Sonic Frontiers gets gameplay trailers and first looks, and those first looks were extremely uneven in terms of reception. Considering that Sonic’s story about his games itself was wildly uneven, it’s not surprising, but five years have passed since the release of Sonic Forces, and fans are waiting for a return to form. Even when we try to draw conclusions from the gameplay video, Sonic Frontiers turns out to be a difficult game to analyze.
Every triumph and every failure only made Sonic a more interesting character in popular culture. From Sonic 06’ and Sonic Boom to Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors — new games retain the spirit of Sonic regardless of their quality. Assumptions about the Sonic Frontiers preview made based on hands-on previews are part of the fun, but can also be terrifying knowing that Sonic’s lowest lows used to be disastrous.
Related: How Long has Sonic Frontiers Been Winning
Regardless of whether the game is an open world, Sonic games have never been based on research, and Frontiers is a huge step for the series. However, only time will tell if Sonic Frontiers is a stepping stone to a better future or if it is a favorite name in itself. At the moment, the game still looks promising, but SEGA and Sonic Team have not demonstrated enough of the game to prove that Frontiers will be a success.
Sonic Frontiers should reward players for platforming
Sonic Frontiers seems to have a lovely basic style, and the open areas to explore are littered with smaller tasks that need to be completed in a given time period. Super Mario Odyssey worked in a similar way, and if SEGA’s newest Sonic game can use that game’s immersive environment design, it should be fun to play. SEGA has already demonstrated the Sonic Frontiers combat gameplay and environment in the open world, but the variety of gameplay and atmosphere will be the key to the success of Sonic Frontiers.
In many ways, the success of Sonic Frontiers will depend on how exciting it will be to play on platforms in different environments and how players will be rewarded for it. Even in Mario Odyssey, combining different moves to skip parts of a level is worth it in itself. However, Sonic the Hedgehog requires precision when it comes to level design, which is often neglected by open-world games. While the old Sonic games are 2D platformers, they still had a scattered level design that seemed smooth no matter which way the player went. Sonic Frontiers creates an open world, just like Kirby’s last game, The Forgotten Land, so it’s important for Sonic to enjoy the controls regardless of which element of the scene the player wants to interact with next.
Sonic hasn’t had a blatantly failed game since the Wii U, so even if Sonic Frontiers fails, it will probably still be fun to play and explore. Pokémon Legends: Arceus has proven that playing in an open area doesn’t have to be perfect in every way to succeed. In case Frontiers is a Sonic 06 level disaster, it could still be an interesting oddity for fans. There are SEGA’s best and worst games in the Sonic series, but that only made the fans more loyal. Sonic Frontiers represents a big shift in the style of the game, but it seems inspiring and promising.