Sonic Forces (ソニックフォース Sonikku Fōsu?, lit. "Sonic Force") is an upcoming platform video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It is scheduled to be released during Q4 2017 for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Sonic Forces follows Sonic the Hedgehog as he joins a resistance force against Dr. Eggman, who has taken over the world with the help of his army, henchmen and a mysterious new villain known as Infinite.
The game will mark 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). In addition, Sonic Forces also introduces a third gameplay mode featuring the "Avatar", the player's own created character. The game serves, along with Sonic Mania, as a “continuation” of Sonic’s 25th anniversary.
Sonic Forces has been in development since 2013, around the release of Sonic Lost World. The title was first mentioned at the Tokyo Joypolis Sonic 25th party on 25 June 2016 under the name "Project Sonic 2017". The subtitle "Forces" were chosen because of the themes of “power” and “army”, with two strong forces (Sonic and co. versus Eggman) facing off one another in the game. 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. The game will be developed by Sonic Team, the same team that had previously developed Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, and will be headed by Sonic series veteran Takashi Iizuka. The presence of Classic and Modern Sonic led some journalists to believe it was a sequel to Sonic Generations, but Iizuka confirmed that it was not a sequel, but a new, stand-alone title. The game will be released for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in late 2017.
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.
SXSW 2017 announced they would be hosting a second Sonic panel for this year’s event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces. 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". 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". 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". 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. At E3 2017, on 13 June 2017, Shadow the Hedgehog, Metal Sonic, Zavok and Chaos were confirmed to return to Sonic Forces as henchmen to Dr. Eggman under the leadership of a new and mysterious villain called Infinite. Soon after, Chao were stated not to be featured in the game, though they do make cameos as gear decorative gear for the Avatar.
Sonic Forces has the primary themes of "forces", "power", and "teamwork". This time around, the unthinkable has happened: Sonic the Hedgehog has failed and Dr. Eggman has won. While Sonic was absent, Dr. Eggman has managed to conquer 99% of the world with his army, thanks to a new power. Joining Eggman's group of evil henchmen in his agendas are Shadow, Metal Sonic, Zavok and Chaos who are ready to create more next-level panic and disorder. Also joining Eggman's side at the spear tip of his army is a mysterious and powerful new enemy known as Infinite. With Eggman out to crush any opposition, multiple forces are now embroiled in conflict for the control of the planet.
As the Eggman Empire's armies lay waste to entire cities, Sonic joins up with the “Resistance” members opposing Eggman. Classic Sonic, Sonic's counterpart from another dimension, appears soon after, having been brought to Sonic's dimension by the same power Eggman used to conquer the world. Now, with the aid of his friends, a resistance rookie, and Classic Sonic, Sonic embarks on a mission to save the world and end the evil reign of the diabolical doctor and his forces.
Sonic Forces includes three playable characters. Akin to Sonic Adventure 2, the story will be told from the perspective of each of these three characters as the player plays each one of them during the storyline, and when it all is put together it will tell the overarching story. 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 afterwards). Other main characters will make non-playable appearances in supporting roles, offering support and advice to Sonic via radio communication.
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. The Avatar is created from the base of seven animal species, whose following attributes can be customized: upper headgear, middle headgear, lower headgear, gloves, shoes, accessories, bodysuit, and skin color. While playing through the game, one can unlock hundreds of accessories and costuming options for the Avatar. Depending on what animal species the Avatar is, they will gain a unique ability to aid in gameplay:
- Bear: Blows away enemies with a Homing Attack
- Bird: Flies high with Double Jump abilities
- Cat: Keeps one Ring after being hit
- Dog: Restarts with five Rings after the player dies
- Hedgehog: Collects Rings when getting damaged
- Rabbit: Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
- Wolf: Automatically draws in Rings when near them
The overall gameplay is relatively unchanged from previous entries in the franchise; players run at high speeds through levels filled with gimmicks, enemy robots and other hazards on the way to the goal. Scattered around levels are Rings that serve as a form of health: rings protect players when they take damage, though they will lose their rings upon being hit. Unlike most other games in the franchise, lost Rings cannot be recollected. The Wisp power-ups, which give players temporary special powers, from earlier games will also reappear.
The game will feature three different styles of gameplay. Two of these include the gameplay styles of Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic respectively as seen in Sonic Generations, with both of them having different sets of abilities. Some stages involve simply reaching the goal, while others will require a stage to be beaten under a time limit. Modern Sonic's stages are based around three-dimensional movement like that of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, with Modern Sonic having his standard Spin Jump, Double Jump, Jump Dash, Homing Attack, Quick Step and Stomp maneuvers, along with a reworked Air Boost and Boost. Classic Sonic's stages meanwhile, focuses on 2.5D side-scrolling stages reminiscent of the Sega Mega Drive-era of games, except this time they will feature a “twist”, and Classic Sonic will have maneuvers like the signature Spin Dash and the new Drop Dash from Sonic Mania. There is also a Rank system installed in the game that is given at each end of the level based on the player's performance in the said level.
