It’s not all ‘open-zone’ exploration
Sonic Frontiers is an open-world game, but it also has more traditional 3D Sonic levels, and thanks to a gradual info rollout, we’re only now getting to see them up close. While Sega only showed a few seconds of these Cyber Space levels at today’s Nintendo Direct Mini, for some fans, it’s a sign of life — a glimmer of hope for this rocky-looking game.
Today’s Nintendo Direct Mini video introduces the main setting of Sonic Frontiers, the Starfall Islands, and shows off the Cyber Space levels starting at the 0:45 mark.
By doing open-world stuff — solving puzzles, completing challenges, and the like — Sonic will earn Portal Gears that open up entrances to the Cyber Space levels. Sega is no stranger to leaning on its classic Sonic concepts, and these visuals look familiar, for sure.
According to Sega, Sonic Frontier‘s segmented Cyber Space levels are all about “traditional, fast-paced, speed running action platforming” — if you’ve been along for Sonic’s decades-long wild ride, you know the drill by now. You’ll need to clear these levels to get Vault Keys, which fold back into the game’s wider progression loop.
Sonic Frontiers is looking… better
I think that format sounds fine, and it’s kind of a shame Sega didn’t touch on both facets — the open world and the linear levels — when it started lifting the lid on this game.
The “Unreal Engine”-looking area with ruins we’ve seen so far in trailers, Kronos Island, is just one of the Starfall Islands. So, again, there’s hope. Whether you’re on board or fully off, there’s hope that Sonic Frontiers will be better than its divvied-up reveal suggested.
As for the Nintendo Switch gameplay footage shown today in general, does Sonic Frontiers look better or worse on Switch than you were expecting? It’s certainly not ideal.
Sonic Frontiers isn’t coming out until holiday 2023 (also across PC, PlayStation, and Xbox), so slowly but surely, we’ll see what other surprises it might have in store.