Sonic Frontiers hands-on: The massive change that 3D Sonic games needed

Enlarge / Sonic, seen here slip slidin’ away through the mascot’s most ambitious adventure yet. And so far, while it has its issues, Sonic Frontiers actually seems promising. (credit: Sega)

LOS ANGELES—Ahead of this week, the next fully 3D Sonic the Hedgehog video game, slated to launch on all console families by the end of 2022, wasn’t looking so hot. Quite frankly, we’ve never seen a Sega gameplay reveal land as poorly as Sonic Frontiers.

Maybe you didn’t see the preview footage, which debuted exclusively at IGN earlier this month, or maybe you blocked it out of your mind. Either way, I can now talk about a different kind of preview experience: going hands-on with something that looks and feels like an actual Sonic video game, as opposed to the zero-UI tech demo that was previously showcased.

Sonic Frontiers delivers fresh ideas that Sonic’s 3D pantheon has sorely lacked for decades. In my brief time with the game, I could already tell that Sega is remixing the Breath of the Wild formula in a way that feels new and Sonic-appropriate. The game seems to fix many of my complaints about every full-3D Sonic game that followed 1999’s Sonic Adventure.

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