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Quotation1 Join the Uprising! Quotation2
— Tagline

Sonic Forces[15] (ソニックフォース Sonikku Fōsu?, lit. "Sonic Force") is a platform video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It was released on 7 November 2017 for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Sonic Forces follows Sonic the Hedgehog as he joins a resistance force to take back the planet after Dr. Eggman's Eggman Empire took over 99% of it with the help of Eggman's henchmen, the Phantom Ruby and a mysterious new villain known as Infinite. The storyline of the game also ties with Sonic Mania.[16]

The game marks the return of the collaboration between both Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic, along with their associated gameplay styles, since the twentieth anniversary game Sonic Generations (although it is not a sequel to any previous games[17]). In addition, Sonic Forces also introduces a third gameplay mode featuring the "Avatar", the player's own custom-created character. The game serves, along with Sonic Mania, as a “continuation” of Sonic’s 25th anniversary.[1]

Development

History

Sonic Forces has been in development since 2013, around the release of Sonic Lost World.[1] The title was first mentioned at the Tokyo Joypolis Sonic 25th party on 25 June 2016 under the name "Project Sonic 2017".[18] The game was developed by Sonic Team, the same team that had previously developed Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations,[19] and was headed by Sonic series veteran Takashi Iizuka.[20]

The idea for Sonic Forces was to bring back a modern 3D Sonic made by Sonic Team themselves, who had not engaged in such a project for a while. The goal was to give players the experience of a classic 3D Sonic game while also offering as much content as possible by including old fan-favorite characters and 2D gameplay experiences. Also, because Sonic Team had gotten a lot of feedback from people who wanted to create their own characters in the Sonic universe, they decided to implement the Avatar system so fans could both create their own original character and go on adventures with Sonic through them.[21]

The first half of the game was produced by Iizuka, with Shun Nakamura stepping in when the game became more defined. Although the direction of the game was intended to be “Vs. Eggman”, the addition of colliding armies was added to the mix to make the game stand out. To make the game's​ story more serious, it was written so that 99% of the world had been conquered by Eggman. According to Nakamura, the team tried to make a detour from Sonic's normal streak of victories by adding an element of despair, namely by having Sonic rescue a world stuck in despair from Eggman's tyranny. Furthermore, the team sought to express character development through the Avatar, something which is difficult for Sonic, to add more fitting depth to the story. Also, according to Iizuka, the All-star cast in the game itself came as a result of the game's premise rather than the other way around.[22]

In his Sonic Channel interview, art director Yoshitaka Miura explained how the team came up with a more serious take on Sonic's world. Lead graphics programmer Takao Oyama upgraded the Hedgehog Engine with Global Illumination and Physically Based Rendering to create realistic and detailed worlds which were first tested with the City location. The City concept artworks then were used as an example for other stages. The developers wanted the stages to be different and contrasting, so they came up with many ideas. For example, the Resistance base was originally intended to be in Mystic Jungle and Eggman's prison was to be in a much darker version of Green Hill instead of the Death Egg. While the stages were supposed to be more detailed, the team kept in mind that Sonic mostly runs so fast the player won't see all the decorations closely, so they simplified billboard signs using basic shapes to imitate the letters.[23]

The subtitle "Forces" was chosen because the word incorporates the themes of “power” and “army”. These words embody the main theme of the game, with two strong forces (Sonic and co. versus Eggman) facing off against one another in the game.[1][22]

In terms of story, Sonic Team wanted to put Infinite in focus with a strong secondary main villain cast constantly interacting with him, which is something that has not been seen in the series before and would give the fan-favorite characters enough screentime. Also, the darker story approach for the game came as a product of the cast: when Sonic Team wanted the villains of the game to stand out as more threatening, dramatic and powerful, they needed a setting to emphasize the villainous activities going on and how Eggman is taking over the world, which led to the development of the darker world Sonic Forces takes place in. Sonic Team had also previously decided to exclude the classic mechanic that let the player recover dropped Rings as a result of Sonic Mania; after having a game with the classic mechanics, Sonic Team wanted to make something new that fit the modern style of Sonic Forces and provided a balanced aspect to the game difficulty that fans of both Modern and Classic gameplay would enjoy.[24] In the final version of the game, players are still able to recover dropped rings.

As the Nintendo Switch had not yet been revealed, the development team could not properly complete that version of Sonic Forces. After it had been revealed, they had still managed to create an algorithm so that the game could manage to run at 720p on the Switch version.[25]

Promotion

The game was announced at Sega's 25th anniversary of the series at San Diego Comic-Con on 22 July 2016, where it was announced alongside Sonic Mania.[26][27][28] The presence of Classic and Modern Sonic led some journalists to believe it was a sequel to Sonic Generations,[29] but Iizuka confirmed that it was not a sequel, but a new, stand-alone title.[17] The game will be released for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in late 2017.[30]

During the Sonic live stream that was held in Japan due to the release of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, it was revealed that there will be a new character introduced in Sonic Forces, along with a new component of gameplay besides the regular 2D and 3D gameplay.[31][32]

SXSW 2017 announced they would be hosting a second Sonic panel for that year’s event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces.[33] The latest Nintendo Dream Magazine from Japan also revealed new information about Sonic Forces. The blurb stated that Dr. Eggman will be the main villain, that there will be no multiplayer features, and that the genre for the game is "adventure".[34] Soon after, it was unveiled that the game will be an evolution of Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations and features a new game engine developed for this title called "Hedgehog Engine 2".[35] An interview with Takashi Iizuka by Famitsu later revealed that "Boom Sonic" would not appear in the game and that the game's third character (who will be revealed at E3 2017) would be an "unexpected character" that plays a vital role in the story and "embodies the overall features of the game".[1] On 16 May 2017 (a month earlier than planned), this third character turned out to be a character that the player can customize to their liking.[36] At E3 2017, on 13 June 2017, Shadow the Hedgehog, Metal Sonic, Zavok, and Chaos were confirmed to return to Sonic Forces as Dr. Eggman's henchmen under the leadership of a new and mysterious villain called Infinite.[37][38] Soon after, Chao were stated not to be featured in the game, though they do make cameos as decorative gear for the Avatar.[39]

At Gamescom 2017, Sonic Forces appeared with new demos that featured a new type of level for the game called "Tag Team Stages" where Modern Sonic and the player's Avatar work together in collaborative gameplay.[40] On 31 August 2017, it was announced on the official twitter feed of Sonic that the game will arrive on 7 November 2017 on all platforms. A physical bonus edition of the game with extra features was also announced to be available for pre-order for consoles.[12]

It was later announced that Sonic Forces would be showcased on Tokyo Game Show 2017, where limited game-related merchandise would be handed out to the attendees.[41][42][43] At said event, Takashi Iizuka revealed that the storyline of Sonic Forces ties into Sonic Mania.[16] It was also announced at TGS that Sonic Forces would have a cross-promotion with Hooters Japan and Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone DX.[44] Also, on 19 September 2017, a DLC named "Episode Shadow" featuring Shadow as a playable character was announced.[45][46]

A demo for Sonic Forces was released on 25 October 2017 in Japan for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. Three stages were made available: Green Hill Zone with Modern Sonic, Spaceport with the Avatar and the Egg Dragoon boss fight as Classic Sonic. Players were only given sixty seconds play-time on each stage.

Plot

Sonic Forces

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

ParkAvenueConceptArt

Concept artwork for Sonic Forces, featuring Sonic staring at the destruction caused by the Death Egg Robot sentinels.

