Sonic Frontiers’ “open zone” format has been the centerpiece of debate, and for a superb purpose. Dropping Sonic in an open-world model setting offers followers a brand new, greater area to roam round and go quick in. Nonetheless, traditionalists could also be comfortable to study that Frontiers consists of commonplace, linear platforming phases hidden in unlockable areas referred to as Cyber Area. I received to play one in every of these phases throughout my demo throughout Summer time Sport Fest Play Days a few weeks in the past to get a deal with on how these self-contained ranges praise Frontiers’ exploration-heavy gameplay.
As seen throughout right this moment’s Nintendo Direct Mini, whereas exploring the open world (which you’ll examine in my earlier preview), I collected particular objects referred to as Portal Gears. You may receive these gears by fixing puzzles and finishing different sorts of challenges all through Starfall Islands. Presenting them at stone landmarks resembling a throne establishes a connection to the Cyber Area, a digital dimension Sega describes as a “recreation inside a recreation.” Cyber Area treats gamers to fast-paced platforming phases followers of 3D Sonic video games shall be intimately aware of, offering a extra targeted diversion to open zone wandering.
The futuristic stage I visited featured the identical platforming trappings followers would come to skilled. As I sprinted down the linear lane, I hopped on bounce pads, used my homing assault to ricochet off objects, and surfed rails till I reached the end line. Finishing a Cyber Area degree rewards Vault Keys used to unlock new areas all through Starfall Islands. This specific Cyber Area stage didn’t supply something 3D Sonic veterans haven’t seen earlier than. Nonetheless, Frontiers’ improved controls meant that it at the very least performed a bit higher than the Hedgehog’s latest outings. If nothing else, Cyber Area offers followers pockets of familiarity whereas offering one other diversion in Frontiers’ world, which can assuage some followers’ concern in regards to the recreation’s perceived lack of actions.
Sonic Frontiers launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Sequence X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Swap, and PC this fall.