Sonic Frontiers: Everything we know about the open-world platformer

Sonic Frontiers is a new adventure starring the famous blue hedgehog that will see us zip our way through new realms with what is described as “open-zone freedom”. Set in Starfall Islands, the landscapes are said to be home to forests, deserts, waterfalls, and more. After its initial reveal at the Game Awards 2021, we most recently got another look at the upcoming Sonic game thanks to a trailer (opens in new tab) featured in the June Nintendo Direct Mini

With Mario Kishimoto leading development as game director with Sonic Team, Frontiers will be the first time we’ve seen the hedgehog speed his way back onto consoles since 2017’s Sonic Forces. Below, we’ve gathered together everything we know so far about Sonic Frontiers, including the details on gameplay and the expected launch window. 

Sonic Frontiers release date

Sonic Frontiers

(Image credit: Sega)

Sonic Frontiers is set for release in late 2022 for current and last-gen platforms – meaning we expect versions for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.

Keen to strike a chord with old school Sonic players and newer audiences alike, Takashi Iizuka, the creative officer at Sonic Team USA, said: “Sonic Frontiers is a huge leap forward for the franchise, delivering an evolved gameplay experience that can be enjoyed by long-time Sonic fans and action-adventure enthusiasts alike.”

Sonic Frontiers trailer 

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Sonic Frontiers

(Image credit: Sega)

For our first impressions from the Summer Game Fest, check out our Sonic Frontiers hands-on preview

The Sonic Frontiers trailer is a tease of what to expect from the blue hedgehog’s next adventure. Things kick off with Sonic belting it through a forest and being pursued by three robotic aircraft that appear to explode just as they catch up with him. The hedgehog is then thrust forward before slowing up as he approaches a knife-edge cliff face. As he turns around, he looks visibly shocked, gaping at the landscape before him. It’s then the camera goes free-form as it snakes around the sprawling “open-zone” world, filled with rolling hills, lush vistas, and towering waterfalls. Before the title screen reappears, we hear a machine of sorts re-calibrating, and again see the pink robotic glow of the aircraft featured earlier.

Sonic Frontiers story and gameplay 

Sonic Frontiers landscape screenshot

(Image credit: SEGA)

What exactly “open-zone” means in practice remains to be seen – the above trailer is without any in-game footage – but in Sonic Frontiers you can expect to guide the titular hedgehog around Starfall Islands in an effort to once more thwart Dr. Eggman. In this instance, that’ll involve zipping through a variety of lush-looking landscapes with the sort of velocity that we’ve long hoped to see the series grasp in the 3D-era.

A recent teaser for Sonic Frontiers also gave us our first look at a Colossus-style boss fights that sees the famous blue hedgehog face up against a large robotic creature in an open landscape. From spinning to twirling, Sonic appears to perform speedy ariel attacks. Interestingly, there’s also a ring that Sonic activates by running in it like a hamster wheel, and it seems to scan the area. 

Sonic Frontiers development 

Sonic Frontiers landscape screenshot

(Image credit: SEGA)

As we reported back in May, a new Sonic game has been planned for release in 2022 for some time – and it would appear that this is the game first teased in that Sonic Central Stream. Sonic Frontiers is being developed by Sonic Team, with development led by director Morio Kishimoto – who also directed Sonic Forces and Sonic Colors – and producer Sachiko Kawamura – who served as art director of Sonic Forces and Sonic Generations. Ian Flynn, who wrote Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog series for over a decade, is set to pen an original storyline for the upcoming game.

Excited for all the new games coming in the next couple of years? Check out our list of new games for 2022 and beyond. 

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