Fueled by his years-long hatred of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman prepares to take yet another shot at expanding his Eggman Empire across the globe by working on an "invincible instrument of destruction" within the confines of his laboratory, with Orbot and Cubot commenting on how serious Eggman is this time. When everything is ready, he launches a large scale offensive on an urban center with his Death Egg Robot sentinels and Egg Pawns. As things get desperate for the survivors and all hope seems lost, Sonic appears on the scene, having answered Tails' emergency call, and makes short work of the Egg Pawns before challenging Dr. Eggman. Eggman, however, having anticipated this, has a surprise up his sleeve.[47] As Sonic charges at Eggman, the doctor summons his allies, who block Sonic. To his surprise, Sonic sees that Eggman's allies are none other than Shadow, Metal Sonic, Zavok, and Chaos. Among the familiar faces is also a newcomer: an enigmatic and powerful being named Infinite, who acts as Dr. Eggman's right-hand man and the leader of the Eggman Army.[48] Sonic tries to fight them, but is overwhelmed and easily thrashed by Infinite's mysterious power. Tails, unable to help or figure out Infinite's power, can only watch as Sonic gets defeated and captured by Infinite and his allies.[47]

With Sonic defeated and the world believing him to be dead, Eggman and his forces quickly take over. Using Infinite's power,[49] the Eggman Empire manages to conquer over 99% of the planet over the course of six months,[1][49] with only but a few isolated areas still free from their control. All hope is not lost however, as those among Sonic's friends who managed to escape Eggman's invasion[50] decide to continue the fight. Together, they form a rag-tag team called the Resistance to combat Eggman's forces, with Knuckles the Echidna as their commander. Other members include Amy Rose, Team Chaotix, Rouge the Bat and Silver the Hedgehog. Excluded from the Resistance is Tails, who vanished after Sonic's disappearance, having "lost it" according to Silver.

Despite assembling a small army, the Resistance is unable to stop Eggman's forces, and the innocent are starting to give up hope. As the Resistance's core members discuss their situation, they bring up a new recruit that is joining them. After accessing the recruit's file, Knuckles arrives with updates from the battlefield before introducing the new recruit: a cowardly soldier (whom the Resistance nickname "Rookie") who survived an encounter with Infinite months prior. Not long after, Knuckles learns from Rouge that Sonic is still alive and that he is being held prisoner onboard the newly-rebuilt Death Egg. Formulating a plan to rescue Sonic, Knuckles sends a the Rookie and a squad to the Spaceport. There, the Resistance manages to steal a shuttle.

Meanwhile, Tails is in the City, trying to fix a badly-damaged E-123 Omega. As he is about to give up though, he is threatened by Chaos. Before Chaos can attack Tails though, Classic Sonic arrives, emerging from a wormhole he was sucked into after his most recent battle in his dimension, and saves Tails. Tails theorizes that Infinite's strange powers are affecting other dimensions, which may have pulled Classic Sonic into their world. Taking Classic Sonic's appearance as a sign, Tails regains his hope and sets out with Classic Sonic to save the world.

Back with the Resistance, Rouge reveals that Eggman has only kept Sonic alive for the last six months so that the hedgehog could see his empire upon its completion before being banished into space. With Eggman moving the banishment ahead of schedule as a response to the Resistance's rescue attempt, however, the Resistance head to the Death Egg. Once onboard, the Rookie's choice of route leaves them as the only one able to reach Sonic. As that is happening, Sonic is about to be escorted to his banishment by Zavok. However, the Rookie's commotion onboard the Death Egg undoes Sonic's restraints, allowing him to take on Zavok, who mysteriously fades away upon defeat. As Sonic makes his escape, he finds the scared Rookie under attack from robots and saves them, and together they return to their world via a shuttle. After getting reacquainted with his friends, Sonic is sent to go with the Rookie to destroy a weapon factory supplying Eggman. Despite the Rookie's cowardice, Sonic quickly accepts them as his partner.

After the attack, Sonic is sent to Mystic Jungle to help Silver, who is being attacked by Infinite. Although Infinite has the upper hand in their clash, Silver manages to make him drop a mysterious gemstone. Silver is eventually beaten, but Sonic qucikly shows up to take on Infinite. Although Sonic puts up a better a fight than before, he is still defeated, with Infinite leaving him without killing him as he does not see him as a threat. Meanwhile, Tails and Classic Sonic continue their adventure to stop Eggman, hoping to end the war by defeating the doctor and discover the way to get Classic Sonic back home, and soon find Eggman talking with Infinite about their schemes. By spying on them, the duo learn that the source of Infinite's power comes from a gem called the Phantom Ruby, whose defective prototypes have all been destroyed by Infinite to keep them from interfering with Eggman's plans. After the villains' meeting is dismissed upon the notion that the Resistance and the world will soon fall to the Eggman Empire, Classic Sonic emerges from hiding and takes out Eggman and the machines he uses against him. Despite this, the doctor still gloats to Tails and Classic Sonic that the Resistance will be wiped out by his plan in just three days. Before Tails can ask more about it however, Eggman makes his escape.

Having helped rescue some civilians in the meantime, the Rookie is sent to check out some readings in Mystic Jungle. There, they find Infinite's dropped Phantom Ruby prototype. They also find Classic Sonic and Tails, who had come to the jungle to find Sonic. After that, Classic Sonic and Tails unite with the Resistance and relay what they learned. Sonic soon after heads to Sunset Heights to find Shadow, who is leading an attack on the City. Upon finding him, however, the real Shadow appears and dispatches his imposter. Shadow then reveals that the Shadow following Eggman is a virtual reality copy created by Infinite, as are the other villains serving him, meaning the size of Eggman's army is limitless.

Knuckles soon after launches a massive attack meant to seize Eggman's undermanned headquarters, Metropolis, only for Infinite to foil the attack and wipe out 80% of the Resistance's army with the Phantom Ruby, forcing the remaining troops to retreat. While retreating, the Rookie comes across Infinite alone. Remembering Sonic's words of encouragement, the Rookie finds the courage to fight Infinite. Infinite attempts to kill the Avatar but is unexpectedly countered. Despite his confusion, Infinite leaves the Rookie alive, knowing that Eggman will crush everyone in two days.

Realizing that they need to stop the Phantom Ruby to win the war, Tails and Classic Sonic infiltrate Eggman's computer network in Chemical Plant and find the Phantom Ruby's weakness: it is directly powered by the Death Egg's core, and without a power source it is useless. In the meantime, Sonic and the Rookie grow closer after going after and defeating a Metal Sonic replica together. Putting their next plan into motion, the Resistance has the Rookie stage a diversion in Green Hill while Sonic shuts down the Death Egg's weapon defenses, thus allowing Classic Sonic to destroy the Death Egg, which in turn causes Eggman and his motley crew to make a retreat to Metropolis. Believing they have the upper hand now, the Resistance target Eggman in Metropolis. However, when Sonic and Tails find Eggman, Eggman has Infinite banish Sonic into Null Space, with the Rookie getting pulled along with Sonic while trying to save him. Eggman then reveals to the confused Tails that he knew the Resistance would eventually target the Death Egg, so he built a hidden backup power supply for the Phantom Ruby underneath Metropolis. Meanwhile, Sonic and the Rookie manage to escape Null Space and rejoin the battle in Metropolis. Catching Eggman off-guard with their return, Eggman retreats with his lackeys to prepare his endgame, which is only mere hours away.

