Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic characters from many gamers’ early lives, so attempting to bring this much loved franchise into the modern era is always going to bring a potentially unfair comparison to the original series of games.
Sonic Forces is the latest game in the franchise that brings a fresh and unique twist to the platformer. Here’s Nathan Smith’s review of the game. WARNING: this review contains spoilers.
In this game, Sonic has finally been defeated by Doctor Eggman and his latest henchman, Infinite, which turns the world upside down as our ever-present hero is presumed dead and the Eggman Army overruns the remaining towns and cities. A group of Sonic’s friends band together to fight back against the unrelenting army but are slowing losing hope without their fearless leader, until they are joined by the newest rookie, You. Yes that’s right, for the first time in Sonic’s history you get to create your own character and fight alongside your childhood heroes in a variety of stages!
The character creation is fantastic. You can selected different race types, each with their own special ability. The hair, eyes, clothes, shoes, gloves and head-wear are all customisable leading to some really interesting and fun combinations. You can also unlock additional cosmetics (free) upon completion of the different stages.
Unfortunately for me, this is where the game peaks, and I was left feeling a little flat when playing through the actual game.
The art design is beautiful and the music is great too but all of the great environmental enhancements are lost under the weight of inconsistent game mechanics.
The stages are a mixture of 2D side scrolling and 3D platforming that don’t seem to gel very well at all. I failed to make a series of jumps that looked easy enough, only to hit some weird invisible wall or for my character to not leap as far or high at random times. The infinite lives helped with the frustration of this for a little while, until I realised that it wasn’t something I could control and just had to let it go. For something that Sonic games is renowned for, this was really disappointing.
The controls for Sonic’s spin dash, the grappling hook and other weapons are just as inconsistent. The slightest touch in the wrong direction, even when the controller resets to its natural position, can cause you to lose a bunch of rings or send you to your death.
The Boss fights are an exception to the rather dissatisfying gameplay. Each Boss has a unique stage and mechanic that prove to be challenging the first time around, but could be extended to make repeating the fight a little more appealing.
I had high hopes for this game, being a new take on the franchise that could have seen a wave of new options in the future, but this is not the positive step I was expecting, which is a shame.
Pick this game up if you’re a die-hard Sonic fan otherwise I’d give it a miss.