Sonic Frontiers teases an ‘open-zone’ redemption for the franchise’s 3D legacy

Dread it. Run from it. But Sonic Team still is making another 3D Sonic game: Sonic Frontiers, which was formally announced with an early preview at the 2021 Game Awards.

Originally teased earlier in 2021 as part of Sega’s 30th anniversary celebration for the Sonic franchise, Sonic Frontiers is the first new Sonic game since the release of the much-maligned Sonic Forces in 2017 (which itself had been announced to celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary).

Sega didn’t show a real look at gameplay for Sonic Frontiers, which isn’t set to arrive until holidays 2022, but studio is promising “high velocity open-zone freedom,” which could indicate levels with more room to explore. The trailer definitely appears to be going for a Breath of the Wild style vibe, with shots of Sonic looking out over vast landscapes, but we’ll have to wait for a proper gameplay reveal to see how big the scope of Sonic Frontiers actually is.

Yes, this is a Sonic Frontiers screenshot, not Breath of the Wild 2
Image: Sega

And unlike the extremely popular Sonic Mania, which was a vibrant pixelated 2D title in the same vein as the original Sega Genesis games, Sonic Frontiers will mark Sonic Team’s latest attempt at revitalizing the modern era of the franchise, which has struggled to find a hit. Sega did recently release a remaster of Sonic Colors earlier this year, considered to be one of the better modern Sonic games, so hopefully Sonic Frontiers will look to build on that success instead of reverting back to the lows of Forces or the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic Frontiers is set to be released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S devices during the 2022 holiday season.

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