Over the course of the Tokyo Game Show 2022 event that is happening over the week, we got the opportunity to head over to the SEGA booth and tried our hands on a demo preview for the upcoming Sonic Frontiers game and I gotta say, the new artstyle for the game just works. Here’s our thoughts on the game.
Sonic Frontiers had gained quite a lot of traction on it with tons of fan criticism where previous gameplay footage were show here and there. Most of the complaints were about how the game felt unfinished with a large open zone that feels barren and lifeless.
Admittedly, I too had my reservations about Sonic frontiers at first, with just about every sonic game I’ve played in the past had well-structured levels which was mainly built on optimising your run. But having to try out the demo preview here at TGS 2022 though, Sonic Frontiers has some potential in bringing new ideas to the series.
One thing that I’m extremely glad about this new sonic game is that from my time moving Sonic around the game, the controls for him felt really smooth. Since the last main 3D Sonic game that I last played was Sonic Forces, and that game had some polishing issues. But whereas in Sonic Frontiers, it really feels like sonic has been given the golden finish that the Sega’s mascot truly deserves.
To further elaborate, Sonic’s run feels especially good and fluid, and while even if you’re not zooming around the map at maximum speed, it still feels like you’re going at a speed that Sonic himself would consider to be a brisk walk. It’s nice to see that Sonic actually accelerates at a decent speed because people previously had worried about earlier footage where that wasn’t the case.
On top of that, Sonic Frontiers are bringing back some staple gameplay mechanics which were featured in previous Sonic series like the homing attack which allows the user to swerve while in midair, automatically zeroing in and striking a nearby enemy with a midair Spin Attack as well as the drop dash where when used, it makes the user launch a midair Spin Dash.
Not only that but Sonic has gotten some new gameplay mechanics too where he now has access to light attacks to do while performing air combos now, so instead of previously spindashing repeatedly, you can now perform a spindash into air combos, which honestly feels like a breath of fresh air since it gives us some brand new leeway in terms of gameplay.
Sonic also still has his side dodge ability, but I unfortunately didn’t get to try it out since the demo time was so short. There’s also one more new ability which let’s you essentially draw a circle using sonic, which let’s you create rings and damage groups of enemies. All in all, the moveset you have in Sonic Frontiers manages to keep Sonic’s personal flair which is very reassuring to hear.
There’s also a cool new feature in Frontiers where it implements a new RPG-like element where it offers skill trees and the like. While I unfortunately wasn’t able to understand most of the text since it was in Japanese but it does seem like the game allows you to upgrade Sonic and his abilities over time.
Admittedly, I was personally iffy about the new artstyle for Sonic Frontiers at first from all the trailers I’ve seen. But being able to actually see it in person, it actually think it really fits into the whole vibe that Frontiers is trying to portray to the players. Sonic looks almost totally different from the rest of the world environment and I feel like that really helps to distinguish the character model since you’re out and about exploring such a huge world now.
I also really like the new enemies that were in Frontiers, they’re very unlike the classic sonic Badniks but in a good way. The overall atmosphere of the game and the vibe it gives off is very reminiscent of my time playing through Nier Automate but it doesn’t quite go as hard as that.
All in all, it was such a blast playing through the demo preview for Sonic Frontiers and I’m definitely looking forward to when the game officially launches in 8th November 2022.