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Sonic Forces

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 27 - 2017

Join the resistance.

 
While the Nintendo Switch library may be slowly filling up with decent games, it is interesting that there are already two new Sonic games available. The previously released Sonic Mania proved to be a nostalgic powerhouse to many fans of the blue hedgehog, and a worthy purchase on the Switch. The more recent release of Sonic Forces however, is a much more complicated decision. While the developers have dropped some great ideas into the 3D action adventure game, it just doesn’t seem to have the charisma of the previous title. Still, with a newly created member of Sonic’s team of close friends, I better jump into the action.

 
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Sonic Forces has a tale to tell, and it starts off with a pretty grim tone. Eggman is up to his usual tricks and, answering a distress call, Sonic eventually finds himself facing off against a new foe called Infinite. Shockingly, Sonic comes out the worse in this conflict and is missing, presumed dead. Like I said, grim. However, every cloud has a silver lining and this means that players are now able to create their own avatar to join the good fight against the forces of Eggman, which have pretty much taken over the planet at this point. It’s time for a new hero to rise up, or at least join Knuckles’ resistance.

 
It has to be aid that the character creation is pretty good. Your avatar doesn’t have to be a hedgehog, as there are a selection of different species to choose from, such as bears or bird, and each species comes with its own little abilities or bonuses. To begin with, there is not a lot of choice in how you kit out your hero, but as the player progresses through the game, more and more options become available. These range from skins that can change the entire look of your avatar, through to different outfits or clothing items that can be used to just tweak how they look. There is a massive amount of customisation available by the time the game is finished, and players will be able to come up with some really unique looks.

 
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Avatars can also change up their Wispons, the weapon types that they use, based on different elemental types. This further adds customisation to the character, but doesn’t really make that much difference to the actual gameplay. To engage the Sonic community, players are able to rent the avatar creations of other players, which is a nice idea.

 
So, with avatar created, it’s time to kick some Eggman butt. It will come as no surprise to hear that Sonic is not actually deceased, but being held prisoner and tortured. Still, it doesn’t take long for the spiky hedgehog to break out and join up with the team.

 
As you may have guessed, gameplay will consist of swapping between certain characters for different levels, including the heroic blue hedgehog and the player created avatar. This will mean a certain amount of changing the way the character controls, but they all control similarly and the controls are quite easy to pick up. The actual gameplay itself is largely made up of the usual running at high speed and occasionally jumping, using a homing attack on enemies, or using a weapon. Things are occasionally mixed up with boss battles and the like, but there is nothing too taxing here on the normal difficulty level, and most players will have the game finished in under five hours.

 
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Sonic Forces can be fast-paced and empowering, especially for the younger gamers who may not have seen this type of Sonic gameplay before. However, so much of the game does feel “forced”, with no real chance for the player to explore and find secrets, or hidden paths. Also, Sonic games are known for their flow, and on more than one occasion I felt that the flow was interrupted by poor level design. Don’t get me wrong, some of the set pieces are amongst the best I have ever seen in a Sonic game, but some levels just feel rushed and not well thought out.

 
While a lot has been said of the limitations of Sonic Forces on the Nintendo Switch, only running at 30FPS compared to 60 elsewhere, I personally didn’t find it to be an issue. The game ran smoothly and at no point did I find that this lower FPS spoilt my experience. The game is bright and colourful, and Sonic moves at a speed you would expect. And it is a very good looking Sonic game, which will go well with the relatively low difficulty in attracting the new, younger players.

 
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Which I think is a good place to leave it. Sonic Forces is a nicely polished 3D action adventure game starring a blue hedgehog and whatever weird creation the player can come up with. For those new to Sonic’s brand of action, I think it is a pretty good introduction. For the veterans and Sonic fans, there is obviously a lot of love here, but the flaws in the game will stand out more. I, for one, had a lot of fun with the game, despite its frustrations. Sonic Forces is far from the greatest 3D Sonic game ever created, but it still manages to be enjoyable and inoffensive.

 

 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 



 

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