SXSW has wrapped up, but not before giving us some information about new Sonic The Hedgehog content. I know that when you hear the Sonic name, you might kind of scrunch your nose up a little and give me a look like I just said something mildly offensive, but the future is looking pretty bright for the spiny blue speedster.
Sega held a panel to discuss the future of the franchise and the company had a lot to stay. Let’s start with Sonic Mania, the highly anticipated retro title. For those that don’t know, the game is an attempt to take a step back to the fast-paced 2D platforming action that made the series popular, wanting to emulate the style and feel the first three games of the series had. As if to cement exactly what it wants to do, Flying Battery Zone from Sonic & Knuckles was shown off. And it looks fun as heck.
Unfortunately, Sega also told us the game had been delayed until Winter 2017 (that’s the North American summer). Which isn’t entirely a bad thing. Some among you might be aware that getting things out by a deadline is what caused Sega all kinds of trouble in the first place. Remember Sonic ’06? Yeah. Yeah.
Sonic Mania will be released for PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch, meaning you can get your dose of classic Sonic action just about anywhere. Exciting!
Secondly, and perhaps most excitingly, was the discussion of Sonic Forces. Previously, the game was only known as the mysterious Sonic Project 2017. The head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, called the game an “evolution of Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations” and explained the game will have three play styles. Classic and Modern return from the well received and super fun Sonic Generations, but the mysterious third play style has yet to be revealed.
The game was also stated that it will be on a new engine, the Hedgehog Engine 2, and that it will feature all kinds of fun set pieces from previous Sonic titles while still giving us something new. From what we can see from the trailer, it looks like the world is in ruins, showing Sonic speeding through a destroyed city with fire raining down from above. That’s pretty metal. The short trailer shows off the amazing capabilities of the engine, the lighting is gorgeous, the set pieces are destroyed realistically and Sonic moves as fast and as smoothly as you’d hope he would. So far things are looking pretty good for the blue blur.
Sonic Forces is expected to release during the holiday season for PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.