The entire Resistance eventually confronts Infinite and his army of replicas at the Eggman Empire Fortress in an effort to reach the Phantom Ruby's backup power supply. As Infinite attempts to destroy the Resistance however, Omega, now fully repaired and ready to join the Resistance, arrives and distracts him. Having enough of the rabble, Infinite creates a massive virtual sun over the planet to destroy the entire Resistance in one fell swoop, which has been Eggman's endgame all along. During the chaos, Tails notices that the Rookie has the Phantom Ruby prototype from Mystic Jungle, and deduces that they can use it to neutralize the sun. Since the prototype's design only let the Rookie use it, the Rookie climbs the Imperial Tower and eliminates the virtual sun (although the prototype is destroyed in the process), giving the Resistance a fighting chance. At the same time, Sonic himself confronts Infinite while he is weak from having formed the sun, only for Infinite to regain his full power in his battle with Sonic. At that point, the Rookie comes to Sonic's aid, and together, the two heroes defeat Infinite for good.

Warned by Eggman that he is not done yet, Sonic and the Rookie destroy the Phantom Ruby's power supply, seemingly winning the war. After Sonic and the Rookie meet up with Tails and Classic Sonic however, Eggman reveals that the power source was actually a decoy, and that the original Phantom Ruby has been incorporated into his trump card: the Death Egg Robot. With the Eggman Army on the rise thanks to the Ruby, Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Rookie confront Eggman together and destroy his Death Egg Robot. With the Phantom Ruby getting destroyed in the process, Eggman's army vanishes, leaving the Resistance as the victor.

Light of Hope

The title screen of Sonic Forces after completing the game.

With the war finally over, Classic Sonic returns to his own dimension as a result of the Phantom Ruby's destruction. After the Resistance bids farewell to Classic Sonic, the group sets out to clean up the mess that Eggman has left the world in. In the aftermath, Knuckles disbands the Resistance, although not without Silver noting that they still have a lot to do. Feeling that plenty of people out there need their aid, the Rookie parts ways with their new friends, who compliment them for their growth. Tails then concludes that they all saved the world through cooperation, which will make their friendships last forever. Some time after, Sonic and the Rookie meet up in the City to say goodbye to each other before setting off in search of new adventures.

Characters

Image Characters Biography
SFpc pic 01
Sonic the Hedgehog The world's fastest supersonic hedgehog who loves freedom and hates injustice. While busy foiling yet another one of Dr. Eggman's evil endeavors, he was attacked and captured by an unknown assailant.
SonicForcesAvatar Avatar A custom character of your very own! As a survivor of Dr. Eggman's robot armies, and a new recruit with the resistance, you will be tasked with a number of dangerous duties. Go find Sonic, combine forces, and help save the world!
SFpc pic 05
Dr. Eggman A greedy and selfish evil genius who boasts an IQ of 300. With his heavily armed robots, some familiar faces, and what he affectionately refers to as his invincible instrument of destruction, he will crush Sonic once and for all, and finally realize his dreams of a world-spanning Eggman Empire!
SFpc pic 06
Infinite N/A
Sp pic 04
Resistance The base of operations for Sonic's allies as they bring the fight straight to Eggman's forces. With Knuckles as commander, operations are proceeding in every region.
SFpc pic 07
Eggman Army Dr. Eggman has recruited a number of powerful enemies to aid him in his selfish cause. Each has their own bone to pick with our hero...

Episode Shadow

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

One month before the events of Sonic Forces, Shadow the Hedgehog is contacted by Rouge the Bat, who has a report from the intelligence division. Apparently, they have discovered an active Eggman base outside Eggman's chain of command in a strategically useless position. Suspecting Eggman is up to something, and with rumors flying about the doctor developing a new weapon, Shadow heads to the base to link up with E-123 Omega, whom Rouge has sent ahead, and do some recon. Before Shadow can reach him however, Omega launches a full-frontal attack on the base, only for Shadow and Rouge to lose radio contact with him.

Arriving at the base, Shadow finds Infinite, who had defeated Omega to test out his new power. Although Shadow does not find his opponent familiar in the slightest, Infinite reveals that he knows Shadow, and begins telling his backstory. Accordingly, Infinite was once a mercenary and the captain of Squad Jackal, who were assigned by Eggman to protect one of his facilities. A couple of months ago, Shadow annihilated Squad Jackal when he came to raid and destroy Eggman's facility. Infinite tried to stop Shadow himself, but was beaten by the hedgehog, who told him not to show his "pathetic face" around him again before leaving. Outraged by his own weakness, Infinite abandoned his former identity and let himself get assimilated with the finalized Phantom Ruby prototype to become stronger.

Finishing his story, Infinite attempts to crush Shadow by trapping him in a virtual reality with his new power. Though Shadow escapes this reality, Infinite is pleased with the results and gloats that not even Sonic can stop him now. Before Shadow can question Infinite about what he means by that, however, the facility they are in begins to explode, which Infinite uses as a distraction to escape. At the same time, Rouge persuades Shadow to withdraw from the facility.

About a month later, Shadow is contacted by Rouge, who reveals that Eggman is launching an assault on the City. At first, Rouge tells Shadow that it is nothing to worry about since Sonic and the others are there. As Shadow recalls Infinite's words, however, Rouge alerts him that Sonic has just been defeated by Infinite and his replica army.

Gameplay

Sonic Forces includes three playable characters and a fourth optional character via DLC. Akin to Sonic Adventure 2, the story is told from the perspective of each of the characters throughout the game, and when it all is put together it tells the overarching story.[51] The first two of these characters include Classic Sonic (Sonic's original design from the Sega Mega Drive Sonic games) and Modern Sonic (Sonic's revised form in Sonic Adventure and after). The game's third playable character is a new character, referred to as the Avatar, whom players can modify to their liking, which is a first for the series.[52] Other characters make non-playable appearances, offering support and advice to the player via radio communication during gameplay.[53]

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The Avatar's gameplay in Park Avenue.

The Avatar is created from the base of seven animal species, and possess several attributes that can be customized.[36][52] However, attributes like species, gender, head shape, eye shape, color scheme, victory pose, and voice can only be set once. While playing through the game, one can unlock hundreds of Costume options for the Avatar by different means.[52][54] All Avatar customizations are directly reflected in the game, appearing in the stages and even during scripted cutscenes. At the start of the game, the player can only make one Avatar. After completing the main story however, one is allowed to create up to fourteen additional Avatars; these characters can use all the Parts and equipment the player has collected and have no restrictions set for them. Depending on what animal species the Avatar is, they will gain a unique ability to aid the player in gameplay:

  • Bear: Blows away enemies when performing a Wire Attack[52]
  • Bird: Enables you to perform a Double Jump[52]
  • Cat: Hold on to some Rings after taking damage[52]
  • Dog: Restart with some Rings after a knock out[52]
  • Hedgehog: [original] Collected Rings when getting damaged[52]
    • [day-one patch] Dropped rings will remain longer after taking damage
  • Rabbit: Extends invincibility duration when hit[52]
  • Wolf: Draws in Rings and extends collection radius of collectibles excluding Red Star Rings[52]

The overall gameplay is relatively unchanged from previous Sonic entries; players run at high speeds through levels (referred to as "stages") filled with gimmicks, enemy robots, and other hazards on the way to the goal. Game progress is automatically saved at specific times, such as when a stage is cleared. The game also incorporates a point system in the form of "Stage Scores" for each stage, which can be increased by collecting Rings and items, attacking enemies, destroying obstacles, and completing the stage without dying. Once at the goal, the player is given a stage rank based on their Total Score's points.[55] Experience increases with the Total Score. The bigger the score, the more experience is rewarded. Collecting enough experience will reward the player with different honors: Bronze honors, which are obtained by gathering enough experience, Silver honors, which are obtained in exchange for five Bronze honors, and Gold honors, which are obtained in exchange for two Silver honors. Each created Avatar comes with their own experience pool and can achieve a maximum of three Gold honors.

