Not much was shown during the Sonic Frontiers trailer at The Game Awards this year, actually, not much is shown about Sonic Frontiers in general. According to the game’s official website, it will be an “open-zone” aka open world adventure, that features a brand new story, will be set in a new environment called Starfall Islands, and be released sometime around the holidays in 2022. We also know the writer of the story is none other than Ian Flynn, who is well known for his work on the Archie Comics ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ series. There’s not much more that we know but that’s okay, because I believe that the Sonic Team is finally acting on what makes the character tick. Sonic being open-world allows the opportunity for the character’s best representation by overcoming the limitations of previous games.
Most Sonic representations whether it’s in gaming, tv, movies, or comics always showcase him zipping through vast landscapes at breakneck speeds. These lush green open fields allow him the freedom to demonstrate his speed and devil may care attitude. As I previously wrote, Sonic feeds on this kind of action. The problem with Sonic games is we have never really been able to experience this. As a lifelong fan, it pains me to say this but I must come out and speak the truth. Part of me hates Sonic games. Especially the old ones. All you want to do is live the expression “gotta go fast” but you can’t! At every turn some sort of wall, enemy, or spike obstructs or halts your momentum. These tight barriers and hazards do more than just slow you down or take your rings, they take your freedom. This is not how Sonic would feel. More modern Sonic games have gotten close but you still feel as though your speed is limited to a racetrack full of landmines.
But low and behold the Sonic Frontiers trailer showcases these same vast landscapes that are always shown in game openings and comic book panels. Similar to the Arkham games finally making the player feel like Batman, Sonic being open-world could provide the same opportunity. Perhaps the previous generations of consoles were unable to handle the world Sonic needed to thrive, which is why an open-world Sonic was not feasible. Whatever the case, Sonic Frontiers is the best chance thus far for us to race at the speed of sound as if we were the blue hedgehog himself.