Sonic Frontiers review | attack of the fanboy


When Sonic Frontiers was announced, I was admittedly skeptical. I was a non-believer. I thought this game would fall flat, be lifeless, and be another entry that followed the over-the-top open-world formula we’ve seen over the past decade. After playing the game for a reasonable amount of time even after the credits, I will gladly eat crow for my past feelings.

Sonic Team really understood what makes a Sonic game great and true to the franchise. This is a good platform; it is engaging gameplay. It’s all about going fast. In previous Sonic games, this whole mantra of going fast started to feel like a relic of the past. However, with Frontiers, it’s back with a vengeance in a way that reinvigorates the typical gameplay loop and more.

Elements of new and old well done

The moment you start a new game and move past the menus, the story begins with an easy-to-follow plot. Sonic and his friends are just minding their own business during an adventure, then a calamitous event occurs orchestrated by their longtime adversary, Dr. Eggman.

As things go awry, it’s up to Sonic to once again save his friends from impending disaster, and you can take control of him. Immediately – and this is a bit divisive for many – we’re back in another rendition of Green Hill. The movement, platforming, and everything we’ve grown accustomed to with modern Sonic games is all here. Muscle memory kicks in. It kind of feels like 1991 and 2022 got mixed up.

As you progress through the stage, familiar enemies are laid out to prevent you from achieving your goal. Collectibles are always there for the finalists. This familiarity is nice. No frustrating gadgets are thrown at us to slow down the game.

Once this first step is completed, you enter the first instance of the open world. The familiarity persists. You see scattered springs, grind rails, boosters, and jump rings. They are all placed in such a way that you can see the ideas of the merging of new and old to create something the series needed.

There is a healthy balance between venturing into the vast open area instances provided for in the game and platforming through traditional levels. You will explore a bit, discover new landmarks and advance the story further. In the next instance, you’re back in familiar territory, racing for the best possible time for a faultless stage.

Gotta go fast!

As you advance through the world of Frontiers, you are slowly introduced to the game’s combat. presented to us instead is a complete combat system where he throws punches, kicks, waves of energy and all kinds of acrobatic movements to defeat his enemies.


The thing is, with a combat system like this, the game still retains the “I gotta go fast” mantra. Purists who only like run, run and rally attacks can rest easy knowing that the main selling point of the Blue Blur remains intact.

There is depth when it comes to combat in Sonic Frontiers. You can still outrun your opponents and spin them around until they’re defeated, but the mix of flashy combat and new skills adds a new layer of gameplay that really benefits the game in the long run.

With all these new skills ready to use, this allows Sonic Team to introduce new enemies and boss archetypes. By the end of my playthrough, some battles stood out compared to some of the most iconic from previous Sonic titles.

Even with all that combat and skill mention, Sonic is mostly able to succeed because of his untapped potential. Little speed was sacrificed if any. The game still feels like a Sonic game at its heart, and it makes sure it stays that way..

You are never really alone

One of the biggest concerns many fans (myself included) about Frontiers was that the Starfall Islands were going to be barren. These fears were founded primarily due to potential technical constraints, the speed and freedom players have to explore, and Sonic Team’s track record in the past for consistently good games.

To allay many of these fears, instead, the team created a game that looks populated. Open world instances are not empty. In fact, the mix of different obstacles, puzzles, challenges, enemies, and collectibles makes it seem like Sonic Team has created a typical area and turned it into a fully explorable one. You never feel like you have to run mindlessly from point A to point B until the story progresses.

The mix of different obstacles, puzzles, challenges, enemies, and collectibles makes it feel like Sonic Team has created a typical area and turned it into a fully explorable one.

That feeling turned into starting at point A but taking about an hour to get to point B because I found an entirely new area with new enemies to defeat and items to collect. It’s also what makes Frontiers so great. Its story is linear, but your player progression is not limited. Unless something is directly related to story progression, there really aren’t any restrictions on what you can fight or where you can explore.

It’s fun to run around the Starfall Islands, collect as many rings as possible, defeat Ancient Guardians, and level up Sonic. And that’s what’s even more awesome about the game. With RPG elements directly implemented into player progression, the things you do will only make you stronger.

Sonic takes it to the next level in new ways

Fortunately, these RPG elements are digestible so players of all skill levels can easily dive into the true depth of Sonic Frontiers. His stats are divided into four categories: Ring Capacity, Speed, Potency, and Defense. Each stat can be upgraded, making it all the more effective overall.

Top that off with learning new abilities in his skill tree and now we kind of have the culmination of a new standard for 3D RPG platforming. The best part about Frontiers having the aspects of a role-playing game is that it never really feels like you have to stop your progress to grind.


It helps increase your stats as you progress, but it all feels so natural. There are no expected levels or entry barriers to advancing the story. You only have to complete or collect what is needed to move on. The grind is something you do at your own pace as a finalist or to make the game easier for you.

The icing on the progression cake is that the gameplay loop of modern Sonic games is hugely engaging. You drive at the speed of sound. You have places to go and you follow your rainbow (Sonic Adventure 2 fans, this one’s for you). Even when you grind, it’s not boring. Combat will also help you mix up your strategies against enemies with more gadgets.

Fan Service Galore

Speaking of gadgets in Frontiers, these go hand in hand with the amount of love and fan service poured into the game. These previously mentioned gadgets come in the form of enemy attacks. In Sonic Frontiers we are fighting an all new faction of enemies who are not Badniks or any military group.

Rather, we are fighting alien mechanical enemies from long ago. The only thing is that many enemy archetypes, big or small, are reminiscent of the enemies we’ve faced in previous Sonic games. There may be extra steps to take them down, but many grunt enemies are suspiciously similar to the GUN units encountered in the Adventure series. Some bosses like the Squid feel like they’re playing Sonic Colors’ Starlight Carnival.


When I say that the elements of new and old are well done, it’s things like that that further prove my point. That sense of nostalgia is tapped into even more as you hear more character dialogue.. Sonic and his friends make callbacks and references to their previous efforts, not only confirming that Frontiers is Canon, but that they are memories worth keeping. For obvious reasons, I won’t go into spoilers here regarding these references, but you can do so by playing the game or watching playthroughs.

A good basis for the future of the franchise

The future of the Sonic franchise started to look dark and bleak after the release of the eponymous game in 2006. Since that year, many mainline titles have been hit and miss. Some stars have since come out, but Frontiers might be the one to really put the Blue Blur back on the map.


Sonic Frontiers really picks up where this franchise started to falter. It’s still a Sonic game at its core and makes sure to stay true to the name even as it branches into other unfamiliar areas of the series. With lots of risque elements implemented like combat and the open world, these were executed in a way that improved my playtime. The game plays very well and will appeal to veterans and newcomers to the game alike. long-running series.

For those who are still skeptical, give it a try. Frontiers preserves the best aspects of a modern Sonic game and expands them in a way that refreshes the series moving forward.. Despite how good your platforming expertise is, this game is really hard to put down. It makes you want to keep running, reaching new heights and new places.

This game was rated using a copy of the game provided by the game’s publisher, PR company, developer, or otherwise for the express purpose of review.


About Author

Comments are closed.