Those of us who have seen the Sonic fandom evolve over the past decade understand the dangers of tampering with original characters. Yet still, Sega has made the scary definitive move of allowing character creation in their newest upcoming title, Sonic Forces. Those forces, which I had hoped would only consist of Sonics of both past and present, will now include the massive alliance of fans gathered from around the world.
That being said, there’s some sort of intrigue to the way they’re approaching this. Players can customize not only the appearance of their character, but the weapons and equipment as well, creating a truly versatile gameplay experience. Allowing players this level of freedom admittedly taps into the most active side of the Sonic fanbase in a way that Sega never truly has before. View the trailer below.
There’s an incredible amount of variation to these characters, but they all stem from the base animals you’re allowed to create. For instance, wolves will absorb nearby rings while rabbits are invincible for longer after getting damaged. Cats will still keep a ring after being hit, while dogs will revive with five rings. Bears have homing attacks, birds can double jump, and hedgehogs collect rings while getting damaged.
Sega confirmed all of this during their big Sonic Forces announcement today. Yet still, one can’t help but wonder if this was truly the better move for the franchise. For instance, Sonic games have failed to find any sort of stability in thematic tone or nature, but the cartoon for Sonic Boom was incredibly well received. Perhaps players are more enticed by this world than the nature of the mechanics. Yet even still, with the addition of classic Sonic, players who truly were captured by the old style of play might find themselves crossing into the new age of the franchise in a way that Sonic Generations hoped to achieve. Still, this is all speculation, and we won’t know more until Sonic Forces launches this holiday season.