The more I see, the less I’m into it
With a month of reveals lined up, more footage of Sonic Frontiers surfaced today on IGN, and this time, combat is the focus with six minutes of drawn-out robot encounters.
If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth watching yesterday’s open-world exploration and puzzle gameplay first — you kind of need to see both sides of the coin. Even then…
I’ll just come right out with it: the entire vibe seems extremely weird with this open-world game, to the point where I’m struggling to picture how all of these pieces will fit together to form a satisfying, lively experience. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But this continues to be a poor first impression for what could conceptually be a smash-hit game.
The actual combat moves in Sonic Frontiers seem fine (especially if this is just the beginning, with room for progression), but some of the camera, animation, and presentation choices are just baffling. Circling a fortified enemy to launch its shell in the air, opening up its vulnerable body for attacks? Kinda cool, actually. But the whole extended bit with the towering robot toward the end of the video looked really rough to me. That’s the word I keep coming back to with these out-of-wider-context clips.
The actual game, just this footage, or both?
Part of me wonders if it’s not necessarily the game itself (or at least not solely the game) that’s rubbing me the wrong way as much as it is the piecemeal rollout of gameplay reveals. I think a more guided, holistic showcase would’ve worked better at this point in the cycle. I mean sure, we’re all talking about Sonic Frontiers right now, but it’s not good.
Basically, it feels like Sega is slowly ripping off a bandage with this Sonic Frontiers rollout. I keep telling myself not to write this game off yet — and I haven’t yet — but it’s getting harder and harder to feel confident about where things are headed. It’s a 2022 release!
Maybe they’ll change my mind with some of Sonic Frontiers‘ more bespoke areas. Maybe! And in case of emergency, it might be time to break the glass: unleash the Chao Garden.