Sonic Frontiers isn’t limited to small, carefully curated pieces. Prize money A menu to try. Instead, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, throwing new ideas from start to finish. Never mind if they look fresh and appetizing or wilted and limp under a heat lamp. In Sonic’s first open-world game, this sprint starts when he jumps off the line, jumps rope, races giant robots, sees dramatic origin stories of extinct races, and does anything. I never expected to do so. There was a lot of fishing, but Frontiers kept me guessing what to try next, even late in the campaign. , I was glad that Sega decided to give the old school a try. I found myself turning blue because of the ridiculous amount of pop-ins that happen every time this famously fast character does his thing. But Sonic Frontier is, for the most part, a promising first attempt at blazing a new trail for the series.
Over a total of about 20 hours, you’ll work your way through Frontiers’ five Starfall island chains, spending time with Sonic family favorites like Amy while uncovering the dark and highly predictable backstories of long-extinct races. . and Knuckles. You’ll also meet a strange new foe named Sage, and since her main hobby is dodging sharp questions and speaking capriciously and exclusively, her dealings will be dealt with in the most painfully slow way possible. You can see that there is
Sonic Frontier gameplay screenshots
With all the different plot threads the Frontiers juggle, they come to feel strangely disconnected from one another, filled with an incredible number of clichés about the power of friendship and an ancient civilization driven by advanced technology. Between and nothing offers many surprises. But they do leave room for some really good moments in between their hairy cast of characters. Part of the campaign focuses on the sibling rivalry between Sonic and Knuckles, while another part does a great job of building Tails as more than just Sonic’s sidekick. The whole thing satisfied my voracious appetite for Sonic’s usual anime-style nonsense, in between all those flashy robots kicking and rolling at the speed of sound.
As you can imagine, sprinting through vast open world areas is one of the best parts of this open world odyssey. The running islands are great playgrounds to test the limits of your road running as long as you don’t fall into water or lava and die instantly. But my personal favorite new trick is Cyloop. You can cut your way in circles, creating a tornado of death that affects everything caught in it. This ability spawns several times each time, so it can be used and abused in combat to deal damage, solve puzzles, and even farm rings. Plus, literally drawing circles around enemies is an incredible Sonic thing. And it can turn you into a deadly weapon, making speeding around the map more fun.
The only thing that’s a little disappointing about going round and round is that you can’t run as fast as you’d like unless you make the most of your rings to increase your speed. You can, but I’d still like the default start speed to be a little more Roadrunner and less of a hangover hedgehog.
After a few laps around the first island, it became clear that Sonic Frontiers is an action-adventure game, joining the pack of old-school series that seek to reinvent themselves as open-world sandboxes. In this particular case it mostly works. Like Pokemon Legends Arceus and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Frontiers captures many of the elements that make the Sonic series beloved and unique (including some fun homages). but have vast areas to explore and fill them with. A wild assortment of side distractions and mostly interesting new ideas. Not all of these activities are created equal, but they work overall simply because of their diversity. The moment you’re juggling robots like you’re playing your baby’s first Devil May Cry, the moment you’re trying to beat a time trial on a 2D platforming stage, and a minute later, an active volcano. You can row some epic rails, solve very simple puzzles, build puzzle platforms and, of course, catch fish.
There were moments of glimpse of genius in this strange hodgepodge of activities. Sections called Cyberspace Levels smartly divide the open world by teleporting you into bite-sized traditional linear sonic levels. On the other hand, one of his big attempts where Frontiers doesn’t work well is combat. Just mash buttons to unleash simple combos and knock out faceless robot enemies. I appreciated the occasional break from platforming, but it never proved to be a challenge, and just to quickly slap another idiot as you get thrown into pretty much the same battle over and over again. I grew to resent being pulled away from a lightning-fast race to a toaster idiot. It’s especially nasty when it comes to mini-bosses roaming the open world. The mini-bosses often dragged me into unskippable combat sequences that weren’t particularly challenging or interesting, especially when I encountered them multiple times. It was impossible to suppress the groans.
The larger goal of each zone is to collect Chaos Emeralds to power up for big boss fights, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. To find all the delicious gems, first collect portal gears in the world, then use those gears to open portals and progress to cyberspace levels where you can collect Vault Keys. Then use those Vault Keys to unlock them. emerald. If that sounds downright confusing to you, it’s because it definitely could be.But by the time you’ve completed the first island or two, you’ll have a variety of weird currencies on your checklist. The big boss fights at the end of each island also work a little better than normal combat. Especially when you become a full Sonic Saiyan and fight giant, evil robots. Repetitive animations and weird camera issues with bosses booping you out of the arena and knocking you into frustrating viewing angles It can be a little awkward for you, but collecting all the Chaos Emeralds is worth the effort by flying around as an invincible rodent god and pulling off sweet butt-kicking moves.
I also really enjoyed that when I was in the open world, the perspective automatically switched between 2D and 3D depending on the activity I was doing. When I was grinding rails and entered an area that needed a platform, it would switch to a 2D perspective and let me run around like it was 1991, but as soon as I got into the fight I was back in the 3rd dimension, so I It was possible to literally circle around the enemy. The only problem was that I could accidentally step on a spring or rail while running around the island and get stuck in 2D, from which it was sometimes difficult to get out. It’s like sticking your toes in his board game, completing a full playthrough of chutes and ladders, and then going back to your own business.
Frontiers also includes solving very simple puzzles ranging from slightly amusing mini-games to completely brain-dead chores, and tapping into RPG mechanics by collecting collectibles and boosting stats. And so on. These aren’t terrible additions, but they also don’t feel completely fleshed out. It’s a little weird because it does things like increase attack and defense stats with quantity, etc. It’s almost like the devs just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Okay, why not?” And threw a half-baked first draft of every idea they could come up with into the mix.
It’s also kind of crazy how much progress you can make in the fishing minigame. But I can’t argue it’s not worth my time. Without even trying, I quickly discovered that I could farm it for vast amounts of resources that are much more difficult to obtain in the open world. I fished for 30 minutes with and got so many Portal Gear, Vault Keys, and Memory Tokens that I had a ton of platforming, exploration, and combat to choose from to avoid. I was also able to level my character over his 60 times in just a few minutes using this method, which felt… wrong. It would be one thing if Sonic had a genuine love for seafood or something, but this is ridiculous.
However, the biggest drawback of this new open world design has little to do with the interesting buffet of activities. Frontiers can’t keep up with Sonic’s God-like speed on a technical level. Sure, it’s hilarious at times, but it’s always jarring and just ugly. It’s a platform, but sometimes it’s all areas of the world.The PS5, despite its blazingly fast loading capabilities, apparently couldn’t handle how fast Frontiers let me go. Whether I was playing in 4K resolution mode at 30 fps or in 60 fps mode, which is much more desirable (seriously, playing the game this fast, this What are you doing when you’re playing the game at a slower speed?), pop-ins have always been a problem. In one case, I ran so fast that the ground hadn’t loaded yet and fell off the map. makes you feel flimsy and unsophisticated.