What with nostalgic 2D platformer Sonic Mania’s sudden success in restoring the previously rock-bottom reputation of SEGA’s most prized mascot, earning itself a full 5/5 score from D-pad Joy and an 86% Metacritic average so far, one would’ve hardly blamed the publisher if they’d lounged out on a hedgehog-shaped reclining sofa for the remainder of 2017.
But even if Mania’s development team at PadogaWest Games intends to take a well-earned rest along those lines, that notion evidently hasn’t occurred to SEGA. Quite to the contrary, their game plan is seemingly to keep capitalising on the newfound success of gaming’s most iconic non-Italian protagonist, rolling out another AAA Sonic adventure before year’s end…
- Enter Sonic Forces, a current-gen hybrid platformer combining Mania’s side-scrolling escapades with the oft-explosive 3D hijinks for which the franchise has – for better or for worse – become known since its Adventures and Heroes iterations in the late nineties and early noughties.
- This spiritual successor to 2015’s roundly applauded Sonic Generations will hit Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on November 7th worldwide, launching both in physical and digital form for a healthy reduced RRP of $40 / £30 rather than the usual $60 / £50 price tags most of the autumn’s big-hitters pack.
- Anyone who pre-orders Forces in its boxed incarnation is in for a pleasant bonus surprise, though. On top of the main campaign, they’ll get Bonus Edition content such as a free themed controller skin and costumes for the title’s third playable hero – a customisable companion to Modern and Classic Sonic – based on classic SEGA characters like Super Monkey Ball’s AiAi and NiGHTS’ eponymous magician.
Make no mistake, launching in November presents SEGA with a huge uphill battle, even if they want to seize upon the substantial goodwill generated by their best Sonic entry in years. Between Call of Duty: WWII, Need for Speed Payback, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon and The Sims 4’s PS4 and Xbox One ports, even the bravest studio might consider moving their release date elsewhere to save face.
There’s an admirable sense of carpe diem bravado about their move, though, and while we sincerely hope the franchise doesn’t once again fall flat on its face – critically or commercially – after finding such rare light at the end of the tunnel this summer, SEGA has just guaranteed that whatever happens, this’ll be an autumn for the industry to remember.
Take a gander at the full offerings of Sonic Forces’ Bonus Edition below. D-pad Joy will stay abreast of all the key news surrounding the project leading up to November 7th.
Sonic Forces arrives Nov. 7! The physical Bonus edition is available now for Pre-Order, and includes a controller skin + SEGA/Atlus outfits! pic.twitter.com/04dwUFcEq4
— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) August 31, 2017