PS3 Previews: Sonic Unleashed Preview

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Sonic Unleashed Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Fall 2008




Sonic Team

Number Of Players:




It's been an extremely long time since I've been excited about a Sonic game. To be frank, I was somewhat excited about the next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog, but after that turned out to be a mess of epic proportions, I, along with many others, vowed the franchise dead. But after seeing Sonic Unleashed in action, we can't help but feel that, perhaps, there is still hope left - especially after Sega went on to admit that 2006's Sonic was a disaster.

So here we have Sonic Unleashed, an all new entry into the series, and we can't wait to get our hands on it at this E3. The story focuses on a day and night cycle, which also has an effect on the gameplay. Dr. Robotnik (a.k.a Eggman) is at it again, and conjures yet another plan for world domination. This time around, Robotnik has caused a catastrophe that damages the world and unleashes a beast in the process. This beast has a direct, mysterious effect on Sonic, as well; so our hedgehog must embark on a journey to find the lost Chaos Emeralds in order to restore the divided world, and to end the mysterious hold over Sonic's body.

An all new engine that's been three years in the making will power Sonic Unleashed. This indicates that Sega's been working on Unleashed, if even conceptually, since before the revelation of Sonic the Hedgehog for PS3 and X360. The all new engine has been dubbed the "Hedgehog Engine" by Sega, and it boasts gorgeous visuals with seamless transitions between three-dimensional and and two-dimensional gameplay perspectives. Sonic Unleashed looks to mix the best of the Sonic Adventure games, with the best of the Sega Genesis Sonic games, and that has us extremely excited at the prospect.

From the footage we've seen, the game looks to be shaping up extremely well. If Sega can avoid marring the experience with boring apocalyptic stages, a gimmick, forcing us to play with anyone other than Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, and avoiding disastrous cut-scenes, then all will be good. So far, it's looking promising. Speed will also play a big role in the gameplay, especially during the two-dimensional bits where Sonic will be running through some of the wildest designed obstacles the franchise has seen.

To help you navigate your courses will be an assortment of new abilities and powers given to Sonic, all of which will also be helpful for when you're facing off against many of the game's opponents. One such ability is called the Quick Step, which allows Sonic to avoid obstructions in his path, all the while never losing speed.

The Sonic Boost ability will propel Sonic to immense speeds; it can be triggered by collection rings, which increase Sonic's Ring Energy level. Lastly, the Speed Drift ability will allow you to maintain constant high-speed momentum throughout the course's turns, helping you achieve lower times for course completion. It's also worth mentioning that courses will boast multiple paths to completion, and each path will boast unique encounters, obstacles, and varying rewards.

We can't deny that Sonic Unleashed looks beautiful. It's simplicity captures the look and feel of both the classic Genesis games, in addition to the first, and very fantastic, Sonic Adventure. Screenshots and videos exhibit very smooth image quality, so expect to see good use of anti-aliasing, a proper 720p resolution, and a very consistent framerate.

Normally, we'd approach a new Sonic game with extreme caution...but this just feels so right. Don't play us like a violin, Sega. Don't make these promises seem like a dream and ensure us that Sonic Unleashed delivers in spades. Expect Sonic Unleashed to launch this Fall 2008.

6/23/2008 Arnold Katayev

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (6 posts)

John Shoemaker
Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 11:13:54 PM

I'm approaching this with extreme caution. The next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog was indeed an absolute disaster.
The last Sonic game, IMO, was Sonic 3 back on the old Genesis. I played Sonic Adventure 2 on the Gamecube when it came out but it felt a little too easy and a bit kiddie. Even though Shadow was a good character to introduce, all the other ones besides the original three just sucked.
This one looks good but I have huge doubt.

Last edited by John Shoemaker on 6/23/2008 11:14:18 PM

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 6:58:21 AM

well seeing as im a huge sonic fan..i seriously cant wait for this one!!!come on SEGA!!do the stuff everyone knows your really capable of!!!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 7:42:13 AM

Would be nice to see a good Sonic game. I loved Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, but as everyone knows... The one on PS3/360 is... Ugh. LOL, maybe I could do it now with months of consistant gaming brushing off all the rust, but I couldn't get through the first level if my real life depended on it.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 11:33:12 AM

We seriously need a good platform game, Crash & Spyro were both dead after the PS1 ( Lets be honest ), The last Sonic game i played was Heroes........ quite possibly the most unsatisfying game ive ever played in my life! But this seems like it could be good i just hope they scrap the huge over dramatic storys weve been getting recently, back on the Megadrive Sonic was never like that.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 1:33:22 PM

Sonic Adventure was great on the DC. I really enjoyed playin as all those different characters. They all played real well, and differently.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 5:47:45 PM

EXTREME CAUTION!!! Omg the one that came out for the PS3 I dunno what it was...biggest waste of $60 bucks! Ugh...anything with "SEGA" on it...yeah i'm renting first or just skipping lol

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