Sega finds the crossroads of the series’ linear heritage and its “open-zone” future in Sonic Frontiers, paying homage to both eras of the game. The expansive Starfall Islands encourage exploration, while the linear CyberSpace stages provide the typical speed-based Sonic experience.
Despite the flaws on each side, Frontiers is a usually enjoyable experience that’s a step forward for the franchise.
Keep your pace!
You will must carry out a wide range of small missions to complete the map of every island; most of them are quick and satisfying. However, giant towers and opponents are scattered around every area of the island, and climbing them is critical to progress.
Unfortunately, Sonic’s motion becomes muddled in these cases – the poor thing is not at its best when it loses momentum – which means you will fall straight back down regularly.
It’s alright the first few times, since you can usually zip right back up. But you possibly make plenty of mistakes, where climbing a tower or returning to the weak point of a boss becomes boring.
Sonic Frontier: Sonic Fight!
The gameplay of may seem routine as clicking the attack button will get you through most of Sonic Frontiers battles. You can employ a wide range of combinations and moves, but there’s little motivation to go beyond the elemental attacks that smash enemies and usual bosses.
The Titan bosses that await you behind each island are amazing, and the music has significant noghties undertones. However, they rely too much on quick time event button clicks.
Sonic and his friends
The plot is typical Sonic material, with the mysteries of the Starfall Islands and extinct alien species unfolding as you free Amy, Knuckles, and Tails from interdimensional captivity. It is scarce in the early hours but becomes more common in the later stages of the game.
However, you are unlikely to find the story fascinating, given the lackluster voice acting. This seems particularly surprising given that recent films have instilled such a robust sense of fun in this band of anthropomorphic animals – only Tails voice actor Colleen O’Shaughnessey reprises her role in -film in Frontieri.
Sonic Frontiers’ visuals are vibrant and fun but nothing spectacular. The wide areas are a bit drab, and the character representations are easy (even though Sonic’s quills are visible, which is amazing).
These were likely technical sacrifices to keep the game running on aging PS4, Xbox One, and Switch hardware.
Sonic Frontiers is neither the failure that the Sonic Cycle trained us to expect nor the brilliance that Sega fans had hoped for. Instead, it is an enormous step forward for the franchise and hopefully sets the stage for an amazing sequel.