The third gameplay style features the Avatar. It has a similar gameplay style to Modern Sonic, but utilizes a grappling hook as a means of platforming. The Avatar also makes use of new unique gadgets called Wispons, a weapon that harnesses Color Powers in new ways, that can be used for both attacking and traversal. Before a level, the player can choose different Wispons to customize how the Avatar controls, thereby allowing access to different parts of the levels.
- Red Star Ring
- Wisp Capsule
Gimmicks and obstacles
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Amy Rose
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Dr. Eggman
- Metal Sonic
- Infinite (First appearance)
- Chao (Cameo)
- Death Egg Robot sentinels (First appearance)
The game's soundtrack is being composed by Sonic series sound director, Tomoya Ohtani, and composer, Naofumi Hataya. The game's theme song, "Fist Bump", features lyrics written and performed by Douglas Robb, vocalist of the American rock band Hoobastank.
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.
Reception following the game's showing at the E3 2017 was favorable. Heather Alexandra from Kotaku praised the game's three gameplays and the Egg Dragoon boss battle, though he felt that the platforming side of it was in need of some tweaking. 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. 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, with the Boosting mechanic being more refined while also praising the storyline's direction. Alex Olney of NintendoLife was more critical, thinking that the preview 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".
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.
- 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 will be the first 3D Sonic title to be released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Switch.
- This is the first Sonic title to feature the Red Wisp and Ivory Wisp on the main console.
- This is the first game since Sonic Generations to feature vocal themes on stages, and the first game since Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity to feature vocal themes for characters.
- Similarly to Sonic Adventure 2, each playable character has a unique genre for their stages' music.
- This will be the first Sonic title released in China since a compilation of four games including Sonic R, Sonic CD, Sonic & Knuckles Collection and Sonic 3D Blast, which released in 2001 by now-defunt Matrix Interactive in China.
- Some aspects of this game's story are similar to the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series made by DiC Entertainment, such as Eggman having conquered the world and a resistance (like the Freedom Fighters) fighting against him.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 SSF1991 (12 April 2017). Famitsu Has Released New Information On Sonic Mania & Forces, Iizuka Interview. Retrieved on 12 April 2017.
- ↑ Shun Nakamura is the producer of Sonic Forces (16 March 2017). Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ Warren Graff on Twitter. Twitter (16 April 2017). Retrieved on 17 May 2017.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 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.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Tomoya Ohtani on Twitter. Twitter (14 June 2017). Retrieved on 14 June 2017.
- ↑ SSF1991 (17 March 2017). SXSW Sonic 2017: Sonic Forces Gameplay Shown, Hedgehog Engine 2 Confirmed. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 SSF1991 (16 March 2017). SXSW Sonic 2017: Project Sonic 2017 Is Officially Called “Sonic Forces”. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 SSF1991 (23 July 2016). Sonic 25th Party: Iizuka: Sonic 2017 Project Is “Not A Sequel, A Completely New Experience”. TSSZ News. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ Iizuka Confirms Sonic 25th San Diego Party Livestream + “New Sonic Project” Info, & Fire & Ice/M&S Being Only 2016 Titles. TSSZ News (23 July 2016). Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ McWhertor, Michael (23 July 2016). 'Project Sonic' coming to Nintendo NX, PS4, Xbox One and PC in 2017. Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ Duwell, Ron (26 July 2016). SEGA confirms two new Sonic games, a retro-throwback and a Sonic Generations sequel. TechnoBuffalo. TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ Nunneley, Stephany (23 July 2016). Project Sonic out holiday 2017 for PC, NX, PS4, Xbox One – watch the reveal trailer here. VG247. VG247. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ Whitehead, Thomas (23 July 2016). Project Sonic 2017 Confirmed for Nintendo NX Release. Nintendo Life. Gamer Network.
- ↑ Osborn, Alex (25 June 2016). Sonic Team's New Project Releasing in 2017. IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ Fahey, Mike (23 July 2016). And This Is Basically Sonic Generations 2. Kotaku. Univision Communications. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ Plessas, Nick (25 July 2016). Sonic the Hedgehog making a triumphant return to 3D—this time for real. Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media. Retrieved on 17 September 2016.
- ↑ SEGA: “Project 2017 Planned To Include Classic 2D & Modern 3D Stages, In Addition To That There Will Be New Component”. TSSZNEWS. SSF1991 (28 October 2016). Retrieved on 28 October 2016.
- ↑ SEGA: “We Have Plans To Introduce A Completely New Character In Sonic Project 2017”. TSSZNEWS. SSF1991 (28 October 2016). Retrieved on 28 October 2016.
