Game news Sonic Frontiers: a huge open world against the competition?
A new twist for Sega’s mascot, Sonic Frontiers will be at Gamescom 2022 through a game demo of almost 30 minutes. Does the first open world for the blue hedgehog stand a chance against the tenors of the genre? First response elements.
A precision by introduction: the demo we tried moves us in the open world without real contextualization, although the purpose of delivering Tails from a kind of stasis. To achieve this, it is necessary to gather enough mysterious resources, especially by fighting enemies and a defiant boss. So this preview will focus primarily on technique and management.
We need to optimize everything
The focus is done, let’s go to the hard things: Sonic Frontiers seems to want to leave us in the field of our actions, encouraging the player to explore the world and try a whole set of mini platformers set up by Sega. The first impression is clearly not the most pleasant: a few months before its release, the title still suffers from a disappointing framerate and a graphic quality that we wish was more convincing.
The game is running on PC (unknown configuration) and seems to be stuck at 30 FPS, which is frankly not good for a title that bets on speed. Sonic is just as fast, of course, with a “boost” button that allows him to travel great distances with ease.but the lack of exciting sensations is harmful.
We can comfort ourselves with beautiful panoramas and quality textures, but that is not the case here either: a lot of sand, some rocks and aliasing that are present almost everywhere make Sonic Frontiers – what we see in this short demo – a disappointing title. Especially since the environments we walk through seem rather dull, far from the usual richness of color in the series.
A vertical exploration
But let’s skip this tension to focus on the gameplay. Thus there are some good ideas, such as the possibility – by sticking the finger on the Y – to spin at full speed to create rings (the best way to “heal”) but also to stun an enemy. The idea was great and worked well, especially during a fairly trying fight, which forced us to step away a bit to take time to change. Small enemies fight each other like a classic 3D Sonic, with an effective dash that allows you to jump from one opponent to another.
Here, it works fine, unless the camera decides to do a yo-yo. On the contrary, the ramps and other bumpers scattered around the world are very pleasant to pick up, which allows access to new areas and offers some bonuses. Their design, which is very classic for the series, is quite different from the decorations that are meant to be “realistic”.
The real boss: start
However, things took a turn for the worse. during the only boss fight in this demo, whose gameplay idea however starts from a good intention. We face a kind of giant cylindrical robot of levitation, which we reach by sliding in circles: when a complete turn is made, we climb to the next circle until we reach the said villain. Then a new “ride” stage begins where you have to slide around the boss while dodging his shots.
Three new side-by-side circles must be filled before you can expose the enemy’s weak point and thus bludgeon the X button to damage them. The only concern here is that the capture is very poor, not helped by cameras that often block the view of the action.. Thus we always fall to the bottom, having to go back up and start again in the hope of finally reaching the heart of the robot. The shots become more and more delivered and fierce as one empties the opponent’s life bar, with all that causes misses and guesses in jumps. It’s hard to put the video game experience to life on paper, but only one word seems to sum it up right: for now, it’s “failure”.
In short, Sonic Frontiers should be released in less than 3 months, and the least we can say is that this management does not assure us about the quality of the final product. Technically weak, somewhat inefficient in its translation and suffering, above all, from the real management of problems (especially in the only fight that was tried), Sega’s title is currently struggling to convince. The heart of its game would be interesting if the exploration – very vertical – was not spoiled by too many concerns. We can try to reassure ourselves by telling ourselves that there is still enough time to solve the technical problems, which might save the title.