3D Sonic games have always been quite divisive among fans and critics. Unlike Sonic’s 2D adventures, the 3D titles are never sure if they want to be tight platformers or quasi-racing games with platforming elements, unable to strike the right balance between speed and exploration. This year, Sega announced Sonic Frontiers, the Sonic Team’s first attempt at an open-world format. While an exciting prospect for the future of Sonic, its rough presentation raised some questions among fans who have already been disheartened by the Blue Blur’s most recent 3D titles.
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Sonic Frontiers is finally here, and on the whole, it is a success. The best parts of Sonic are front and center, featuring great exploration and speed mechanics with a relentless approach to action coupled with a slick presentation. Frontiers does occasionally fall short due to its repetitive gameplay loop and messy technical state; however, by the time the credits roll, Sonic’s first foray into the open-world genre proves that it is more than the sum of its parts and there is plenty to love for new and returning Sonic fans.
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Sonic Frontiers kicks off the story with Eggman ripping a tear in Cyber Space and getting stuck in a cyber dimension with a new character named Sage. At the same time, Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Knuckles also slip through a warp hole while tracking the Chaos Emeralds and end up in the post-apocalyptic Starfall Islands. Much like Eggman, Sonic’s friends are also stuck in Cyber Space, so it’s up to the Blue Blur to figure out how to get them out and uncover the mystery surrounding the Chaos Emeralds and the bygone Ancients of Starfall. Little by little, the secrets of the Starfall Islands unfold, but it does take quite some time for the main story of Sonic Frontiers to develop. The story is uneven as it is told at a snail’s pace through the…