- ↑ Brad (13 February 2017). SONIC MANIA, PROJECT 2017 REVEALS COMING TO SXSW 2017. Sonic Stadium.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 New Project Sonic 2017 information confirms villain, multiplayer status and genre. Sega Bits. Nintendo Dream Magazine (14 February 2017).
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 SSF1991 (16 March 2017). SXSW Sonic 2017: Sonic Forces Gameplay Shown, Hedgehog Engine 2 Confirmed. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Sonic Forces: Custom Hero Trailer. YouTube. Sega (16 May 2017). Retrieved on 16 May 2017.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 Sonic Forces - E3 Trailer. YouTube. Sega (13 June 2017). Retrieved on 13 June 2017.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 SEGA® Releases New Sonic Forces™ Trailer and Key Art. Gamasutra (13 June 2017). Retrieved on 14 June 2017.
- ↑ rawmeatcowboy (15 June 2017). Chao will not be featured in Sonic Forces. GoNintendo. Retrieved on 16 June 2017.
- ↑ SSF1991 (20 March 2017). Aaron Webber Interviewed Jun Senoue & Tomoya Ohtani. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 22 March 2017.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 Sonic SXSW Panel 2017! (Sonic Forces & Sonic Mania!). YouTube. Tails' Channel (16 March 2017). Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 SSF1991 (18 March 2017). Shun Nakamura On Sonic Forces Story: “The World Was Conquered By Eggman, So What Was Sonic Doing ‘Till Then?”. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 19 March 2017.
- ↑ 『ソニックフォース』ストーリー紹介ムービー (Japanese). YouTube. Sega (22 June 2017). Retrieved on 27 June 2017.
- ↑ Scibetta, Nicholas (16 June 2017). Interview: Takashi Iizuka and Shun Nakamura on the state of Sonic in 2017. Gamecrate. Retrieved on 19 June 2017.
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Shea, Brian (17 March 2017). A Longer Look At Modern Sonic. Game Informer. Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ 32.00 32.01 32.02 32.03 32.04 32.05 32.06 32.07 32.08 32.09 32.10 32.11 Dornbush, Jonathon (16 May 2017). Sonic Forces Character Creation Feature Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 17 May 2017.
- ↑ E3 2017: IGN Sonic Forces Interview With Aaron Webber, New Gameplay. SSF1991. TSSZ News (12 June 2017). Retrieved on 13 June 2017.
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Alexandra, Heather (June 14, 2017). Sonic Forces Impressions: Great When It Sticks To Its Roots. Heather Alexandra. Kotaku. Retrieved on June 16, 2017.
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 Sonic Forces - First Modern Sonic Gameplay. YouTube. Sega (17 March 2017). Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ Sonic Forces results screen!. Sonic Paradox News (12 June 2017). Retrieved on 13 June 2017.
- ↑ Sonic Official - 14 - Hero Side Episode. YouTube. Sega (25 March 2017). Retrieved on 26 March 2017.
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 E3 on Twitch: Show Live (1PM). Twitch. E3 2017 (12 June 2017). Retrieved on 12 June 2017.
- ↑ Dornbush, Jonathon (17 March 2017). Sonic Forces Gameplay Eyes-On Impressions. IGN. Retrieved on 18 March 2017.
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Nick Robinson on Twitter. Twitter (12 April 2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Nick Robinson: some characters i noticed during my Sonic Forces demo last month: • Silver the Hedgehog • Vector the Crocodile • Charmy Bee • Espio”
- ↑ http://www.nintendo.co.uk/News/2017/June/Interview-Sonic-Team-talks-Sonic-Forces-for-Nintendo-Switch-1238419.html
- ↑ Frank, Allegra (6 July 2017). Sonic Forces recruits Hoobastank for its perfectly on-brand theme song. Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved on 6 July 2017.
- ↑ Skipper, Ben (July 25, 2016). Sega announces retro Sonic Mania and post-apocalyptic Project Sonic for 2017. International Business Times. IBT Media. Retrieved on September 17, 2016.
- ↑ Galizio, James (June 14, 2017). E3 2017 – Sonic Forces Hands On Impressions. Kotaku. Retrieved on June 16, 2017.
- ↑ McGlone, Ed (June 14, 2017). Sonic Forces Embraces Modern Characters Like Shadow and Will Be Fuel for Fanfics. twinfinite. Retrieved on June 16, 2017.
- ↑ Olney, Alex (July 5, 2017). First Impressions: Running Scared from Sonic Forces. NintendoLife. Retrieved on July 6, 2017.
- ↑ Peal, Alexander (June 16, 2017). Sonic Forces on Nintendo Switch E3 Impressions. sonicstadium.org. Retrieved on June 27, 2017.
- Official website (Japanese)