Title: Sonic Forces
Platform: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Sonic Team
Release date: Out now
tl;dr:: Short story, short levels and big ambitions that (you guessed it) fell short.
Price: PS4|PC| Xbox One: $35 | £30 Switch: $40|£35
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Back in 2011, Sonic Team created a game that stood out amongst Sonic’s 3D outings, and that game was Sonic Generations. Sonic Generations is the perfect love letter to the fandom, giving them a worthy adventure for the brand, a perfect mixture of 3D and 2D platforming, bringing the classic feel to the new age of Sonic the Hedgehog. Flash forward to 2016 and Sonic Team had an announcement to make at the Blue Blur’s 25th Anniversary; a brand new 2D adventure was on the horizon called Sonic Mania, and not only that but, a brand new 3D adventure, which was later revealed to be Sonic Forces, developed by the team who brought you Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. So, did this game hold up to the expectations of fans? Find out below…
… No, it didn’t.
This review is so hard for me to write; Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive was my first ever game, so he holds a special place in my heart. But Sonic Forces is not what I expected after seeing that initial teaser trailer… seeing the staff behind Sonic Generations gave me hope, but upon playing, I was disappointed. Sonic Forces is no way a bad game, it just didn’t fulfil my expectations as I was expecting something similar to Generations but; the levels were short, Classic Sonic controlled like garbage, and Modern Sonic was just holding square and boosting to the finish.
The plot for Sonic Forces is okay at best and definitely not the dark story we were promised… So, the world has fallen under Dr Eggman’s control because he created some kind of super weapon called the Phantom Ruby, which he gives to some merc called Infinite, who beats the living hell out of Sonic, and apparently everyone else is powerless to stop this guy. A few months later, the story turns to the resistance that’s been created during Sonic’s absence, (and this is where you get to create your very own character), your first mission is to rescue Sonic, who has been tortured for several months – but when you rescue him, it’s like he had a luxurious stay at the Ritz…
As for creating your character, this is limited to few options like head shape, eyes, and colour of fur and skin. By the way, everyone made a hedgehog, it seems, when playing the rental missions. These missions appear randomly after a certain period in the story, where you just replay a mission as someone else’s character to save some Flickies.
Let’s go into a bit more detail regarding each of the characters you play as during the course of Sonic Forces. As I said, Classic Sonic handles like garbage from not gaining momentum whilst running down a steep hill, or jump arcs not performing the way they should, and the stages aren’t really unique, as Modern Sonic is supposed to be the 3D stages, but you find yourself in a 2D perspective similar to Classic Sonic a majority of the time. Plus, just hold the square button and you will clear the stage in just about a minute or less due to the short length. Now, the avatar character is the same as Modern Sonic in the sense it’s a blend of 2D and 3D perspectives, just a tad slower. The avatar also uses this item called a wisp, which has various powers depending on the type, but the flame is the best one until you get the black hole wisp which opens a rift absorbing enemies and rings.
Now, the one saving grace of Sonic Forces is the soundtrack! Sonic has always delivered in this department, especially in the 3D generation, but this game is definitely on par with Sonic Adventure 2 for the epic beats and rhythm that pop from my headphones. Each song compliments the levels they were written for, and the main theme song is written by the lead singer from Hoobastank, but my favourite song is definitely Infinite’s theme. Holy shit, it’s been on my playlist since Sega released a sample.
Overall, Sonic Forces isn’t what I had anticipated since the initial reveal, and coming off the heels of playing Mario Odyssey, I think Sonic Forces had a lot to live up to and it just didn’t meet the hype. Sega, if you’re reading this… I’m sorry, but Sonic Forces wasn’t that great and it breaks my heart to say this… although my heart will mend if we get a port of Sonic Generations.
- The soundtrack was immense
- Visually, the game was beautiful
- A lot familar faces make a return as part of the Resistance.
- Bad controls
- Classic Sonic doesn’t follow the laws of physics…
- Levels were too short
Sonic Forces is rated E for Everyone by ERSB and PEGI 12. The game contains mild fantasy violence, but nothing too drastic.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game purchased for the purposes of this review.