Sonic formula from press boost to win to a completely open zone formula. Inspired by “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” Sonic is put in an open world map for you to run around and complete miniature tasks throughout the world that progresses you through the story. In the open world of the game, Sonic controls just as you want him to. At the start he feels really slow but by collecting the game’s items you can level up Sonic’s speed. Also, in the settings you can change the starting speed to your comfort.

Combat is a key part in the gameplay of “Sonic Frontiers” and features of it can be unlocked through the game’s skill tree. Sonic’s combat feels good but basic. Most times it feels like you’re just spamming the A button just to beat the enemies. Also when using the combos in the game I get flung around and sometimes get clipped out of bounds. The best kind of combat in the game is the amazing boss fights. Fighting the giant boss fights as Super Sonic is some of the best parts of the game.

Cyberspace is another key part of the game that is mandatory to move on in the story. Cyberspace takes inspiration from Sonic games of the past with a mix of 2D and 3D gameplay. When first revealed many people did not like cyberspace but now that the game has dropped, I personally think it’s a really fun aspect of the game. Boosting through these 1-2 minute levels is a very fun experience and breaks up the open world game play.

The dialogue of this game is some of the best in any Sonic game. Ian Flynn is the one who wrote all the character interactions and he has knocked it out of the park. The characters feel natural and like themselves. The cutscenes show Sonic’s relationships with all the characters with actual dialogue. This is a new version of Sonic: No more one-liner jokes.

The cutscenes look the best they have ever been. The characters are expressive and look amazing. Depending on your platform you’re playing on, the pre-rendered cutscenes look really good. The in-game cutscenes are sometimes good and sometimes not. Some are really expressive, but in others the characters are just standing around. For me, some cutscenes glitched and lip syncs would not work. But Sega has patched this in a new update.

“Sonic Frontiers” has proven a new age of the games are upon us. It’s a great game with some jank. I am hyped to see what the Sonic team does with this game and the franchise’s next installment.

(Images are official publicity material.)

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