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Sonic Frontiers gameplay demo shows familiar elements in a new open-world setting

The blue blur learned some new tricks.
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Sonic fans have been waiting to see more of Frontiers ever since the first teaser. We saw a brief gameplay clip that hinted at the setting and some new moves for the world’s fastest hedgehog, but now we’ve been treated to a proper demo. The familiar bits of Sonic are being repurposed for a larger, open-world style of gameplay.

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The gameplay demo (via IGN) begins with Sonic overlooking a large region from the top of a cliff. The shot really sells the scale of the zone. As he takes off, we see classic pieces of the environment like springs, bumpers, launchers, and rails — all decked out with rings of course. Sonic quickly picks up a new item, a heart. There are several of these throughout the zone, given as a reward for running or platforming segments, akin to Super Mario Odyssey’s Power Moons.

New puzzle designs can also be seen. In one instance, Sonic rotates three statues to face the same direction, opening a massive door that leads into another open-world section. Later, he’s tasked with crossing a series of panels without stepping on the same one twice. Completing this sends a radar pulse out into the level, pinging a hidden collectible. We saw hints of this in the previous short clip, where Sonic ran inside a hamster wheel-like device that also sent a scan into the environment. The same wheel appears at the end of this new demo too.

The previous shorter clip showed more combat, as Sonic took on new enemies, including a massive walking tower. Between the two videos, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of how Sonic Frontiers plays. Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka previously said that the game would bring Sonic “to the next level” with “new combat styles,” and those words are sounding truer and truer with each new bit of gameplay we see.

At the moment, Sonic Frontiers has no official release date, but a PlayStation database leak from late last year claimed it would be coming on November 15. At the very least, we know which platforms the game is coming to: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.