Video Games

Sonic Frontiers: The Final Preview

When I played Sonic Frontiers in its first previews in May, I had an overall positive first impression, but also a sense that there was still a lot to do. The game was buggy, performance felt suboptimal, and there were tons of distracting pop-ins of flying objects and obstacles.

It’s been five months here and I’ve had the chance to put it into practice again with the Sonic Frontier PC build. It still has the same issues I experienced the first time I played it — pop-ins and a few minor bugs — it’s clear that a lot of work has been done to tighten up Sonic Frontier’s performance and polish its visuals. Visually and mechanically it’s still an uneven experience, but when you think only of the disappointment of running out of time and not being able to play any more, it’s a good sign that Sonic Frontiers is headed for a pretty healthy place. It seemed like an imminent November 8th release.

The big thing I experienced this time compared to my first play session was the complete feeling of navigating each island. Earlier, we talked about how to collect portal keys to open cyberspace levels, clear cyberspace levels to get vault keys, and use vault keys to unlock Chaos Emeralds, but the game Flow also has another important element. memory token. Each of the three islands was inhabited by one of Sonic’s friends trapped in cyberspace. In order to try to free them, it was necessary to collect a large amount of memory his tokens. These are typically rewards for exploration in the open world, and are the main reason you’re looking for springs, ramps, grind rails, speed boosters, and all sorts of other gadgets that zoom the world.

Collecting these memory tokens and delivering them to your friends is one way to advance the story of Sonic Frontier. Each delivery is rewarded with cutscenes between Sonic and his trapped friends, shed a little light on the mysterious Starfall Islands and the cute native rock people known as Cocos who live there. There was a compelling mystery central to the Sonic Frontier story, and I found myself very interested in seeing how it unfolded. And I was even more interested in the dynamics between Sonic and each of his friends. cutscene. Each island has a story to tell, and each of Sonic’s friends plays an important role in how that story unfolds.

I was able to clear the first island in the first 3 hours of play time. And after a very cool boss fight that I can’t and don’t want to spoil for you, I find myself on Ares Island, a desert-themed island. Accommodated all new enemies, mini-bosses, cyberspace levels, and memory tokens. Here I had to repeat the search for Chaos Emeralds. In that sense, Sonic Frontier is very conventional, but the three islands he’s explored so far have been so different that it was nice to repeat the dance each time. Her one weak point throughout this formula is the Guardian mini-boss fight required to obtain the portal key that unlocks the cyberspace level. These battles, while usually a spectacular spectacle, are rarely actually fun to play. , with some exceptions. For example, you have to bounce off fences to hit bosses on electrified parts, like in a fight with a sumo guardian trapped in a cage. The more you bounce, the more force you have to hit the boss. It was a lot of fun trying to find the right angle to bounce multiple times before hitting the boss.

The only weak point in the entire formula is the Guardian mini-boss fight.

And like the Guardian mini-bosses, there are cyberspace levels of varying quality but still all fun. It comes with a sub-challenge. Complete the level within the time limit for S rank, complete the level with a certain number of rings and find all 5 red rings. These stages are very short, but even by Sonic’s standards, we found that the short length of each stage suited how replayable it really was. Try to find the best path to get to the exit in time to clear, try to find the last red coin, or just try to see everything and try some of them again for 10-15 minutes. Different paths offered by the levels you played.

From a level design standpoint, the variety of different cyberspace levels I played was impressive. Some have very simple ground boost levels focused on speed and reaction, some are very grind rail heavy, others shift perspective to 2D and be a bit more cautious about platforming challenges. I have. Definitely the best cyberspace stage I’ve played, breaking the tradition of being short, bite-sized levels, stretched out to about 2-3 minutes in length, with hidden shortcuts in off-the-beaten-path locations. There were many stages. There are many discoveries.

As varied as the level designs are, one disappointment with cyberspace is that the visual themes around them always fall into one of several categories based on my 6 hours of playtime. It’s: Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Sky Temple, or the new Cyberspace Highway theme, that’s it. Still, the music and speed became a consistent highlight of my playing time.

Cyberspace-level music and speed made it a consistent highlight of our playtime.

Most of the time spent playing Sonic Frontier was spent speeding through various open zones. This is a huge departure from what Sonic fans are used to in the series, but I have to say I’m officially in full on it. for it. Oddly enough, I liken it to a Tony Hawk game. It’s the same feeling as chaining a revert to a manual, connecting it to a grind, taking that grind over the gap, doing a special trick he ace or he two and then landing. Sonic Frontier has a similar feel to doing cool things one after another and connecting them without breaking the flow. I feel pretty sick when the flow breaks, but the more I play, the better the game, the longer I can keep that flow going without breaking it, which leads to a really nice feeling of not just power, but the game. It progresses not only from the mechanics, but also from your own skills.

It’s also worth mentioning that at the start of the game Sonic feels a bit slow compared to other games in the series.However, his speed can be leveled up to level 99.The highest I got is level 10. And given that he already felt pretty fast even at relatively low levels, I can’t even imagine how fast he would be at max level.

Travel and accommodation costs for this preview provided by Sega.

Mitchell Saltzman is IGN’s Editorial can find him on twitter @jurassic rabbit

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