Though not without its moments, Forces is a depressing return to form for Sonic the Hedgehog after the joys of Mania.
On top of the joy of creating and playing as your own character, there's a lot of goofy charm that makes Sonic Forces hard to be too disappointed with. The graphics are colorful and engaging, and the music is a pumping backdrop for extreme team-ups, super-speed cinematics, and lots of ruminations on the power of friendship. There are some really fun levels in the mix, too, and surprisingly strong boss fights make for some unexpected highlights. But Sonic Forces doesn't build on its handful of good ideas as much as it should, and it screeches to a halt just as it seems to hit its stride.
Fans might get a kick out of designing their own character, but weak platforming stops Forces dead in its tracks.
Whoever this shoddily made platformer is meant to please it won't be those that like Sonic Mania, or any of the better 3D Sonic games.
Sonic Forces is a spectacular but empty sugar rush that's over in a blur. Once again, Sonic's return to form falls flat.
Despite its silly story and inconsistent gameplay, Sonic Forces is a fun adventure and a step in the right direction for 3D Sonic titles
Sonic Forces consistently fails more than it succeeds, squandering the opportunity to build on the series' past successes.
Sonic Forces creators' good intentions and interesting ideas don't amount to much in a game so clumsy and limited in design. It certainly doesn't help that Forces follows right on the heels of Sonic Mania, a game that not only demonstrated a more focused design sensibility but also did a far better job of realizing its creators' ambitions. Forces may have had a larger budget than Mania, but it feels like the poorer creation all around. Unless your dearest dream has always been to play a Sonic game as your own original fan art character, Sonic Forces doesn't have much to offer.
It's a playable Saturday morning cartoon: silly, janky but for a brief period of time, a fun distraction.