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— 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 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 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 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' 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. Hedgehog Engine 2.0 allowed them to create realistic and detailed worlds which was 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 billboards 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 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.[citation needed]

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.[25][26][27] The presence of Classic and Modern Sonic led some journalists to believe it was a sequel to Sonic Generations,[28] 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.[29]

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.[30][31]

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.[32] 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".[33] 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".[34] 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.[35] 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.[36][37] Soon after, Chao were stated not to be featured in the game, though they do make cameos as decorative gear for the Avatar.[38]

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.[39] 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.[40][41][42] 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.[43] Also, on 19 September 2017, a DLC named "Episode Shadow" featuring Shadow as a playable character was announced.[44][45]

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

Plot

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.

Sonic Forces has the primary themes of "forces", "power", and "teamwork".[46] Making yet another gab for global domination, Dr. Eggman launches a large scale offensive on an urban center with his Death Egg Robot sentinels and Egg Pawns. As things gets desperate for the survivors and all hope seems lost, Sonic the Hedgehog appears and makes short work of the remaining forces. However, Dr. Eggman has a surprise up his sleeve.[47]

Sonic soon finds himself face to face with a troop of much tougher enemies[47] which consist of none other than Shadow, Metal Sonic, Zavok, and Chaos, who are now serving as Eggman's henchmen once more and are ready to create more next-level panic and disorder.[37] Among them is also a newcomer: an enigmatic and powerful being named Infinite, who has provided Eggman with a new power and now serves as his right-hand man.[48] Wielding a mysterious power, Infinite proves too much for Sonic, who is defeated and captured by the unknown assailant.[47] After that, Sonic disappears into thin air, his present status unknown, with his best friend Tails losing contact with him.[49][47]

With Infinite's power and no Sonic to oppose him, Dr. Eggman manages to conquer 99% of the planet in a matter of a few short months, resulting in his army controlling that much of the world.[1][47] Acting on Eggman's behalf, Shadow, Metal Sonic, Chaos and Zavok easily conquer one territory after another.[48] Meanwhile, Infinite has become the leader of Eggman's entire army.[50] With Eggman out to crush the remaining opposition, multiple forces are now embroiled in conflict for the control of the planet.[51]

Sonic’s disappearance was shocking news to everyone. Sonic’s friends, who managed to escape Eggman’s invasion, decide to fight back by forming the rag-tag “Resistance” army, with Knuckles the Echidna as the commander.[49]

Six months after Sonic's disappearance, Knuckles explains that he has discovered Sonic is being held prisoner in Eggman's newly built Death Egg space station. The Rookie and the Resistance manage to steal a shuttle, break into the Death Egg, and rescue Sonic. Meanwhile, Tails is attacked by Chaos and is saved by Classic Sonic, who is brought forth by the wormhole he was sucked into at the end of Sonic Mania. Tails theorizes that Infinite's strange powers are affecting other dimensions, which may have pulled Classic Sonic into their world. Classic Sonic and Tails then spy on Eggman, who reveals that the source of Infinite's power comes from a device called the Phantom Ruby, and that he has a plan to completely destroy the Resistance which will take effect in three days.

Classic Sonic and Tails manage to link up with the Resistance and relay what they learned. Sonic then encounters Shadow, who reveals that the Shadow following Eggman is a fake virtual reality copy created by Infinite, as are the other villains serving him. Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Rookie continue to fight to liberate the world from Eggman's rule, but find they are still no match for Infinite's powers. Tails infiltrates Eggman's computer network and finds the Phantom Ruby's weakness: it is directly powered by the Death Egg's core, and without a power source it is useless. While the Rookie stages a diversion, Sonic and Classic Sonic destroy the Death Egg. Believing they have the upper hand, the Resistance attacks Eggman's capital Metropolis, but it is revealed to be a trap as Eggman unveils his plan.

With a hidden backup power source under Metropolis, Eggman has Infinite create a massive sun over the planet so that it will crash down and destroy the entire Resistance in one fell swoop. Thinking fast, the Rookie uses a prototype Phantom Ruby they had recovered to dispel the virtual sun, saving everybody. Sonic and the Rookie then battle Infinite and defeat him for good. However, Eggman unveils yet another backup plan, moving the Phantom Ruby into one of his Death Egg Robots and fighting Sonic and his friends directly. Working together, Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Rookie destroy Eggman's robot and defeat him.

Light of Hope

The title screen of Sonic Forces after completing the game.

With Eggman defeated and the Phantom Ruby destroyed, Classic Sonic returns to his own dimension. Sonic and his friends decide to rebuild the world and the Resistance disbands. Sonic and the Rookie then part ways, each heading off to a new adventure.

