The First New Sonic Game in Five Years Looks Like an Open World Experience

Sonic the Hedgehog returns in an all-new upcoming video game. 'Sonic Frontiers' seeks to take the Blue Blur on his first open-world journey.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Dec. 10 2021, Published 5:29 p.m. ET

Sonic Frontiers
Source: Sega

The Blue Blur returns home to the gaming space as Sonic the Hedgehog sets off on his biggest adventure yet in the upcoming Sonic Frontiers. While Sonic has been seeing plenty of success on the big screen with 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog starring Ben Schwartz and the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 2022, it's been quite some time since we've seen the character in his own game. And Frontiers is looking to take him to an open world for the first time.

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The last 3D Sonic game to be released was Sonic Forces in 2017. Like many of the franchise's recent titles, Forces was not received kindly upon release, with many critics calling its gameplay repetitive and its levels uninspired. There was also Team Sonic Racing in 2019, but the cart-racing title could hardly be considered a continuation of Sonic's adventures the way Frontiers looks to be. Here's what we know about the new game so far and what we can expect.

sonic frontiers teaser
Source: Sega
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'Sonic Frontiers' is Sonic's first open-world game.

Sonic Frontiers was first announced during a livestream celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sonic series. The stream ended with a short teaser of Sonic running through a forest while boosting with a mysterious light. It revealed little information on the actual game aside from a release window of 2022.

After the official trailer for the second Sonic the Hedgehog movie debuted at the 2021 Game Awards, it was followed up by a more in-depth look at the upcoming title.

In the new trailer, Sonic is being pursued by strange aircrafts before being guided to safety by a mysterious voice. We then get a glimpse into the vast open spaces of the new game, filled with strange ruins and lush scenery. The trailer ends with the game's official title, a release window of Holiday 2022, and Sonic about to take on against an impossibly large foe.

As for the story, Sonic will reportedly face off against an ancient evil that Doctor Eggman accidentally unleashes on the world.

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Frontiers is set to be an "open-zone" adventure in a land known as the Starfall Islands, which consist of dense forests, waterfalls, and deserts. Sonic isn't a stranger to open landscapes. Previous 3D titles like Sonic Adventure and the infamous Sonic '06 featured sprawling hub worlds for players to explore while finding the next level. But no Sonic game has ever been on a scale quite like this before, so it will be interesting to see how the speedy hedgehog will traverse this enormous land.

Source: Sega

According to Game Informer, Sonic Frontiers will feature a new narrative penned by Ian Flynn, the chief writer of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series by Archie Comics. The game will also be directed by Morio Kishimoto, who also worked on Sonic Forces and Sonic Lost World. Dev group "Sonic Team" reportedly hopes that this upcoming title will set a new standard for Sonic games.

Sonic Frontiers is slated to release on all current and next-gen platforms in the Holiday 2022 season.

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