Xbox One Review: Sonic Forces

Super Sonic or Super Fail?

Sonic Generations was probably the last real Sonic game for consoles, with the exception of this summer’s epic Sonic Mania, but even that was made by fans of classic 2D Sonic. Sonic Forces looks like a sequel of sorts to Generations, but can it possibly live up to that and Mania?

Forces’ story starts with Eggman taking over the world after defeating Sonic and locking him up on the Death Egg for months. We see cameos from the typical Sonic villains like Metal Sonic, Shadow, Chaos and even one of the villains from the less successful Sonic Lost World for the Wii U. There’s also a prequel episode series featuring Shadow that is downloadable for free and explains a bit more of the plot, while there’s also a digital prequel comic book available that does too.

Besides playing as Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic, you’ll be playing as an avatar created character that can be customised both in terms of looks and abilities. Gameplay switches from 2.5D to 3D during levels and each has 5 Red Rings to collect like in Generations, but this time around there aren’t any classic levels remade and overall, aren’t as impressive as those or Mania’s ones overall. It’s still a fun game, but as with typical 3D Sonic outingsā€¦there are a few bugs and cheap death moments that are frustrating.

It’s a shame since it’s been such a long time since an Xbox or PlayStation entry for the series, after the exclusive Wii U/3DS games that weren’t as big a hit as were intended. Forces has it’s moments however and while it’s not as fun or refined as Mania or Generations, it’s still better than Sonic 2006 and I think we can all agree that that’s better than nothing. Perhaps that makes it sound too harsh on Forces, as I actually enjoyed my time with the game but then again, perhaps my view is slightly biased as I have been playing Sonic games since the Mega Drive.

The game has an Xbox One X update that makes the game run at 4K, but the cutscenes aren’t and the resolution tends to drop at random points of levels, it’s a bit of an odd update but it’s still the best version of the game from what I’ve seen. Voice-acting is typical of 3D Sonic, so a mixed bag as is the soundtrack.

The Verdict

Sonic Forces is a good successor to Sonic Generations, but it feels like a step back in some regards to gameplay and ironically, a game made by fans is better received by fans and critics alike. It’s a step in the right direction, but could have been so much more.

Score: 7.5