Gameplay

Sonic Forces includes three playable characters and a fourth optional character via DLC. Akin to Sonic Adventure 2, the story will be told from the perspective of each of the characters throughout the game, and when it all is put together it will tell the overarching story.[52] 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). Other main characters will make non-playable appearances, offering support and advice to the player via radio communication.[53]

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.[54] The Avatar is created from the base of seven animal species, and possess several attributes that can be customized.[35][54] However attributes like species, gender, head shape, eye shape and voice can only be set once. While playing through the game, one can unlock hundreds of accessories and costuming options for the Avatar.[54][55] Depending on what animal species the Avatar is, they will gain a unique ability to aid in gameplay:

  • Bear: Blows away enemies with a Wire Attack[54]
  • Bird: Flies high with Double Jump abilities[54]
  • Cat: Keeps one Ring after being hit[54]
  • Dog: Restarts with five Rings after the player dies[54]
  • Hedgehog: [original] Collected Rings when getting damaged[54]
    • [day-one patch] Dropped rings remain longer after taking damage
  • Rabbit: Has longer invincible time after receiving damage[54]
  • Wolf: Automatically draws in Rings when near them[54]

The overall gameplay is relatively unchanged from previous Sonic entries; players run at high speeds through levels filled with gimmicks, enemy robots, and other hazards on the way to the goal. If the player takes more than 60 minutes to complete a stage, they will receive a Time Over and be returned to the stage select screen (also called the "World Map"). Scattered around levels 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 only allows players to collect up to 100 Rings. Getting hit by enemies will decrease the Ring count by twenty each time. "Hard" mode on the other hand allows players to collect up to 999 Rings, but getting hit will make them lose all their Rings.[56] The modes are explained at the beginning of the game; "Normal" mode is intended for newcomers while "Hard" mode is intended for those already familiar with Sonic gameplay. Best ranks and times in "Normal" mode aren't recorded. Taking damage without any Rings will cost the player a life. A character will also lose a life if they drown or fall into a bottomless pit. Losing a life makes the player start from the last Star Post they passed in an stage or from the beginning of the stage if they have not passed any Star Posts. However, Nakamura has stated that there are no Game Overs.[57] Wisps, which give players temporary special powers, from earlier games also return.[58][8] The game also incorporates a point system in the form of "Stage Scores" for each stage, which can be increased by collecting Rings and item, attacking enemies, and destroying obstacles.

The game features four different gameplay styles. Two of these include those of Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic respectively as seen in Sonic Generations, with both of them having different sets of abilities.[34] 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.[8][58] 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”.[1] Classic Sonic will also have maneuvers like the signature Spin Dash and the 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 said level.[59]

The third gameplay style features the Avatar. Its style is similar to Modern Sonic's, but utilizes a grappling hook as a means of platforming.[54] The Avatar also makes use of new unique gadgets called Wispons for both attacking enemies and traversal.[54] Depending on the Wispon equipped, Avatars can harness Color Powers in new ways by collecting a corresponding Wisp within each stage; e.g. if the Avatar is equipped with the Burst Wispon, they can activate Red Burst abilities. Before a level, the player can choose different Wispons to customize how the Avatar controls, thereby allowing access to different parts of the levels.[60] Like accessories, players can unlock new Wispons as they progress. Sonic Forces also has network synchronization, allowing players from around the world to "rent" other players' Avatars and their equipped Wispon. These "Rental Avatars" can be chosen on the World Map and can be freely switched out with the player's own Avatar during gameplay.

The fourth gameplay features a tag team mechanic (akin to that in Sonic Heroes) that involves Modern Sonic and the Avatar. The player will wield both characters to navigate through the level, with the leader automatically switching to Sonic when boosting and the Avatar when using the Wispon. Also included is a new move called the "Double Boost",[61] which is a faster version of the Boost that is triggered when the player engages in an automatic Real-Time Interaction.

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

Misc.

Stages

Stage Location Character Image
Lost Valley Green Hill Sonic
Spaceport Chemical Plant Avatar
Ghost Town City Classic Sonic
Prison Hall Death Egg Avatar
Egg Gate Death Egg Sonic
Arsenal Pyramid Green Hill Tag Team
Luminous Forest Mystic Jungle Sonic
Green Hill Green Hill Classic Sonic
Park Avenue City Avatar
Casino Forest Mystic Jungle Classic Sonic
Aqua Road Mystic Jungle Avatar
Sunset Heights City Sonic
Capital City Metropolis Avatar
Chemical Plant Chemical Plant Classic Sonic
Red Gate Bridge City Tag Team
Guardian Rock Green Hill Avatar
Network Terminal Chemical Plant Sonic
Death Egg Death Egg Classic Sonic
Metropolitan Highway Metropolis Sonic
Null Space Metropolis Tag Team
Imperial Tower Eggman Empire Fortress Avatar
Mortar Canyon Eggman Empire Fortress Sonic
Iron Fortress Eggman Empire Fortress Classic Sonic
Final Judgement Eggman Empire Fortress Tag Team

Episode Shadow exclusive

Stage Location Character Image
Enemy Territory City Shadow
Eggman's Facility Mystic Jungle Shadow
Virtual Reality Green Hill Shadow

Secret Stages

EX Stages

Other modes

Options

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

  • Difficulty Level: Select "Normal" or "Hard" difficulty.
  • Hints: Turn the in-game Hint Rings on or off.
  • Radio: Turn the in-game radio communication during the stages on or 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.

