Since the release of Sega’s Sonic Frontiers on November 8, the game has been having a strong showing on platforms like Steam and Twitch.
*Disclosure: Sega is an advertiser on AUTOMATON and currently has an advertisement article (advertorial) running on the Japanese edition of AUTOMATON.
Sonic Frontiers is a high-speed action-adventure game and the latest title in the Sonic series. The game stars Sonic the Hedgehog who is stranded on the Starfall Islands, which are home to remnants of an ancient civilization. Sonic has to run around these islands filled with mysterious ruins and strange enemies in an effort to save his friends.
Sonic Frontiers evolves the series’ gameplay elements even further with “Open Zone” gameplay. Open Zones are large open areas to explore similar to an open world that aren’t restricted by the idea of linear courses or stages.
There are numerous puzzles and challenges scattered across each Open Zone, including battles, side quests, and Cyber Space levels, and players are free to choose which order they want to tackle the game’s various challenges. For example, the Cyber Space levels allow players to enjoy the more conventional speedrunning style of gameplay from the series. These include both 3D stages and side scrolling stages familiar to Sonic fans.
The game has been off to a great start since launching. So far, the Steam version has peaked at around 19,000 players, and recent figures show the game still maintaining a player count of around 10,000 (SteamDB). Sonic Frontiers has also been performing well on Twitch, peaking at around 80,000 viewers.
This is the first brand new 3D action game in the series in around 5 years. With the emphasis on the gameplay being evolved through the Open Zone concept, the anticipation from fans around the world is likely at least in part behind the strong start.
Players have also been giving the game high praise. As of this writing, the Steam version has amassed around 3,600 user reviews with 94% of them being positive. It currently holds a rating of Very Positive. Players seem to be generally enjoying the Open Zone concept and praising the gameplay that lets them zip across large maps with the series’ signature speed.
The combat is also being well-received despite the concerns some had before the game’s launch. But above all else, being able to relish in the speed that forms the foundation of the series is likely a big point for fans. As of late, the Sonic series, including Sonic Forces, has been considered underwhelming by many, so just having a game that’s consistent and fun is likely also earning the game credit with players.
It’s not all high praise, though. While Sonic Frontiers does realize the concept of letting players run around open areas, some players are split on the controllability and open world design. Players in Japan also have concerns regarding the quality of the text as it sounds like machine translation and the fonts which look pretty mundane for a game coming out from a Japanese company. While there are points of contention, the game’s concept seems to be providing it a sturdy base of support. Hopefully we’ll see some of the rough edges smoothed out via updates.
Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-11-10 15:06 JST)