IGN has continued to drip-feed new footage of open-world Sega adventure Sonic Frontiers, and the approach is starting to yield some problems. Today, IGN revealed a video with about 6 minutes of Sonic Frontiers combat gameplay footage, and it seems promising enough. How it will all add up to a meaningful experience is yet unclear though.
Sonic is not just spin dashing into things until they die this time. Rather, he often has to run in a circle around enemies in order to stun them and open them up to attacks. This even includes running circles around the hooves of a giant enemy in order to open up the individual hooves to damage. The mechanic seems like it has the potential to get tedious, but it’s too early to say.
Another thing the Sonic Frontiers combat gameplay video emphasizes though is that Sonic will have new types of attacks available. Chiefly, he can unleash a barrage of fast, powerful short-range attacks. Sonic can also dash fast through the air several times in a row before coming back to deliver a heavy attack, but it’s unclear what activates this ability or when it’s supposed to be used. When enemies are defeated, they seem to drop a “chip” currency; one presumes these could be spent to upgrade Sonic’s abilities. Meanwhile, when Sonic is hit, he still drops rings as usual, but it’s unclear if his life is directly tied to his rings.
Taken altogether, the mechanics in the Sonic Frontiers combat gameplay video IGN has concocted look fine. The issue is that we have now seen both the open world and the combat, and we still have no idea how they contribute to a cohesive gameplay experience. Until we understand what exactly the goals of gameplay are, these teasers are going to continue feeling disconnected, which could work to Sega’s detriment.