Sonic Frontiers

Geek Review: Sonic Frontiers

For all of its storied history and legacy, Sonic the Hedgehog has always maintained its core idea of gameplay throughout the years, so whether you are doing it in 3D or in pixelated fashion, collecting rings and exploring worlds are integral elements of the experience. And with Sonic Frontiers, Sonic Team has finally stumbled onto a formula that largely works, even if there are still areas of improvement. 

Sonic Frontiers

As a 3D game, there are already many inherent challenges for a Sonic title, but where Sonic Frontiers does really well is what it does differently from what players have come to expect. Not only is it fresh, but these decisions are executed well and could fundamentally change what fans can expect from the series in the future.

Obviously, the big departure in Sonic Frontiers is that players will drop into a semi-open world. Gone are the levels, and in comes the freedom in which you can explore various open-zones. One moment you can be in the plains and among rolling green hills, another might have you speeding along the desert in search of more secrets. Mashing all of these different biomes together might not necessarily make the most sense, but it works quite well in Sonic Frontiers.

There is also plenty to get up to in each area, which follows a general gameplay loop that is easy to understand and get into the groove with. Exploration and combat centres around the vanquishing of each island’s Titans, but before that, you will have to contend with other mini-bosses, complete Cyber Space levels, collect vault keys by participating in more old-school Sonic platforming, and gobble up those Chaos Emeralds. Only then can you harness the powers of Super Sonic to defeat the big bad. 

Sonic Frontiers

Combat has also evolved beyond just using Sonic’s homing attack to obliterate everything that stands in your way. Sonic Frontiers provides players with a starting combo and stomp attack, together with the requisite dodge and parry defensive moves. Keep plugging away, and you will unlock more abilities for your adventure, which helps to freshen things up quite extensively. 

Various moves have their specific uses, like utilising the Cyloops to destroy enemy armour, but on most occasions, they also work pretty well in dealing out the hurt to Sonic’s enemies. All these flashy moves are great to witness, and the relative ease with which you can pull them off means combos are never too hard to maintain, and you can show off your true mastery in due time.

That skill will come in handy when it is time to deal with the many mini-bosses in Sonic Frontiers, and are often spectacles. After all, Sonic is not exactly the biggest dude around, and these enemies are usually larger in scale, which makes defeating them all the more gratifying. 

However, with the number of fights, there are certain quality issues that will surface. On one hand, you might have thrilling battles where the mechanics make perfect sense and where combat and platforming combine flawlessly for an entertaining time. On the other, certain fights are frustratingly tedious with poor implementation of mechanics like the lock-on system.

For those looking for the more traditional fare, the Cyber Space levels in Sonic Frontiers should be right up your alley. There are always a few teleportation points around each open-zone that will transport you to these stages, where platforming takes centre stage. Certain levels are more like the 2D platforming levels of old, while others focus more on speed or collecting everything in sight. 

However, similar to the mini-bosses, the quality can vary for Cyber Space levels. The saving grace is that they are usually short affairs, making them easy to replay for those seeking to complete the optional objectives and find the best route.

Sonic Frontiers

In between all that, there is also other less involved stuff to sink your teeth into, such as finding memory tokens to save your friends, helping to flesh out more of the map and delivering rewards that can aid in the progression of both the story and Sonic himself. It can be overwhelming just seeing all of that awaiting you, but once you kick things off, it will become seamless and second nature. 

It most certainly helps that progression in Sonic Frontiers feels very natural. While there is a huge map littered with many points of interest, the best way to play is to just experience the world in all its glory. There is always something interesting on the horizon that bears venturing to, and traversing the world will likely get you everything you need to move on with the story. With so many things to do, it is a good thing that they are usually satisfying sequences. 

That said, the very same routine can start to feel a tad too repetitive, especially if you plan to marathon Sonic Frontiers as a good hedgehog would. Instead, consider taking chunks out of the game at a time, and the variety should help in staving off any thoughts of tedium.

Despite the nature of this recognisable mascot character, Sonic Frontiers is perhaps best enjoyed when you take the time to see everything each island has to offer. Be it combat, platforming, or exploration; there is something in it for every kind of Sonic player, even if frustrations are never too far away. Yet, the overall direction of Sonic Frontiers is exactly what the series needs, and hopefully, future releases will continue to build on this foundation and go full steam ahead.

Sonic Frontiers is now available on the PSN Store for $49.90.



Sonic Frontiers definitely gets some things absolutely right, but there are also many areas of improvement in this 3D adventure. However, it is still a solid game that will be enjoyed by many looking for a speedy and fun time.

  • Gameplay - 8/10
  • Story - 7/10
  • Presentation - 8/10
  • Value - 7/10