Name: Sonic Forces
Developer: Sonic Team
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose
Being a SEGA-kid when I was younger, Sonic was pretty much the coolest thing around! But as we all know 3D hasn’t been kind to the blue hedgehog (I’m looking at you Sonic 06). Maybe this could be the game to make 3D-Sonic look good again?
The game starts out as usual with Sonic needing to defeat Dr. Robotnik, (I refuse to call him Eggman) and stop his evil plans. However, as Sonic finds out, Dr. Robotnik has recruited Metal Sonic, Chaos, Zavok and Shadow the Hedgehog as well as Infinite, the new villain (who’s basically an extra emo version of Shadow), which proves to be too much even for him, and he is taken hostage.
Six months pass and Dr. Robotnik has now conquered the world. And Sonic is still nowhere to be found. Luckily the player’s avatar “Rookie” is around to help and together with Sonic’s friends the battle starts!
The story itself starts out really good, even if it’s very non-Sonic. It’s cool to be the underdog for once, but I wish it had bigger consequences than it has. I never got the feeling of being the underdog, other than a bar that shows up occasionally to tell me what the status in the world is now. Another problem with the story is how short it is. I played maybe a total of four hours, and have done pretty much everything, except finding every red ring and getting “S” on every stage. I did enjoy the story though and it was cool to see how my avatar became a part of the Sonic gang during the game.
I’m honestly quite surprised by how the graphics look. Even more so when the in-game graphics looks better than the cinematic scenes. Luckily we’re not back to the “realistic” graphics from 06, as the game has sort of a Pixar-y feel to it. Knuckles is also back to his old self, not being the “buff-bro-Knuckles” he was for a while. Generally speaking I find Sonic’s new style good, even if it could be improved in the cutscenes.
The gameplay and I have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes the gameplay is extremely good, but then there are some stages where it bugs out when you go too fast (it’s Sonic, you’re supposed to go fast, SEGA…). There’s also the stages where you need to wait for stuff to clear out of the way, which makes the next jump impossible to clear without backtracking to get a run-up. If the developers patches some of the worst bugs, the gameplay could definitely be up around a eight or nine.
However, when we come to the boss fights the game is extremely repetitive and a bit boring. It’s always the same formula, get out of the way of stuff the boss throws at you and the press X when the green circle appears. The boss fights are also way too easy, even though I played on the “hard” difficulty, which honestly both sounds and feels like a normal setting should, I never died during a bossfight.
As we have three different characters to play as I will give a short summary of each, as they all have different controls and physics.
Classic Sonic is quite horrible to steer I’m sorry to say. He’s slow and unresponsive. With several jumps being almost impossible to do if you’ve stopped before the end of the platform. I found myself needing to stop and wait for different traps to deactivate, but then I often enden up not making the jump afterwards. This is just wrong when you are supposed to roll around at the speed of sound.
Modern Sonic is too floaty, but at least he’s fast! It’s still a bit too much “press X to go to the next object that’s highlighted”, but it’s familiar and it works as a mechanic to get into a flow and clear stages fast.
Lastly, my avatar is by far the best to steer. Understandably, Sonic Team has focused mainly on (in this case) her, since she’s a newcomer and might be someone’s first proper introduction to the Sonic series. She also suffers a bit from the “press X”-syndrome, but as she has a Wispon for firing at enemies she has the possibility to kill them without jumping on them.
I’m not sure how to set a score for the replayability. On one hand I did play every stage a few times to improve my score/find more red rings. On the other hand you probably won’t have the urge to replay the story. Then again, Sonic is mostly about the stages and not the story, so I’ll allow the stages to be a tiny bit more important than the story.
I did have fun with Sonic Forces, but as usual Sonic lives in a bugged out world. And the physics are really weird, why don’t they go back to the feel Sonic Generations had? I still feel like that game had the best 3D-physics in Sonic’s history. Talking about the history, the story fell a bit short, both in playing-time and I never quite understood why Infinite existed and worked with Dr. Robotnik. Still though, Sonic shows he isn’t dead as a game series, and maybe the next game will be the 3D Sonic we all wish for. I for one, are hopeful!
At times really fun gameplay
The avatar-feature works surprisingly well
Very short story
Replay Value: 6/10
Total Score: 6/10