What is Sonic Forces?
Taking place in a world where infamous series bad guy Dr. Robotnik has already taken over, leading Sonic himself to go AWOL, Sonic Forces starts out as a bit of a different Sonic game. Letting you create your own character, from choosing what type of animal you want to be, to your colour, what clothes you wear, and the weapons you use, it's up to you to join a makeshift resistance in order to save Sonic, and put a stop to Robotnik's evil schemes. With his latest creation, the ultimate dimensional being Infinite seemingly being unstoppable, it'll be no easy feat, as you dash through levels littered with robotic enemies, and plenty of deadly pitfalls along the way.
How do you play Sonic Forces?
A fairly traditional platforming adventure, Sonic Force is a game that mixes 2D side-scrolling, and 3D platforming together. With levels littered with pitfalls and enemies, you'll speed through stages taking out Robotnik's robotic army along the way, making many a death-defying leap, avoiding spiked pits, and grinding along rails. Like most Sonic games, Sonic Forces is pretty fast-paced, with an emphasis on getting through each level as quickly as you can, with your momentum playing a key part with getting you through some obstacles - sloping walls and loop the loops to name but a few. Periodic boss fights require less in the way of platforming prowess and instead see you having to avoiding attacks as you try to get close enough to attack.
During the course of the game, you'll get to play levels as your custom character, modern Sonic and classic Sonic, all of which have subtly different takes on the traditional platforming formula. Your custom character comes equipped with a 'Wispon' weapon, with several different elemental versions available, each of which has its own special abilities - some give you a boosted jump, some let you dash along a chain of rings and some let you summon an extra platform to give you a hand, letting you access hidden areas in each level. Modern Sonic focuses on outright speed, with a chargeable 'boost' move that lets him dash through enemies and obstacles while invincible, while Classic Sonic favours a bit of a slower pace, with levels comprised of several different branching paths.
How easy is Sonic Forces to pick up and play?
As a fairly straight-forward platforming adventure, Sonic Forces is pretty accessible on the whole, as with infinite lives and no game overs, it's merely a case of perseverance when it comes to finishing levels. Sonic Forces does have an adjustable difficulty level too. Hard is your standard Sonic game, where your collected rings work as your 'health' - when Sonic takes a hit, he'll drop all his rings, and unless you pick some back up again, one more hit will 'kill' him, sending you back to a previous checkpoint. However, if you dial it down to 'Normal', Sonic will only lose a portion of his collected rings each time he's hit, letting you collide with obstacles and enemies many more times before you lose a life.
Really, the main challenge in Sonic Forces comes from the sheer speed of things. Sonic is well known for being a speedy little blue guy, and often, you'll need to make use of his momentum to get past loop the loops and the like. Given its fast pace, you'll need speedy reactions to do well here, with less time to react to enemies and obstacles along the way. Infinite lives and frequent checkpoints mean you can always try again though.
For the youngest of players, Sonic Forces is also pretty much fully-voiced throughout, with the only real reading required in the random tutorial-like pop-ups during the first few levels in the game. Once you get past these, it's a fairly straight-forward and reading-free experience, which is a nice change.
- "As long as you have at least one ring, you'll survive when you take damage."
- "Picking up a Wisp Capsule will add to the Boost Gauge, enabling you to perform a Boost by pressing Square."
- "You can select a stage to play on the World Map. Move the cursor with left stick. Press Triangle to open a list of stages."
Sonic Forces is pretty much as family-friendly a game as they come, with little in the way of mature content at all - there's no blood and gore, no bad language and certainly no sexual content to speak of. Violence is limited to performing spin attacks, using flamethrowers and an electric whip weapon to defeat robotic enemies and creatures, with enemy robots simply exploding when defeated in an over the top, cartoony fashion. During boss fights, players can perform dramatic, slow-motion finishing blows to knock out their opponents.