Sonic Frontiers Gameplay Trailer Feat

As promised, IGN has shared the first, full gameplay trailer for Sonic Frontiers as part of IGN First. It’s roughly seven minutes long, starring a mostly mute Sonic as he grinds rails, completes simple puzzles, and bounces on pads. The grand premier for Sonic’s first open-world adventure showcased a lot of features, but mostly came off as a game with a lot more work ahead of it.

Sonic is still Sonic in the gameplay trailer, though. The speedy, blue hedgehog runs through rolling green hills, stopping to climb a tower or turn a statue to open a large door. Many of the Sonic staples, such as bounce pads, rails, and speed boosters dot the massive landscape. Sonic, too, can still use his repertoire of moves like his homing attack and ground pound, along with a new melee attack.

 

There were also some new features that Sonic Frontiers is bringing to the table. Black surfaces that glow with eerie, green runes can be seen spreading vertically up a tower and against the walls of canyons. With enough speed, Sonic can run along these surfaces with ease. There are also puzzles to solve, which reward in some odd, spiny “fruit.” I have no idea what these do yet.

Much ado

Mostly, however, the gameplay trailer ends up feeling like a tech demo, rather than what a full game would play like. Perhaps that was the point: to introduce interested players to Sonic’s new world. But what’s on display doesn’t match the color and charm of Sonic games. Sonic himself is silent, but it may be too early to add voice lines. The music is nice, if you’re into somber piano melodies as opposed to the bouncier, more energetic tracks the franchise is known for. Pop-ins are also pretty fierce, with some textures and platforms completely missing until Sonic gets close enough.

It’s a big world with stuff, but the stuff doesn’t seem all that engaging. The gameplay trailer lacks the combat seen in yesterday’s Sonic Frontiers teaser clip. Enemies are there, but placed somewhat sporadically. That large “boss” enemy is nowhere to be seen. Puzzles are also apparently placed randomly and lack any real challenge. “Move the one statue to match the other two” isn’t quite something that would drive me to want to explore this world further. Sonic climbs a tower early in the trailer, but there’s nothing at the top except for some frame drops.

Sonic Frontiers Teaser Trailer Rail Grinding Bosses Combat

Ultimately, I can’t shake the feeling that the game at current feels like a world someone built and just happened to drop Sonic in for giggles. It’s strange. Again, maybe that was Sonic Team’s goal here, to show off different aspects of the game before revealing more later this month. But Sonic Frontiers is the studio’s most ambitious Sonic game. A seven-minute video of Sonic running around aimlessly in a lifeless world may not be the best way to get burnt-out fans back on board, or interest newcomers. We’ll have to wait and see if Sonic Frontiers can stick the landing or if it ends up like many of its predecessors and smack into a spike wall.

Cameron Woolsey
Cam has been shooting for high scores since his days playing on the Atari 2600. Proud member of the Blue Team during the first console war, and has more Sonic paraphernalia than he cares to admit.

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