Sonic Frontiers Reviews
Sonic Frontiers is broken beyond belief with mechanics that barely work and a camera so disastrous it’s literally sickening. The “Open Zones” are disjointed, unpopulated wastelands that do less than nothing to justify their depressing existence. An unpleasant mess, looking and feeling like a mishmash of disparate assets duct taped together, and that’s before we consider the damning amount of recycled content. It’s honestly embarrassing that any professional studio could have made something so cheap, so sad, and so thoroughly incompetent. Even by Sonic Team’s low standards, this is pathetic.
While not outright broken like Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) or Sonic Boom, Sonic Frontiers is a heavily misguided game that muffles good ideas with questionable narrative, technical, and gameplay design decisions.
If this was just a collection of the mini-levels thrown together with a sort of hub area to hone your skills, Frontier may have been a solid Sonic game. As it stands though, there’s so much wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start. Some will undoubtedly have fun with this one, pointing out other, worse, Sonic games on the market, but compared to platforming giants like Mario and Crash Bandicoot, this one barely stumbles out the gates before being left in the dust.
There’s a real tonal dissonance in Sonic Frontiers. It wants to be a fun platformer. It wants to be a high-speed exploration puzzler. It also wants you to feel a sense of power as you take on towering bosses, and save a world from certain destruction. But in striving for success on multiple fronts, it achieves none of these goals – instead arriving as an ambitious but lukewarm adventure-platformer pockmarked by deflating choices.
All that said, there’s still a solid-enough idea at the center of Sonic Frontiers that could possibly make for a great game in the future, which is more than could be said of infamous stinkers like Sonic Unleashed or Sonic Lost World. If a sequel could provide players with the same type of freedom that Sonic’s been afforded—and, perhaps, if it could stay in the incubation chamber a little longer until proper gestation—then Sega’s blue hedgehog might get to soar to new heights.
Sonic Frontiers is a brave new direction for the series, but this first 'open-zone' entry misses the mark by quite a margin. Traversal and combat annoyances plague the experience from start to finish, while structurally the game offers up very little variety, instead leaning on repetitive fetch quests that get exasperating after the first island. As far as the Switch version goes, it's quite comfortably the worst option available to fans, with graphical compromises that make it impossible to recommend if you're able to play it anywhere else at all. If you're going to get this game, we implore you to try it out elsewhere.
Sonic Frontiers features the kind of lightweight yet engaging storytelling that should easily enrapture fans young and old – though I'd hate to be a child forced to play through some of the abysmal platforming featured throughout. Was taking Sonic open world an ambitious endeavor? Yes. Did it pay off? Absolutely not.
With Sonic Frontiers, SEGA is taking risks to modernize its iconic licence. Unfortunately, it doesn't work mostly because of the open world and its mechanics. On the other hand, classic levels are still very enjoyable and save the game. This isn't the return of a great Sonic that we could expect.
Review in French | Read full review
Another average, but ambitious, outing for the blue hedgehog.
Overall, a decent effort by the Sega team and they should be praised for their future vision for the series.
Sonic Frontiers takes many steps in the right direction for Sonic games. Still, its biggest fault is that it tries to do so much, with how well it accomplishes everything varying greatly between interesting and frustrating. Longtime Sonic comics writer Ian Flynn penned parts of the story, and its narrative and music are some of the game's highlights worth mentioning. The moments that work in Sonic Frontiers can be fun and captivating, but as soon as players start to feel a groove, they're thrown into something different, changing what they're doing and creating a choppy flow to progression. The foundation for a consistent experience in the next 3D Sonic game is here, but Sonic Frontiers feels more like a test than a proper renaissance for the series quite yet.
A lot of Sonic Frontiers is still a mess, actually, and Sonic himself still doesn’t feel great. Those two things alone will keep a lot of players away, and I can’t blame them. Still, there’s something about Frontiers that no recent Sonic game can match. It’s ambitious, and its core gameplay loop actually works. It’s downright engaging. I spent a lot of my time with Sonic Frontiers having a ton of fun, even if there were just as many moments where I was frustrated and ready to be done with it. This isn’t a great game, but it’s one that should satisfy Sonic fans desperate for an interesting game starring their favorite blue blur, and for the first time in a long time, it feels like the series may have a sense of direction. There’s still work to be done to make it more than that, but this is a big step in the right direction.
Worlds are colliding in Sonic the Hedgehog’s newest high-speed adventure! In search of the missing Chaos emeralds, Sonic becomes stranded on an ancient island teeming with unusual creatures. Battle hordes of powerful enemies as you explore a breathtaking world of action, adventure, and mystery. Accelerate to new heights and experience the thrill of high-velocity, open-zone platforming freedom as you race across the five massive Starfall Islands. Jump into adventure, wield the power of the Ancients, and fight to stop these new mysterious foes. Welcome to the evolution of Sonic games! Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.
Sonic returns in an inescapable mishmash of strong mechanics and ideas alongside poor execution and empty lifeless ‘open-zones’ that offers little to tie it together. Whilst this could be the start of a brand new revolution for modern Sonic games, Frontiers still feels like a beta test, and one that fans shouldn’t have to playtest for Sonic Team to work out what to do next.
Ultimately, Sonic Frontiers struggles with creating interesting levels and challenges in its large maps filled to the brim with padding. But if you can look past that, there is fun to be had within its frustrating confines.
Sonic Frontiers have many great ideas, but the execution falls flat especially with the cyber space levels which is supposed to be a core element in the gameplay. It could have been the best 3D Sonic game if only it was more focused on what to do right
Review in Arabic | Read full review
Still, for Sonic fans, this is an entertaining adventure, with plenty of variety packed into its 20-hour running time. Chances are you’ll encounter plenty of frustrations while making your way through it, but when things are going right you’ll see that there’s great potential in this formula going forward. ‘Inconsistent’ is perhaps the best word to describe Sonic Frontiers: it’s a grab-bag full of ideas, all pulled off with varying degrees of quality. But there’s one thing for certain: it’s got a cracking soundtrack.
Sonic Frontiers is not as polished as we had hoped, it suffers from repetition and mediocre execution, even the story is weak. There are some good ideas presented in the game's open world, but past installments mistakes do come to haunt the new game as well.
Review in Arabic | Read full review
Sonic Frontiers is not a bad game and I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to its issues. You can’t make a series be better without making some risky choices.
Review in Polish | Read full review
Bloated world design doesn't take away from the thrilling high of zooming through a landscape at mach speeds, nailing a good time on a platforming challenge or catching a comically large fish in Big's fishing minigame. There's just not much else to hang onto here. Sorry, Sonic fans: your malaise continues.