After what feels like a serious wait, Sonic Frontiers is finally here, and despite the speculation of the performance issues and mismatched gameplay, the reviews from critics have been relatively positive. There’s no denying that Sonic Frontiers had the majority of players questioning how exactly the new, vastly open-world space would tie into the fairly linear storyline of Sonic titles we have grown to love, so the positive response is reaffirming for the curious.
The experimental approach to the title is one thing that critics have repeatedly pointed out. While it may not be perfect, it’s a brave and bold approach to shaking up a well-known formula, and it allows players to leave without making them feel like they’ve just recycled the previous titles as a desperate money grab. Combining new gameplay with the previous 1990 platforming players have loved for decades feeds into the nostalgia of Sonic, which is capitalized on. Yet, a unique identity is still being carved out by introducing new mechanics and areas to explore.
“Sonic Frontiers is an unsteady first run at the open-world genre for the blue blur but Sonic Team has crafted something endearing and immensely enjoyable all the same.”Press Start Australia 7.5/10
But the skepticism for this new approach to the franchise is what has set it apart from being perfect. There is one thing stopping its score from creeping any higher: the imperfection of what should feel like a polished title. It’s got the platforming, the speed, and the charm of Sonic games, but the brand-new approach is a lot to perfect in a short period, and sadly, it didn’t quite deliver. As a result, some critics would suggest that Sonic Frontiers is essentially a baseline for the franchise to build upon. Once other games hit the market, the original will be cast aside as an experiment.
So the truth is, Sonic Frontiers isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it tries its hardest, which is reflected through its content. With scattered combat and collectibles across what skeptics believed would be an empty landscape with nothing on offer, there’s enough content to sink teeth into and give it a go. It’s carefully constructed by a team who really cares about the Sonic Franchise, which is another reason it’s so surprisingly successful. There is promising potential behind the next step for the series, even if it just sets the bar for the next series of games to launch. So it might not be the groundbreaking experience we were hoping for, but it’s far from a let-down too.
“A very promising first attempt at what could be a bright new era for Sonic and friends.”IGN 7/10
Despite its flaws, Sonic Frontiers is still a praised release, with many positives ready to highlight. Sitting comfortably with a score of 73 on Metacritic, there is still plenty of time for the title to establish itself as more reviews explore Starfall Islands and welcome the new in a warm embrace, but for now, it’ll continue to be considered a building block, until the next experience.
Sonic Frontiers is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
- This article was updated on November 8th, 2022