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Modern Sonic's gameplay in Sunset Heights.

Scattered around the stages are Rings: Rings protect players when they take damage, though they will lose their Rings upon being hit. Sonic Forces has two difficulties that affect the Ring cap. "Normal" mode (which is intended for newcomers) only allows players to collect up to 100 Rings. Getting hit by enemies will decrease the Ring count by twenty each time. "Hard" mode (which is intended for those already familiar with Sonic gameplay) on the other hand allows players to collect up to 999 Rings, but getting hit will make them lose all their Rings.[56] Best ranks and times in "Normal" mode are also not recorded. Taking damage without any Rings will cost the player a life. A character will also lose a life if they stay underwater for too long or fall into a bottomless pit. Losing a life makes the player start from the last Star Post they passed in a stage or from the beginning of the stage if they have not passed any Star Posts. Also, if the player takes more than 60 minutes to complete a stage, they will receive a Time Over and be returned to the game's stage select screen (also referred to as the "World Map"). However, there are no Game Overs in the game due to the lack of an extra life system.[57]

The majority of the contents in Sonic Forces can be viewed from the World Map. The World Map provides a view of Sonic's world, and is divided into seven regions, each holding a set portion of the game's stages that determine their respective layouts. The color of the regions represent the player's progress; grey regions belong to Team Eggman and blue regions belong to Team Sonic. At the beginning of the game, all regions will be under Team Eggman's control, but by clearing all storyline-related stages in a region, its control will switch to Team Sonic; the game will be complete once Team Sonic is in control of all the regions. In addition, the player can unlock bonus stages as they progress through the game. Finishing these bonus stages will reward the player with extra Avatar items and bonus experience for the Avatar.

Wisps, which can be obtained from Wisp Capsule to give players temporary special powers, from earlier titles return in this game.[8][58] White Wisps are used exclusively by Modern Sonic, while the rest are utilized by the Avatar. Also returning are the Red Star Ring collectibles that are hidden in each stage. These rings can be collected in any order and over the course of multiple playthroughs through a stage. Collecting all five Red Star Rings in a stage will make five Number Rings appear in the same stage. Collecting these rings in numerical order during a single playthrough of a stage will make the Silver Moon Rings appear in the same stage, which must be collected within a time limit. Collecting Silver Moon Rings earns the player a higher score bonus, which will grant more experience. At different points throughout the stages, the player will also engage in Real-Time Interactions.

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Classic Sonic's gameplay in Green Hill.

Sonic Forces features four different gameplay styles, with each stage in the game being reserved for one of them. Two of these include those of Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic, respectively, as seen in Sonic Generations.[35] Modern Sonic's stages are based around three-dimensional movement like that of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, which feature transitions between dynamic 3D perspectives and slower 2.5D side-scrolling sections during a stage. For these stages, Modern Sonic has his standard Spin Jump, Double Jump, Homing Attack, |Slide, Quick Step and Stomp maneuvers, along with a reworked Air Boost and Boost that rely on energy from the Boost Gauge (which can be filled by collecting White Wisps and destroying enemies) to work.[8][58] Classic Sonic's stages meanwhile, focus on 2.5D side-scrolling stages reminiscent of the Sega Mega Drive-era of games, except this time they feature a “twist”.[1] Classic Sonic also has maneuvers like the signature Spin Dash, Spin Jump and Spin Attack, as well as the Drop Dash from Sonic Mania. During stages, Classic Sonic can also utilize Item Box power-ups.

The third gameplay style features the Avatar. Its style is much like Modern Sonic's, except the Avatar utilizes a grappling hook as a means of platforming and attacking opponents.[52] The Avatar also makes use of new unique equipment called Wispons, each one with an offensive function (Basic Attack) and an ability for traversing the stage (Special Action).[52] Depending on the Wispon equipped, Avatars can harness Color Powers in new ways by collecting a corresponding Wisp within each stage; for example, if the Avatar is equipped with the Burst Wispon, they can activate Red Burst abilities with a Red Wisp. Before a stage, the player can choose different Wispons to customize how the Avatar controls, thereby allowing access to different parts of the levels.[59] Like Costumes, players can unlock new Wispons as they progress. New Wispons also come equipped with additional skills that grant the Avatar extra abilities during gameplay.

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The Tag gameplay in Arsenal Pyramid.

The fourth gameplay features a tag team mechanic (akin to that in Sonic Heroes) that involves Modern Sonic and the Avatar. In the stages reserved for this mechanic, the player wields both characters and their movesets to navigate through a stage, with the leader switching to Sonic when boosting and the Avatar when using the Wispon. The Tag mechanic also introduces a collaboration move between Sonic and the Avatar called the "Double Boost",[60] which is triggered when the player engages in an automatic Real-Time Interaction.

When selecting a stage, players can view its information on the stage information screen, such as Best Time, Clear Rank, and Red Star Rings collected. Sonic Forces also has network synchronization, allowing players from around the world to "rent" other players' Avatars. These "Rental Avatars" can be chosen on the stage information screen and can then be freely switched out with the player's own Avatar during gameplay. When switching Avatars, special abilities and equipped Wispon will also be swapped over. One can also access the Rankings on the stage information screen to see the clear time of players from around the world.

Besides the main story, Sonic Forces offers additional side missions, the standard of which are the Challenge Missions. Some of these Missions involve simply reaching the goal, while others will require a stage to be beaten under a time limit. Successfully clearing a Mission will award the player with Costume Parts and Wispons. There are also Daily Missions that change daily. By completing a Daily Mission, the player's regular Stage Score will receive a bonus multiplier for thirty minutes, thereby allowing greater experience rewards. Also, different types of SOS Missions occasionally become available on the World Map after completing a stage or exiting a menu. If the player loses a life, quits the game or clears the stage without clearing an SOS Mission, the player will fail the mission without the option to retry. Leaving to the Main Menu will remove all SOS Missions on the World Map.

Objects

Items

Gimmicks and obstacles

Characters

Playable characters

SFgame pc pic 02

Sonic the Hedgehog, Classic Sonic and the Avatar (wolf form).

Non-playable characters

Enemies

Bosses

Stages

SonicForcesWorldMap

The World Map in Sonic Forces. On it, the player can see Stage Targets that indicate the available character for the stage and the player's current ranking for it.

