Sonic Team and Sega dropped a fresh crop of new details about the upcoming open-world game Sonic Frontiers, including its gameplay mechanics, systems, enemies, and maps. Some tragically blurry screenshots were also included, and they showcase areas of the game that we didn’t get to see in the original reveal trailer.
In addition to the expansive grassy fields and oddly placed pipes of the gameplay trailer, we now know Sonic will race through modern urban settings and a Cyber Space level left behind by an ancient civilization. Each biome will feature unique traversal features, and the eponymous hedgehog will have to visit certain areas to hunt for Vault Keys in order to progress through Sonic Frontiers’ expansive open world. The gameplay and world were showcased in more detail during today’s Nintendo Direct Mini.
Interestingly, Sonic’s high-speed movement through the world will also be used to interact with it and unveil new areas. This happens through the Cyloop ability, which leaves a trailer light behind the players as they zip around. Surrounding certain parts of the map with Cyloop light can reveal hidden features and details, and surrounding items can unlock their effects. Cyloop also interacts with enemies.
Accessibility seems to be center stage in Sonic Frontiers’ design, as a number of systems can be automated or otherwise simplified so players can enjoy them more easily. For example, the battle system normally includes dashing, parrying, and combo attacks; however, players who don’t want to stress over precision and timing can set these moves to be executable with the push of a single button. Similarly, players can turn on Action Style controls in the settings, which would make platforming slightly easier and help new Sonic Frontiers discover the game’s world without falling off stuff every 20 seconds.
Sonic Frontiers is slated for a 2022 holiday season release window and will be available on current and last-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch, and on PC through Steam.