The latest mainline instalment in the Sonic franchise is almost upon us, and more and more information is being released about it on a regular basis. After the colossal disappointment that was Sonic Forces, fans are hoping this new game will be closer to Sonic Adventure 2 in quality than to the aforementioned disaster (or, indeed, to many other Sonic games we could mention). With that in mind, let’s run down everything we currently know about Sonic Frontiers, including the release date, what the story looks like, and the trailers Sega has released for the game so far.
The Sonic Frontiers release date is pretty close
There isn’t much time left now until the Sonic Frontiers release date. The Blue Blur’s latest 3D adventure launches for consoles and PC on November 8th. It’s very unlikely that the game will be delayed now, so if there are any major bugs or problems with its execution, then you’re likely to see a day one patch that fixes them rather than a delay. As such, it’s probably safe to put your preorder down if you already know you’re going to buy this game on release day.
Sonic Frontiers story – what is the game about?
In the Sonic Frontiers story, the gang has fallen through a wormhole and become separated. Sonic and his friends Tails, Knuckles, and Amy must seek to reunite with one another while Sonic gathers the Chaos Emeralds, which have become scattered through the new world he and his friends must explore.
Sonic Frontiers takes place entirely in an environment called the Starfall Islands, which are home to several different areas including deserts, forests, and ancient ruins. The Starfall Islands are the series’ very first open world; it’s surprising it took Sonic this long to make the transition, actually, given that several other successful franchises have done so.
What Sonic Frontiers trailers have there been?
Let’s take a look at all of the Sonic Frontiers trailers that Sega has released, in chronological order!
First, there was a trailer shown all the way back in May 2021 as part of the Sonic Central event. This trailer only showed off a minute or so of concept footage, but it was the first look we got at what would come to be known as Sonic Frontiers.
After this, Sonic Frontiers was officially announced in December 2021, although several leaks and rumours were already circulating regarding the game’s identity. The announcement trailer didn’t feature any gameplay, but revealed that Frontiers would be the franchise’s first “open-zone” (read: open-world) entry.
Following that, a trailer released for this year’s Sonic Central presentation featured the first look at Sonic Frontiers gameplay, showing us the game’s open world and linear platforming sequences.
A subsequent trailer showed off Sonic Frontiers’ story, showing us the robotic threat that Sonic and his friends will be battling over the course of the game. It’s not a particularly subtle narrative, but you’ve come to expect such from Sonic, right?
More recently, Sega has also released an overview of the game, as well as unveiling the official theme song and showing off Sonic’s Super Sonic form in a trailer from the Tokyo Game Show. It’s fair to say Sega is hyping this game up massively, so let’s hope the reality can match that hype!
Sonic Frontiers gameplay features – what will they be?
As a new Sonic title, of course, you can expect lots of the Sonic Frontiers features created by the developers to be completely new to the franchise.
The first and most important of those features is almost certainly the “open-zone” gameplay, in which Sonic is free to go wherever he wants within the game’s open world. Despite this freedom, the games will have “Cyber Space” levels as well, which serve as throwbacks to old-school Sonic levels.
You’ll be able to upgrade Sonic’s abilities, just like you could in the rather ill-received Sonic Boom, although Frontiers looks like it’s going to be significantly more polished and enjoyable than Boom. Ring capacity, attack power, speed, and defence can all be upgraded in Frontiers.
As well as this, you’ll also have a significant degree of control over Sonic’s movement. You can adjust his acceleration, speed, turning, and resistance, among other things, so if there’s something about the way the Blue Blur is moving that you don’t like, you’ll be able to adjust it, which is a neat touch.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Sonic game if there wasn’t any Sonic Frontiers combat, but thankfully, the developers have included this aspect as well. Using a move called the “Cyloop”, wherein Sonic runs around enemies in order to stun or damage them, you can take on enemies for experience points, which will in turn allow you to upgrade your moveset.
Sonic Frontiers will also feature bosses, and those bosses will drop fragments of the aforementioned Cyber Space levels. Boss fights seem somewhat reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus, with Sonic regularly having to climb or scale them in order to deal any damage to them.
All in all, Sonic Frontiers is looking like a fun evolution of the core Sonic gameplay. It remains to be seen whether these changes can revitalise a franchise that many believe is flagging. 2017’s Sonic Forces was very poorly-received, and although Frontiers looks like it’s going to bring a little more to the table, we’ll only know for sure when the game releases this November.