Theater

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

Downloadable content

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.[44][69]

"Episode Shadow" explores Shadow's allegiance, the fate of Team Dark, and the origin of Infinite. The player assumes control over Shadow, who handles similarly to Modern Sonic.[70] The pack allows players to play as Shadow in three redesgined levels and over ten Modern Sonic levels.[71][44][45]

According to Shun Nakamura, Sonic Team created "Episode Shadow" to help the game appeal to fans of older games such as Sonic Adventure.[72] 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,[72][73] and Game Informer wrote that it was much more difficult than the main game.[74]

Music

The game's soundtrack is being 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] Singers Jon Underdown and Nana Hatori will contribute to the soundtrack for several pieces of background music heard in stages. It was announced at the Tokyo Games Show that there will be a Sonic Forces Hi-Res Collection featuring pieces performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.[76][77] According to Shun Nakamura, the orchestra was used to emphasize the weight in pieces such as the title theme and the world map. [78]

Achievements/Trophies

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

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. The bonus edition consists of a Sonic and Infinite-themed controller skin for the game's respective console and the "Sega/Atlus Pack DLC" which contain outfits for the Avatar. The latter of these include the following:[12]

The UK and Australian versions of the Bonus Editions come with four exclusive Art Cards.[79][80] Those preordering the game would also receive a costume of Shadow the Hedgehog for the Avatar.[81]

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.[40][41][42] 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.[69]

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.[43][82] Those preordering the game would also receive a costume of Shadow the Hedgehog for the Avatar.[81]

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.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic XONE: 62%
PS4: 59%
NS: 58%
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 35/40[83]
Game Informer 6.5/10 (XB1)[84]
IGN 6.9/10
Polygon 5/10[85]

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.[86]

Reception following the game's showing at the E3 2017 has 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.[87] 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.[88] 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".[89] Sonic Forces also earned the nomination award for Peoples Choice at Gamescom 2017 by IGN. At the end, it came in at 2nd place.[90]

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.[91]

Post-release

Upon launch, the game received mixed reception. Polygon gave Sonic Forces a mixed review of 5/10. The website praised 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 then exploring the stage for collectibles.[85] The four reviewers of Famitsu were more positive, giving the game a 35/40, praising the character creation system and soundtrack.[83] 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.

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". 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". Shea 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.

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. 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.

The game debuted in the UK all-formats chart in 5th place.

Update history

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 to be 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 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 be the first Sonic title in Chinese (in both simplified and traditional).
  • 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.
  • This game shares some similarities with Sonic Adventure 2.
  • 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 third Sonic title to feature the playable character spinning vertically when jumping on a Spring since Sonic CD.
  • 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 series 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 series Sonic game, outside of Sonic Boom series, where Colleen Villard voices Tails.
  • 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.
  • The gritty silver text seen in early trailers looks similar to the early logo for Sonic Adventure 2 from when that game was still in production.
  • This is the second time Eggman announced a three-day timetable regarding his plans as shown in the story trailer. The first game to have this was Sonic Heroes.
    • It is technically the first time Eggman himself announced a three-day timetable for his plans as well, as the one in Sonic Heroes was heavily implied to have been supplied by Neo Metal Sonic while disguised as Eggman.
  • This is the second time that one of the main villains (in this case, Infinite) disparagingly refers to Sonic as a rat with Sonic correcting him regarding his actual species. The first time was with Sonic and the Secret Rings via Erazor Djinn.
  • 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 it. This is thought to be upcoming downloadable content.
    • The official Sonic social media had actually teased this 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 Sonic turns into Super Sonic, as discovered by data miners.
  • 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 third main game in the franchise overall to have all four hedgehog main characters presented (Sonic, Amy, Shadow and Silver). The others being Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic Generations.
  • Cream the Rabbit 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.

Videos

Project Sonic 2017 Debut Trailer01:20

Project Sonic 2017 Debut Trailer

Sonic Forces - Reveal Trailer01:19

Sonic Forces - Reveal Trailer

Sonic Forces - First Classic Sonic Gameplay! (Nintendo Direct Overview)01:00

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

Sonic Forces Custom Hero Trailer-001:37

Sonic Forces Custom Hero Trailer-0

Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania Developer Interview & Gameplay07:51

Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania Developer Interview & Gameplay

Sonic Forces - E3 Trailer01:41

Sonic Forces - E3 Trailer

Sonic Forces - Enter Infinite01:03

Sonic Forces - Enter Infinite

レジスタンス軍からの緊急通信00:28

レジスタンス軍からの緊急通信

Sonic Forces - Story Trailer01:41

Sonic Forces - Story Trailer

Dr01:18

Dr.エッグマンの降伏勧告

Behind the Scenes- Sonic Forces Orchestra Theme02:14

Behind the Scenes- Sonic Forces Orchestra Theme

『ソニックフォース』ゲーム紹介映像03:12

『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』00:28

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

Sonic Forces - Launch Trailer02:01

Sonic Forces - Launch Trailer


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External links

Sonic Forces

Main article | Gallery
Sonic the Hedgehog console main series games