The main playthrough of Sonic Forces consists of thirty stages (seven of which count are boss battles) that can be accessed on the World Map. Each stage belong to one of the seven regions the World Map that is divided into and is reserved for one of the playable characters (Sonic, Classic Sonic and the Avatar) or the Tag gameplay (which include Sonic and the Avatar). Each region commonly holds a stage for each character, while boss battles and Tag stages are more randomly spread out. The stages in their order are:

  1. Green Hill: Lost Valley (Sonic)
  2. Chemical Plant: Spaceport (Avatar)
  3. City: Ghost Town (Classic Sonic)
  4. Death Egg: Prison Hall (Avatar)
  5. Death Egg: VS. Zavok (Sonic)
  6. Death Egg: Egg Gate (Sonic)
  7. Green Hill: Arsenal Pyramid (Tag)
  8. Mystic Jungle: Luminous Forest (Sonic)
  9. Mystic Jungle: VS. Infinite (Sonic)
  10. Green Hill: Green Hill (Classic Sonic)
  11. Green Hill: VS. Eggman (Classic Sonic)
  12. City: Park Avenue (Avatar)
  13. Mystic Jungle: Casino Forest (Classic Sonic)
  14. Mystic Jungle: Aqua Road (Avatar)
  15. City: Sunset Heights (Sonic)
  16. Metropolis: Capital City (Avatar)
  17. Metropolis: VS. Infinite (Avatar)
  18. Chemical Plant: Chemical Plant (Classic Sonic)
  19. City: Red Gate Bridge (Tag)
  20. Green Hill: Guardian Rock (Avatar)
  21. Chemical Plant: Network Terminal (Sonic)
  22. Death Egg: Death Egg (Classic Sonic)
  23. Metropolis: Metropolitan Highway (Sonic)
  24. Metropolis: Null Space (Tag)
  25. Eggman Empire Fortress: Imperial Tower (Avatar)
  26. Eggman Empire Fortress: Mortar Canyon (Sonic)
  27. Eggman Empire Fortress: VS. Infinite (Sonic)
  28. Eggman Empire Fortress: Iron Fortress (Classic Sonic)
  29. Eggman Empire Fortress: Final Judgement (Tag)
  30. Eggman Empire Fortress: VS. Death Egg Robot (Classic Sonic)

Secret stages

Main article: Secret stage

Secret stages are additional stages that are unlocked on the World Map after the player reclaims an area from the Eggman Empire. Only Sonic or the Avatar are playable in them. The stages in their order are:

  1. Mystic Jungle: Fire Cannon 1 (Avatar) - unlocked after clearing Aqua Road
  2. City: Vanish Panel 1 (Sonic) - unlocked after clearing Red Gate Bridge
  3. Green Hill: Bomb Block 1 (Sonic) - unlocked after clearing Guardian Rock
  4. Chemical Plant: Plasma Cannon 1 (Avatar) - unlocked after clearing Network Terminal
  5. Death Egg: Laser Cannon 1 (Sonic) - unlocked after clearing Death Egg
  6. Metropolis: Reverse Block 1 (Avatar) - unlocked after clearing Null Space

Extra stages

Main article: Extra stage

Extra stages, also known as EX Stages or Advanced Stages, are additional stages that are unlocked on the World Map after the player collects a certain amount of Red Star Rings that coincide with the amount in the Challenge Missions. Much like secret stages, each EX stage is reserved for either Sonic or the Avatar. The stages in their order are:

  1. Green Hill: Flying Pod (Sonic) - unlocked after collecting 25 Red Star Rings
  2. Chemical Plant: Bomb Block 2 (Avatar) - unlocked after collecting 40 Red Star Rings
  3. Metropolis: Laser Cannon 2 (Avatar) - unlocked after collecting 55 Red Star Rings
  4. Green Hill: Reverse Block 2 (Sonic) - unlocked after collecting 70 Red Star Rings
  5. Mystic Jungle: Vanish Panel 2 (Avatar) - unlocked after collecting 85 Red Star Rings
  6. City: Fire Cannon 2 (Sonic) - unlocked after collecting 100 Red Star Rings
  7. Death Egg: Plasma Cannon 2 (Sonic) - unlocked after collecting 120 Red Star Rings

Episode Shadow

The Episode Shadow DLC features three additional stages separate from the main story that can only be accessed from the main menu. The stages in their order are:

  1. City: Enemy Territory
  2. Mystic Jungle: Eggman's Facility
  3. Green Hill: Virtual Reality

Other modes

Options

Options is the settings menu for Sonic Forces which holds the following options:

  • Gameplay: Make changes to the game settings as follows:
    • Difficulty Level: Select "Normal" or "Hard" difficulty.
    • Pad Vibration: Set the Pad Vibration on/off.
    • Hints: Turn the in-game Hint Rings on/off.
    • Radio: Turn the in-game radio communication during the stages on/off.
    • Voice/Text Language: Set the language of voices and text display.
    • Reset to Default: Revert to the default settings.
    • Confirm: Save settings and return to the title screen.
  • Graphics: Make changes to graphic setting as follows:
    • Resolution: Set the screen resolution.
    • Screen Mode: Set the screen mode.
    • Selected Monitor: Select which monitor to use when two or more monitors are connected.
    • Vsync: Enable/disable Vsync.
    • Max FPS: set the maximum FPS.
    • Brightness: Set the in-game screen brightness (10 = the brightest, 1 = the darkest).
    • Quality Preset: Set the preset graphic suality settings.
    • AA: Set the Anti-Aliasing quality.
    • AF: Set the Anisotropic Filtering quality.
    • Shadows: Set the Shadows quality.
    • DOF: set the Depth of Field quality.
    • Bloom: set the Boom effect quality.
    • Blur: Set the Motion Blur effect quality.
    • Light Scattering: Set the Light Scattering effect quality.
  • Audio: Make changes to audio settings as follows:
    • Master Volume: Set the master volume.
    • SFX Volume: Set the sound effect volume.
    • Music Volume: Set the music volume.
    • Voice Volume: Set the voice volume.
    • Movie Volume: Set the movie volume.
  • Controls: Make changes to button and key assignments here. If the user is stuck, they can always reset the default setting.

Theater

In Theater, the player can re-watch previously viewed movie scenes from the game.

Downloadable content

Sega/Atlus Pack

SegaAtlusCover

"Sega/Atlus Pack" DLC cover.

The Sega/Atlus Pack is a free add-on pack for anyone who owns Sonic Forces. It launched alongside Sonic Forces and was included in various bonus editions of the game. It contains five unique outfits for the Avatar that cannot be acquired in normal gameplay. These outfits are stylized after video game characters from other video game franchises that belong to Sega and Atlus. The sets of outfits in the pack include:

Episode Shadow

EpisodeShadowCoverV2

"Episode Shadow" DLC cover.

Episode Shadow is a free add-on pack for anyone who owns Sonic Forces. It focuses on Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat and E-123 Omega, and serves as a prequel to the main storyline of Sonic Forces. It launched alongside the game with Sonic Forces Digital Bonus Edition and also in the normal packs of the game.[45][67] "Episode Shadow" explores Shadow's allegiance, the fate of Team Dark, and the origin of Infinite. In it, the player assumes control over Shadow, who possesses the same gameplay controls and abilities as Modern Sonic.[68] The pack allows players to play as Shadow in three redesigned stages and twelve Modern Sonic stages in the main game.[45][46][69]

According to Shun Nakamura, Sonic Team created "Episode Shadow" to help the game appeal to fans of older games such as Sonic Adventure.[70] Upon its announcement, several gaming journalists noted that "Episode Shadow" was the first time Shadow was a playable character in a mainline Sonic game for several years.[70][71] Game Informer also wrote that it was much more difficult than the main game.[72]

Shadow the Hedgehog Costume

SonicForcesShadowSkinBanner

The promotional banner for the Shadow Costume.

The Shadow the Hedgehog Costume is a unique DLC for Sonic Forces. It was available to those pre-ordering the Bonus Edition and Digital Bonus Edition of Sonic Forces. The DLC contains a unique Costume set for the Avatar that is designed in the likeness of Shadow and cannot be acquired in normal gameplay. The set includes three type of Parts: a headgear shaped like Shadow's quills, Shadow's gloves, and a bodysuit designed like Shadow's body. These Parts come in three color variations, which are included in the DLC too.

