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Sonic the Hedgehog at E3: When Forces Come Together…

What do you do when you have not one but two major releases coming out featuring the world’s most famous hedgehog? You spoil your audience by giving them a ton of information, whetting their appetite for what’s to come. And what better time to do that than at E3?

Slated for release during the 2017 Holiday season, Sonic Forces is the game that has baffled some and intrigued others. During the build up to E3’s opening day, SEGA has been sharing all sorts of new information regarding both Classic and Modern Sonic’s gameplay, as well as the new “Avatar” character. This has culminated in a reveal trailer that not only shows all three gamestyles off, but also reveals a new villainous character in the Sonic pantheon.

Click the jump to read on about Sonic’s latest foray in three dimensional platforming.

As the doors to the show floor open, the official Sonic YouTube account has given those at home a look at the upcoming title, culminating in the arrival of “a powerful new evil” named Infinite. It’s one-eyed design is strangely reminiscent of the concept art for Shadow the Hedgehog, another character who also appears in the the trailer. Why Shadow, who has been an ally of Sonic since his eponymous game, would side with the brand new villain is unknown. Just as mysterious is the return of Chaos, who is looking far more like a living body of water than he ever has. Just what would make these two, plus Metal Sonic and Zavok from Sonic Lost World, join forces? That is still a mystery, but the key-art poster also released today implies that it and Eggman are working side by side. Is Infinite an alien? A robotic creation? Someone who will inevitably turn on the good doctor? We’ll have to wait until it’s out to know for certain.

Over the last couple of days, footage of all three characters has been sprinkling about YouTube. Some just straight gameplay, some with commentary from Social Media guru Aaron Webber. The gameplay circulating is the same that, if you’re lucky enough to be in LA, you can give a go yourself. The first part of the demo, Modern Sonic, seems to play as one would expect – the boost Sonic of Generations. Getting a better look at the flow of the zone, the shifts from 3D to 2D remain, the side scrolling elements having slower paced moments sprinkled about. The music playing for the level is definitely different from the Park Avenue track uploaded a couple weeks back, which points to each character having their own unique mixes when running through the same locations.

For those tired of hearing chatter between characters during each level, it looks like that trend will not be ending anytime soon. As Modern Sonic smashes the off-white badniks of Eggman, endless chatter from Tails, Vector, Charmy, and even Silver the Hedgehog is heard. What makes it harder to ignore is the visual representation, with dialogue boxes appearing in the upper right hand corner, complete with animated talking icons. It makes one yearn for the simpler times of occasional dialogue as nothing but subtitles in Sonic Heroes. Hopefully this talk tapers off as the game continues, or at the very least is missing when you replay anything outside of the core story campaign. Even if you think it is annoying, the talk does illuminate Sonic’s goal – trying to find Shadow. Though captured footage has not yet shown him off, there are reports that he does indeed appear at the end of the level, a tease for what is to come.

The Classic Sonic side of the demo takes place in the Green Hill Zone, jumping straight to the boss battle. The familiar image of Dr. Eggman is his mobile is present, starting off in the familiar wrecking ball boss of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. After a few hits, the fight switches to the Egg Dragon mech. Yes, the one from Unleashed and Generations. It seems fine enough, though it appears when you get hit, your rings seemingly vanish off the screen with no chance for recovery. Plus the fact Eggman calls Classic Sonic a hedgehog “from another dimension?” Anyone who still cares about canon will surly be scratching their heads, waiting for the game to come out and see if they can have this reconcile with what has come before.

Classic isn’t the only one who gets to enjoy Green Hill, with the create-a-character “avatar” sprinting around with his flamethrower. Similar to both Sonic’s, characters like Silver and Amy tell you what to do, which begs the question of what they are up to at the exact same time. The gameplay itself does look at the very least solid, which make one wonder if it’s possible Sonic could be upstaged in his own title. The Chemical Plant Zone is also name dropped, though it has yet to be confirmed as another stage in the game. The safe bet would be yes, which will surely draw more comparisons between Forces, Generations, and Mania.

All the footage around does give a look at the HUD and menu systems, which are not the flashiest the series has seen. A mission mode is mentioned on the main menu, so alternate diversions from the main game seem to be confirmed. If they are similar to the mission mode of Generations or closer to those in Sonic Adventure 2 is a question yet answered.

Stay tuned to the front page for hands on impressions on Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania, and the entire E3 experience, coming soon from our reporters in the field! Also, check out this concept art for the desert-fied Green Hill Zone. Makes you hope Modern Sonic’s level looks as crazy as that is, doesn’t it?

[Sources: IGN, Twitch.tv]

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    ”Shadow’s shoe is a new powerful enemy” i love this

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