Back in 2011 Sonic Generations released to massive acclaim from the Sonic community, especially considering the franchises rocky set of past releases. The combination of classic and modern themed levels based on past environments from the franchise won over many, so when Sonic Forces was announced many hoped that SEGA would repeat the same formula. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case as more effort was put into making a new character the central focus of the game’s story and gameplay. Sonic Forces simply cannot keep up with the same momentum of other recent Sonic games.

Did We Need this Newcomer?

Sonic Forces takes place after Dr. Eggman has taken over the world and seeks to destroy Sonic, his friends, and the resistance that opposes him. With the help of his new team of villains that compose of Shadow, Chaos, Zavok, Metal Sonic, and newcomer Infinite. Sonic Forces shows promise in the beginning of delivering an excellent Sonic campaign. Then it quickly fumbles as you progress.

Much of the story deals with the Avatar becoming part of Sonic’s team. Classic Sonic just appears and plays a minor role for much of the game, leaving his stages to a minimum compared to the Avatar.

Going by Fast

There are 30 stages in Sonic Forces with many of the environments repeating themselves with different layouts. As Modern Sonic the levels play a lot like recent 3D Sonic games, 2D Classic Sonic stages resemble the Sega Genesis era, and the Avatar stages are a mixture of platforming and shooting. Everything controls and plays well enough but everytime an Avatar stage would show up, even when coupled with Modern Sonic, I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I wanted to play as Sonic, not this no-name character.

Infinite, the newest antagonist to the Sonic franchise, it different from other villains in the Sonic franchise. He enjoys toying with his victims and overconfidence tends to get the best of him throughout the adventure. This doesn’t transfer well into the boss battles as Infinite is easy to defeat.

This extends to all boss battles in the game. Much of them are standard memorize the pattern fights and lack the atmospheric matches found in Sonic Generations, Sonic Mania, or Sonic Colors. Most of them look stale and uninteresting, sometimes repeating the same concept from other boss battles.

Many of the rewards you gain from completing stages come in the form of Avatar items. After finishing a stage and given a rank base on your performance an assortment of items are given to you for the Avatar. While most of them are cosmetic the weapons determine what type of weapon it’ll use. Flamethrower, electric whip, and much more are available with various bonuses linked to each. Your weapon also determines what type of Wisp power the Avatar can use, meaning you’re limited to one optional path type in levels since you cannot use other Wisp powers outside your selected weapon type. The Avatar also has a grappling hook that helps it transverse the environment but it’s nothing compared to flying throw the levels as Sonic.

That was Quick

Modern and Classic Sonic play similarly from Generations. Modern Sonic has a mixture of 3D and 2.5D environments and access to a boost, that only charges on enemies defeated and not ring gathering this time. Classic Sonic is limited to 2D stages. Homing attacks, this time around, are much more responsive and Classic Sonic’s jump has been increased depending on how long you hold the jump button. For a strange reason, SEGA removed the Spindash from Sonic Generations, where you could tap X to quickly perform the action, to having you crouch before you can perform it.

Levels themselves are short, really short. Despite being 30 of them all of them can be completed in around 1-3 minutes, with the entire game being around 3 hours. You can extend the play time by collecting hidden Red Rings and obtaining an S rank for all stages for a seasoned Sonic gamer can do this within 2 hours after completing the game. SOS stages come up with limited time challenges for existing stages but ignoring them has no consequence.

Sonic Forces does attempt to incorporate the theme of resistance fighting against Dr. Eggman’s army. They’ll use military language, use a world map as a level select screen, and provide a meter of how much territory you’ve taken. This is all cosmetic since you don’t lose territory and will eventually win by just progressing.

Sonic Forces had a lot of promise but made too many mistakes. The focus on this new Avatar character limited the amount of time playing as Sonic. This coupled with the lack of thrilling boss battles and diverse stages created a mediocre experience. Sonic Forces simply doesn’t live up to the standard set by Sonic Mania and Sonic Generations, hopefully, the developers will learn from this and ensure next game won’t repeat these same mistakes.

Sonic Forces
The Pros
  • Classic and Modern Sonic Stages
  • Vibrant Graphics
  • Better Jump Control
The Cons
  • The Avatar
  • Stale Boss Battles
  • Repeating Environments
6Overall Score
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About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GamerAssaultWeekly with over 5 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.