Sanic T-shirt

SanicT

The Sanic T-Shirt for Sonic Forces.

On November 25, 2017, the Sonic Twitter officially announced the launch of a DLC "Sanic T-shirt" (based on the infamous "Sanic" internet meme). Like Episode Shadow, this DLC is also free.

Super Sonic

SuperSonicDLC

The Super Sonic DLC cover.

Super Sonic is an add-on pack for Sonic Forces. It was made available on 22 December 2017,[73] and was stated to be free until 23 January 2018, after which it becomes payable. However, it was later announced the DLC will remain free starting from 24 January 2018.[74]

This DLC, when downloaded, allows Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic to transform into Modern Super Sonic and Classic Super Sonic during gameplay (not including boss battles). When using Super Sonic, the player cannot participate in world rankings. He can be used to complete challenges, however.

Cast

Role English voice actor Japanese voice actor
Amy Rose Cindy Robinson Taeko Kawata
Avatar Aoi Yūki (female)
Yū Seki (male)
Aoi Yūki (female)
Yū Seki (male)
Charmy Bee Colleen Villard Youko Teppouzuka
Cubot Wally Wingert Wataru Takagi
Dr. Eggman Mike Pollock Kotaro Nakamura
E-123 Omega Vic Mignogna Taiten Kusunoki
Espio the Chameleon Matthew Mercer Yūki Masuda
Infinite Liam O'Brien Takashi Kondō
Knuckles the Echidna Travis Willingham Nobutoshi Kanna
Miles "Tails" Prower Colleen Villard Ryo Hirohashi
Orbot Kirk Thornton Mitsuo Iwata
Rouge the Bat Karen Strassman Rumi Ochiai
Shadow the Hedgehog Kirk Thornton Kōji Yusa
Silver the Hedgehog Quinton Flynn Daisuke Ono
Sonic the Hedgehog Roger Craig Smith Junichi Kanemaru
Vector the Crocodile Keith Silverstein Kenta Miyake
Zavok Travis Willingham Jōji Nakata

Soundtrack

SonicForcesOriginalSoundtrack-AHeroWillRise

The Sonic Forces album, Sonic Forces Original Soundtrack - A Hero Will Rise.

The game's soundtrack was composed by Sonic series sound director, Tomoya Ohtani,[9] and composer, Naofumi Hataya.[8] Kenichi Tokoi also contributed with a remix of the US version of Stardust Speedway's music for Metal Sonic's boss battle. The game's theme song, "Fist Bump", features lyrics written and performed by Douglas Robb, vocalist of the American rock band Hoobastank.[75] Multiple vocalists, including Jon Underdown and Nana Hatori, contributed to the soundtrack for the Avatar stage themes. Also, the theme song of Infinite was composed and arranged by Tomoya Ohtani, with lyrics and performance by Tyler Smyth and Andy Bane of the metalcore band Dangerkids.[76] The game's ending theme, "The Light of Hope", was performed by Amy Hannam.

Contributing to the main orchestra theme for Sonic Forces was the London Symphony Orchestra.[77][78] According to Shun Nakamura, the orchestra was used to emphasize the weight in pieces such as the title theme and the World Map.[79]

Currently, three music albums for Sonic Forces have been released. These include Sonic Forces Original Soundtrack - A Hero Will Rise, which contains the game's entire soundtrack, Sonic Forces Vocal Traxx - On The Edge, which contains all the game's vocal themes, and Sonic Forces Hi-Res Collection, which contains fifteen songs from the game, including the orchestral songs made by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Achievements/Trophies

These are the achievements and trophies for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam versions of Sonic Forces.

Image Name Description Trophy Class Xbox Live Gamescore
SFTrophies 01
A Sonic Hero Earned every trophy. Platinum N/A
SFTrophies 02
A New Story Begins Cleared Stage 1. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 03
Your Own Story Created an Avatar. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 04
Sextuple Trouble Defeated Zavok. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 05
Infinite Possibilities Drove off Infinite. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 06
Mean Egg Machine Drove off Eggman. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 07
For the Future Liberated a world. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 08
Courage in Hand Drove off Infinite again. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 09
Hope Turned the tide of the conflict. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 10
Bonds of Friendship Defeated Infinite. Bronze 25
SFTrophies 11
Saved the World Restored peace to the world. Bronze 30
SFTrophies 12
Sonic and the Secret Stages Cleared all Secret Stages. Silver 35
SFTrophies 13
Sonic EXtreme Cleared all EX Stages. Silver 35
SFTrophies 14
Reach for the Red Stars Collected all Red Star Rings. Silver 35
SFTrophies 15
Sonic Teaches Numbers Collected Number Rings three times. Silver 35
SFTrophies 16
Don't Lose Count Collected all Number Rings. Silver 35
SFTrophies 17
Silver Moon Mania Collected Silver Moon Rings three times. Silver 35
SFTrophies 18
Our Rings are Your Rings Collected all Silver Moon Rings. Gold 50
SFTrophies 19
Ring Enthusiast Collected a total of 10,000 Rings. (All Rings held at the end of the stage will be counted.) Bronze 10
SFTrophies 20
Ring Collector Collected a total of 50,000 Rings. (All Rings held at the end of the stage will be counted.) Bronze 20
SFTrophies 21
Ring King Collected a total of 100,000 Rings. (All Rings held at the end of the stage will be counted.) Bronze 30
SFTrophies 22
Fighter Defeated 1,000 enemies. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 23
Warrior Defeated 5,000 enemies. Bronze 20
SFTrophies 24
General Defeated 10,000 enemies. Bronze 35
SFTrophies 25
Hooked on Wispons Changed Wispons for the first time. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 26
Way Past Cool Equipped a part in every slot. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 27
Running in Style Used the Closet. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 28
On a Roll Achieved a soldier's highest honor. Bronze 30
SFTrophies 29
Honor Roll Achieved highest honors with all races. Silver 35
SFTrophies 30
Global Allies Utilized the Rental Avatar function. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 31
Rivalry Begins Made it into the rankings. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 32
A New Beginning Created your second Avatar. Bronze 15
SFTrophies 33
Sonic Blaster Collected 10 Wispons. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 34
Sonic Jammer Collected 30 Wispons. Bronze 25
SFTrophies 35
Sonic Battler Collected all Wispons. Gold 50
SFTrophies 36
Outfitter Collected 50 parts. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 37
Style Hog Collected 100 parts. Bronze 15
SFTrophies 38
Fashion Unleashed Collected 500 parts. Bronze 25
SFTrophies 39
You Got Them All Collected all parts. Silver 35
SFTrophies 40
Everyday Enthusiast Completed 3 Daily Missions. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 41
Daily Devotee Completed 5 Daily Missions. Bronze 20
SFTrophies 42
Constant Connoisseur Completed 10 Daily Missions. Silver 35
SFTrophies 43
Super Sonic Rescue Completed your first SOS Mission. Bronze 10
SFTrophies 44
Freedom Fighter Completed 5 SOS Missions. Bronze 20
SFTrophies 45
Nameless Hero Completed 10 SOS Missions. Silver 35
SFTrophies 46
Up for Any Challenge Completed all Challenge Missions. Gold 50

Episode Shadow

Image Name Description Trophy Class Xbox Live Gamescore
SFEPSH Achievment 1
Chaos Spear! Collected all Red Star Rings in Episode Shadow. Bronze 15
SFEPSH Achievment 2
Chaos Blast! Collected all Number Rings in Episode Shadow. Bronze 30
SFEPSH Achievment 3
Chaos Control! Collected all Silver Moon Rings in Episode Shadow. Bronze 40

Promotion

Sonic Forces Preorder BeautyShot XB1

Sonic Forces Bonus Edition for the Xbox One.

