Ah, Sonic. There are few who have been treated like you. From the halcyon days of 2D speeding on the Sega Genesis to the post-Sonic ‘06 lull, few gaming mascots can boast as varied a history as the blue blur. Now he’s back, and so is Sega, to try and rewrite history to say that a 3D Sonic title can still be fun, actually, and further, it can embrace the “gotta go fast” ethos in a way that feels fresh for the most part, with a few frustrations thrown in for good measure. Well, we can’t all be perfect, can we, Mario?
This new frontier has been years in the making, with speculation running amok among the Sonic community as to whether this title would live up to the hype, or become yet another 21st-century letdown for a series that often promises so much and delivers the gaming equivalent of a fart in the wind – with some stinkers at that. Still, it’s a new era now, and as you’re about to find out, it might finally be a fresh start for the blue blur.
The reinvigoration of Sonic gameplay for Frontiers is a gas, though it does have its shortcomings. The positives are clear, the game shares the frenetic fast pace of games like Insomniac’s Spider-Man or the Tony Hawk arcade-style titles by leaning into momentum as a core tenet of experiencing the massive islands, tricky mini-boss battles, and the imposing steel structures that stab through the sky at varying angles. I spent much longer than I should have just nyooming – the proper terminology, I believe – around the first and second islands finding little challenges or platforming sections to keep me occupied, all while accidentally pushing the story forward by finding precious memory tokens (more on them later).