Sonic Forces – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer, Arcade
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: SEGA
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: Xbox One

Sonic Forces – Review

Site Score
7.3
Good: Atmosphere, Mechanics
Bad: Hit detection, Short
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

SEGA hasn’t had the most spotless record when it comes to their 3D iterations of the Sonic series. These games were often heavily criticized, and were pretty much always very poor attempts of trying something new with a series that was otherwise seen as great, and to a certain extent, perfect as it was. Nonetheless, during the Dreamcast era, the first 3D games were enjoyable and this caused SEGA to create many crap games over the years, only to go back to their roots by creating games that leaned against the 2D era, which were received a lot better. Sonic Forces tries to combine 3D aspects, with said old school aspects, in a game that throws a few different controllable characters at you, including your own unique avatar. We were curious if the game was a force to be reckoned with.

Sonic Forces Banner

Story

Just like every Sonic story, or pretty much all of them, Doctor Eggman is at it again, but it seems that this time he might have the upper hand. Eggman has recruited Shadow, Zavok, Chaos, Metal Sonic and a new unknown enemy to take down Sonic, and they actually succeed in apprehending the blue hedgehog. Sonic is then imprisoned on the Death Egg, which is Eggman’s impenetrable space fortress. From here on out, Sonic is tortured for over six months, until the resistance, led by Knuckles, is able to track him down. It’s here where you come into play, a nameless rookie that has joined the resistance, slowly on his way to becoming a key figure in the plot that unravels in this title. From start to finish it’s all about stopping the evil doctor, who seemingly has a plan to conquer the entire world this time around.

The story in Sonic Forces is simple, yet somewhat appealing as it combines many different characters, including many of the enemies we’ve come to know over the many years that Sonic has existed. While the plot never truly thickens all that much, things stay enjoyable and there are a few twists and turns along the way before the credits start to roll.

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Graphics

Graphically Sonic Forces isn’t immediately next gen but it does look like an authentic sonic game, with a lot of colorful environments, fun characters and somewhat familiar sceneries from some of the older games. Your character fits right into the picture, no matter what gender or race you pick for it, and the many accessories and clothing options are properly embedded in the cinematics. Overall the game does look quite spiffy, albeit sometimes a bit simplistic when it comes to the amount of enemy characters thrown at you, as there is only a handful. The cinematics are comparable with the in-game graphics, and sometimes they might feel a bit empty, but again, they suit the overall Sonic picture.

Sound

The sound design of Sonic Forces is pretty much perfect. The music fits the game perfectly, ranging from very upbeat rock tunes, especially during speedy levels, to more retro music when playing with the Sonic from the other dimension, who is the equivalent of the old school Sonic, thus he only plays in 2D levels. The voice acting is decent, but it’s the music that just gets you in the mood to keep pressing on, to break records, to do things speedier and let loose your inner speedster.

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Gameplay

Sonic Forces is a bit of a hybrid between a classic platforming experience, and an arcade game. Outside of the boss battles, the game will consist out of segments in a third person view, in which you can speed around a ‘track’, whilst at other times, you’ll find yourself in a 2D perspective doing platforming in order to reach the end goal. Most levels only take around three minutes to finish, and you’ll always play with one of the Sonic characters, your own avatar or sometimes another member of the cast you can unlock after clearing a level.

For the most part the game is all about reaching the finish of a level, which can be done by speeding through it, killing or dodging the enemies you encounter, and more than once you’ll have several side-routes that will treat  you to more coins or other collectibles, but the latter is actually quite hard to find in all levels. Nonetheless, the mechanics are simple, sonic can jump on his enemies, do homing attacks or simple boost through enemy lines, while your personal avatar can also jump and do homing attacks, he has to rely on his ‘wisp’, which is pretty much a hand-weapon that comes instead of Sonic’s boost ability. As there is also a Sonic from another dimension (as seen in Sonic Generations), he has to rely on his old school moves, such as his own spin attack.

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Even though the game is fun and has a lot of replay value, it is very short nonetheless. In about two to three hours you’ll have the game completed, and perhaps even faster when you’re playing on the normal difficulty. While the game does its best to make you replay levels, by adding special missions or giving you the chance to unlock more goodies for your avatar, it’s still a tad too short, especially with the very short levels in place. Combine this with a rather poor lock-on system and a few faults in the hit detection, and it all ends up deteriorating the quality of an otherwise great Sonic game.

Conclusion

While the game may be short and has a few small issues when it comes to hit detection, Sonic Forces is a sturdy and very enjoyable Sonic title that combines fun 3D aspects with old school 2D parts. The game may be rather short, but the short levels are fun to replay in order to achieve better scores and unlock extra content for your own unique avatar. SEGA did its best to create something that evokes a sense of nostalgia, whilst adding new items to the equation.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Sonic Forces - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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