On 31 August 2017, Sonic the Hedgehog's official Twitter account announced the official release date of Sonic Forces, along with a physical bonus edition of the game available for pre-ordering for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch which featured special bonus content. The US version of the bonus edition consisted of a Sonic and Infinite-themed controller skin for the game's respective console (DUALSHOCK 4, Xbox One wireless controller, Joy-Con Grip) and the "Sega/Atlus Pack DLC".[12] The UK and Australian versions of the Bonus Editions also came with four exclusive Art Cards.[80][81] Those preordering the game would also receive a costume of Shadow the Hedgehog for the Avatar.[82]

For the appearance of Sonic Forces on Tokyo Game Show 2017, limited merchandise related to the game was handed out to the attendees. These included Sonic Forces posters, Sonic Forces-themed t-shirts, Sonic Mania-themed chopsticks, and Sonic Forces and Mania-themed keychains.[41][42][43] Also, on 12 September 2017, a racing mobile game tie-in to Sonic Forces entitled Sonic Forces: Speed Battle received a soft launch for iOS and Android.

On 19 September 2017, pre-orders for a digital bonus edition of the game titled Sonic Forces Digital Bonus Edition was made available. This bundle includes the full Sonic Forces game, the Shadow costume, the "Sega/Atlus" Pack, and the "Episode Shadow" DLC.[67]

On 22 September 2017 during the Tokyo Game Show event for Sega, they announced there will be a Sonic Forces promotional collab at Hooter restaurants in Tokyo from 16 October 2017 to 10 December 2017. During this time, customers could order a Chili dog meal and collect one of four specially designed coasters. These coasters were of Modern and Classic Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, Shadow and Infinite, and the official promoted wolf and cat forms of the Avatar. At dinner time, special dances were held to the main theme of Sonic Forces, "Fist Bump". They also announced a cross promotion with Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone to be held in six different locations in Japan from 7 October 2017 to 5 November 2017. Attendees of the events received Sonic Forces posters and Project DIVA Future Tone badges.[44][83] Those pre-ordering the game would also receive a costume of Shadow the Hedgehog for the Avatar.[82]

On 12 October 2017, Sega released the first issue in the Sonic Forces digital comic series, a four-issue digital comic publication featuring stories that serve as prequels to the game's events. The fourth and final issue was released on November 7, 2017, the day Sonic Forces launched.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic (XONE) 62/100[84]
(PC) 58/100[85]
(PS4) 57/100[86]
(NS) 57/100[87]
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 35/40[88]
Game Informer 6.5/10 (XONE)[89]
GamesRadar 2.5/5[90]
IGN 6.9/10[91]
Polygon 5/10[92]
GameSpew 40%[93]

Pre-release

The International Business Times praised Sega's approach of announcing and releasing the duo of Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania in the same year, stating that catering to the new fans with Forces while catering to the old-school fans with Mania could help repair the series's poor reputation with more recent releases, and in turn lead to a "Sonic Renaissance" era.[94]

Reception following the game's showing at the E3 2017 had been mixed to favorable. Heather Alexandra from Kotaku praised the game's three gameplay styles and the Egg Dragoon boss battle, though she felt that the platforming side of it was in need of some tweaking.[56] James Galizio from TechRaptor also praised the Egg Dragoon battle, calling it a "very interesting Boss Battle", but remarked that there were some slow-downs in the demo for the Nintendo Switch's handheld mode.[95] Ed McGlone from Twinfinite found the Avatar's gameplay clunky; expressing the feeling that the gravity was not so prepared in the demo, and the Avatar would instantly be pulled onto the ground after a jump. However, he found Modern Sonic's gameplay a smoother version of Sonic Generations's, with the Boosting mechanic being more refined while also praising the storyline's direction.[96] Alex Olney of NintendoLife was more critical, thinking that the demo version of the game lacked focus and direction while also calling Modern Sonic's gameplay "dry and boring", and the Avatar stages an "afterthought".[97] Sonic Forces also earned the nomination award for Peoples Choice at Gamescom 2017 by IGN. At the end, it came in at 2nd place.[98]

The Nintendo Switch's version of the demo has a couple of issues reported compared to other consoles. This includes a lower FPS, lower-quality texture, effects and models, and lowered resolutions.[99]

Post-release

Upon launch, the game received mixed reception.[85][86] Polygon gave Sonic Forces 5/10, praising the game's visuals, but criticized its repetitive boss fights and felt the game did not advance the series' design. They also took issue in the ranking system, rewarding players for completing stages in a fast manner rather than exploring the stage for collectibles.[92] The four reviewers of Famitsu were more positive, giving the game a 35/40, praising the character creation system and soundtrack.[88] Heidi Kemps, reviewing Forces for IGN, faulted elements of the game's level design, indicating that "unfair-feeling traps" recurred intermittently and that the levels were relatively short and underdeveloped. In contrast to Parish, Kemps enjoyed the "quite strong" bosses, particularly one fought "among the winding coils of a giant snake," although she wished they were more plentiful. Kemps cited the game's "goofy charm" as preventing her from being "too disappointed" by it.[91]

Kotaku's Heather Alexandra wrote that Modern Sonic's gameplay was "visually dynamic" and "the most fun", but heavily automated and shallow, whereas Classic Sonic delivered a solid but unremarkable platforming experience that compared unfavorably to the more inventive Sonic Mania. Alexandra panned the Avatar stages as "disjointed and confused" due to a lack of flow and an excessive reliance on trial and error. Overall, she described Forces as fun despite a lack of polish and complimented its "infectious energy and excitement".[100] Game Informer's Brian Shea similarly regarded the game as a "fun adventure" and considered its controls and level design to be the best of any 3D Sonic entry, but concluded: "3D Sonic games still aren't to where they should be after such a long time of iteration and experimentation". She called Classic Sonic the worst of the three playable characters due to poor physics that failed to emulate those of the original 2D Sonic games.[89]

John Linneman of Eurogamer found that Forces was well-optimized for PlayStation 4, with no noticeable improvement when played on a PlayStation 4 Pro, whereas the Xbox One version was "slightly more responsive" but marred by screen tearing and inferior resolution. He felt that playing on Xbox One X provided the best overall experience, albeit with some "unwelcome inconsistency" caused by occasional changes in resolution, but that the Switch version had worse technical performance than Sonic Lost World on Wii U, which featured graphics of similar quality running at twice the framerate.[3] The Windows version received criticism for problems related to its uneven performance and frequent crashes; Sega released a patch on launch day that fixed some of the problems.[101]

Sales

The game debuted in the UK all-formats chart in 5th place.[102] Sega stated in a financial report in February 2018 that the game “performed strongly”.[103]

Update history

  • Version 1.0.1 (7 November 2017): A patch was announced on 1 November 2017 that various updates would be going live on the game's launch day.[104] It added support for the following:[105]
    • Addition of Episode Shadow
    • Transformation into Super Sonic
    • New Avatar outfits
    • Improved main menu controls
    • Adjusted game balance for certain fights and stages
    • Fixed player character reaction when taking damage.
    • Adjusted some skill abilities
    • Test fixes
    • Minor bug fixes

