Sonic and team are back again for home consoles and PC. The first real new Sonic game for this generation of next gen consoles. Is Sonic Forces a true winner or does this title also unfortunately fall to the way side like past Sonic branded titles?
Well straight off the bat diving into Sonic Forces first level you notice a few issues. Some that continue as you go on. The major issue here is that these levels are way too short. They balance between platforming and straight up speed sequences. When you feel like you’re finally being let off your chain to speed off to your hearts content without restriction or instant change in the level you find yourself at the end of the level.
Level design is by far the greatest let down here and that is a major problem. Because when what you’re given to play in falls flat, then the rest of the game starts to fall away. Expect to also fall off the level many, many times. On an early water level my character kept bumping off enemies only to be shot off the water slide into nothing. So, then I had to start the level all over again. The same happened for boss levels.
Aside from certain level design issues the actual levels themselves change up. You may start on one like the original Sonic games in 2D, and then transform into a more modern style Sonic level design. Others like I said earlier were more or less like an on-rail design but with less hand holding. I found these levels to be more challenging than the boss levels as many times I would fall off of the world over and over again. However, speaking more on the boss sections I found these to mix up the gameplay and were fun to get through. While not that challenging I still enjoyed them. Again, this game would do well in the hands of kids than adults. Kids and young adults will also appreciate the story here as it does entertain and would be more so for the younger demographic.
The big change here is that you get to create your own character to use on certain worlds when not using Sonic or his younger version returning from Sonic generations. There are several different animal types to choose from each with their own special ability. I of course just went with hedgehog because I mean who wouldn’t? Along with choosing your characters breed, you customize his appearance with how his eyes look, color and body size. As you progress and complete levels you also unlock different clothes to change up your characters own personal style. What makes your custom character unique from both Sonics is that you gain access to different kinds of weapons that you can swap out after each level. So, this breaks the mold of just using Sonics moves and brings a new style to the series which is definitely needed. Replayability comes in the form of daily challenges and completing a level to 100%.
Graphics and Sound
For someone who personally hasn’t gone out on my own free will and picked a Sonic game up in years, I was quite impressed to see how far the series has come. I have of course seen snippets from Sonic Boom and Sonic Generations in the past but never out of interest. I’ve always just stumbled across them and thought “that looks neat”. So, to see how Sonic and friend’s designs have grown over the years has been interesting. Sonic Forces designs however are much more pleasing to the eye. A modern touch on a classic design. I never liked the look of the characters designs in Sonic Boom. Level structure design while frustrating at times, can definitely be pretty to look at. Everything is colorful and vibrant to look at. So the look of each level really stands out in terms of visual design, I’m still sore on the actual level design structure itself though, but visually speaking I’m sold.
Now Soundtrack wise also brings it here. The music is groovy and mixes with the gameplay really well. The soundtrack does a great job when you’re speeding along a level alone or alongside Sonic. The soundtrack is a really dope companion to a fast-paced game. Speaking of fast paced I’m glad to tell you that Sonic Forces runs at 60fps on the Xbox One X. The game ran absolutely smooth for me with no issues.
Sonic Forces isn’t the best Sonic game every made, but it’s certainly passable. The campaign mode is a little short at around five hours, give or take. But let’s be honest this is Sonic. Kind of hard to stop and smell the roses when the whole point is to speed past them. Sonics never looked better and neither has his universe. Sadly, what is presented here is a full price package in a small box. Sonics had a tough run over the past couple of years. Sadly, this is somewhat of a stumble instead of a clean sprint.
A beautiful game alongside an exciting soundtrack do little to save Sonic this time around. This implementation of letting players create their own Sonic branded hero is neat. Just a shame it joins a short and limp story.