From what we've seen so far, both Sonic titles look as if they could reinvigorate a beloved franchise that has fallen out of fashion.
At SXSW, Sega provided updates on its upcoming pair of Sonic games: Sonic Mania and the game that has been known as “Project Sonic 2017.”
Sonic Mania, originally slated for a spring launch, has been pushed back to an undisclosed date this summer. Although the delay is disappointing, Sega showed off another stage of the game, a remixed version of Flying Battery Zone hailing from Sonic & Knuckles. Like previous trailers, the new clip, shown below, keeps the aesthetic of classic Sonic, but tinkers with and adds new obstacles to the fray. In less than 30 seconds, we watch Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles zip and dash across the iconic stage.
Sonic Mania was initially revealed last year as part of Sonic’s 25-year anniversary. Many see the upcoming platformer as a much-needed nod back to its best days, so if Sega needs a bit of extra time to get it right, that’s not a bad thing. Sonic Mania will dart onto Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as a digital-only title. A price has not been set, but judging by the $70 collector’s edition — which includes a statue, a replica Sega cart, and a metallic collector’s card with a download key — it’s safe to say that Sonic Mania won’t be a full-priced $60 title.
Unsurprisingly, “Project Sonic 2017” is not the name of the upcoming modern approach to the speedy hedgehog gameplay. Sega announced that the game is officially titled Sonic Forces. Last year’s cinematic announcement trailer hinted at a third-person, vertical perspective, with Sonic racing up the screen. A new clip showing Sonic dashing through narrow city corridors confirmed the main style. There will also be two different orientations, including one that embodies classic Sonic gameplay, along with multiple paths for players to take throughout levels. Sonic Forces will utilize a custom game engine called The Hedgehog Engine 2, and is due out later this year.