Trivia

  • This is one of the first games to be announced for the Nintendo Switch, as well as the second third-party title announced for the system.
  • This is the first 3D Sonic title released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch.
  • An analysis between the console versions of Sonic Forces has noted the following differences:[3]
    • The PlayStation 4 version is rendered in 1080p/60FPS with no notable improvements on the PlayStation 4 Pro but if the player puts the system in rest mode and returns to it over a period of time, degraded performance can be seen.
    • The Xbox One version is rendered in 720p/60FPS on the original Xbox One and Xbox One S models and due to an adaptive v-sync system, temporary screen-tearing has been noted. When played on an Xbox One X, this game version is rendered in 1080p/60FPS and 1800p/60FPS on Xbox One X depending on the stage being played.
    • The Nintendo Switch version is rendered in 720p/30FPS and has reduced texture quality, simpler lighting and pared back geometry detail compared with its more powerful counterparts.
  • This is the first Sonic title to be released in China since a compilation, titled Sonic Collectors Edition, of four games, including Sonic R, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic & Knuckles Collection and Sonic 3D Blast, which was released in 2001 by now-defunct Matrix Interactive in China and following a long game console ban imposed in the country (which was lifted in 2015).
    • This is also the first Sonic title with official Russian and Chinese (both simplified and traditional) translations.
  • This is the first main Sonic title to be co-developed by Hardlight, which previously developed mobile games.
  • This is the second Sonic title to run at 4K resolution (Xbox One only), after Sonic Mania.
  • The titles of numerous trophies are references to past Sonic media.
  • This is the first Sonic title since Sonic Colors to have a main vocal theme song.
  • This is the first Sonic title since Sonic Generations to feature vocal themes on stages, and the first game since Sonic and the Black Knight to feature vocal themes for characters.
  • Like in Sonic Adventure 2, each playable character has a unique genre for their stages' music, provided by Tomoya Ohtani.[106]
  • This, along with Sonic Rivals 2 are so far the only existing United States cover art of a Sonic the Hedgehog series video game to not depict Sonic with either a smiling or neutral expression on the box artwork (excluding international releases).
  • This is the first Sonic title to feature the Red Wisp, Ivory Wisp, and Violet Wisp on home consoles.
  • This is the first 3D Sonic title with the Boost mechanic to feature playable characters who are not a version of Sonic (Sonic the Werehog and Classic Sonic in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, respectively).
  • This the first main title to feature Shadow the Hedgehog as a playable character (albeit in a DLC) since Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
    • Additionally, this game marks the first time in the main series that a character other than Sonic uses a Wisp power-up, that being Shadow using the White Wisp for his boost.
  • This is the first main Sonic game where Colleen Villard voices Tails (who also currently voices the character in the Sonic Boom series).
  • In Japan, this is the first main Sonic game to have Kotaro Nakamura voice Eggman after the passing of Chikao Ōtsuka, his previous Japanese voice actor.
  • Upon the game's release, dataminers found a working Super Sonic and t-shirts for the Avatar that star the infamous "Sanic" meme image imprinted on them. This was later revealed to be DLC for the game.
    • The official Sonic social media had actually teased the “Sanic” design several months before the game's release with a [parody game trailer ].
  • This is one of the few main Sonic games in which the Chaos Emeralds do not play an important role in the storyline. The Emeralds only appear when the Sonics turn into Super Sonic.
  • This is the seventh game in the franchise overall (and sixth in the main series) to receive an E10+ Rating by the ESRB.
  • This is the fourth main game in the franchise overall to have all four hedgehog main characters presented (Sonic, Amy, Shadow and Silver), the other games were Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Sonic Rivals, and Sonic Generations.
  • Cream the Rabbit, Cheese, and Blaze the Cat are the only characters from Sonic Generations to not appear in this game, while they alongside Big the Cat are the only side characters from the DS version of Sonic Colors to not appear in this game.
  • Originally players were not going to be able to pick up dropped rings and the feature was to be the special ability for the Hedgehog Avatar. However, a Day 1 patch changed the feature and as such, players can pick up dropped rings. The Hedgehog Avatar's ability was changed to having dropped rings remain longer after taking damage.
  • This is the first mainstream Sonic game and first game since Sonic and the Black Knight to include unlimited lives.
  • The cutscenes in "Episode Shadow" do not become available in the Theater after completing the episode.
  • This is the first time that Super Sonic is added to a game as DLC.
  • Sonic's death sound effects and the impatient falling animation where he looks at the camera are reused from Sonic Lost World.
  • Stage bosses in this game (such as Metal Sonic or Infinite) are unusually bigger when battling them.
  • This is the first mainstream Sonic game since Sonic Rush Adventure to use anthropomorphic animals as civilians, rather than humans.
  • This is the first Sonic mainstream title to include something other than a Capsule or Goal Ring as the end stage objective.

Videos

Project Sonic 2017 Debut Trailer

Project Sonic 2017 Debut Trailer

Sonic Forces - Reveal Trailer

Sonic Forces - Reveal Trailer

Sonic Forces - First Classic Sonic Gameplay! (Nintendo Direct Overview)

Sonic Forces - First Classic Sonic Gameplay! (Nintendo Direct Overview)

Sonic Forces Custom Hero Trailer-0

Sonic Forces Custom Hero Trailer-0

Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania Developer Interview & Gameplay

Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania Developer Interview & Gameplay

Sonic Forces - E3 Trailer

Sonic Forces - E3 Trailer

Sonic Forces - Enter Infinite

Sonic Forces - Enter Infinite

レジスタンス軍からの緊急通信

レジスタンス軍からの緊急通信

Sonic Forces - Story Trailer

Sonic Forces - Story Trailer

Dr

Dr.エッグマンの降伏勧告

Behind the Scenes- Sonic Forces Orchestra Theme

Behind the Scenes- Sonic Forces Orchestra Theme

『ソニックフォース』ゲーム紹介映像

『ソニックフォース』ゲーム紹介映像

Sonic Forces Japanese Commercial 『ソニックフォース』

Sonic Forces Japanese Commercial 『ソニックフォース』

Sonic Forces - Launch Trailer

Sonic Forces - Launch Trailer


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 SSF1991 (12 April 2017). Famitsu Has Released New Information On Sonic Mania & Forces, Iizuka Interview. Retrieved on 12 April 2017.
  2. Tom Warren (20 August 2017). Here’s every game enhanced for Xbox One X. Retrieved on 21 August 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 John Linneman (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces focuses on PS4 with clear issues on other systems. Eurogamer.net. Retrieved on 9 November 2017.
  4. McFerran, Damien (9 October 2017). Sega confirms Sonic Forces is 720p 30fps on Nintendo Switch. Retrieved on 9 October 2017.
  5. Shun Nakamura is the producer of Sonic Forces (16 March 2017). Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
  6. Shun Nakamura on Twitter (Japanese) (11 August 2017). Retrieved on 11 August 2017. “Shun Nakamura: 今回、ストーリーは、日本でストーリー要素や流れを作り、全体をしっかり書き上げてから、アメリカにて、セリフや間をリライトしてます。日本版は、更にそこからリライト。時間がかかり、イベント班には多大な迷惑を...。”
  7. Warren Graff on Twitter. Twitter (16 April 2017). Retrieved on 17 May 2017.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 SSF1991 (16 March 2017). Sonic SXSW 2017: Vocal Theme Revealed For Sonic Forces, Tomoya Ohtani Is Sound Director, Release Still 2017. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
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External links

Sonic Forces

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Sonic the Hedgehog console main series games