In SONIC FORCES, the evil Dr. Eggman has conquered much of the world with help from a powerful and mysterious new villain named Infinite. Now, you must assist Sonic and build an army to reclaim the world as they fight against chaos and destruction.
Gameplay - 55%
In Sonic Forces, Eggman has taken control over 99.9% of the world. Equipped with his newest weapon: Infinite, Eggman decides to completely destroy Sonic and his friends. It’s up to Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and an Avatar that you can create to stop Eggman and Infinite. Sonic Forces instantly distinguishes itself from other Sonic games for its more mature story, however, it never fully embraces its ideas. Whenever a mature topic is discussed, it is immediately thrown aside for jokes and puns. For example; a character is said to have been tortured for months, but when we see that character again they’re cracking jokes as if nothing happened. The story also has too many characters to focus on. While the game gives a reasonable explanation for Classic Sonic being present, the game treats him as a side character.
Sonic Forces has three different styles of gameplay: Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar. Modern Sonic stages use the boost gameplay from Colors and Generations, and I’m happy to say that it remains the same in Forces. This time around Wisp capsules, as well as enemies and rings, fill the boost gauge. One flaw found in Modern Sonic stages are how simple they are.. Almost all of Modern Sonic’s stages require the player to hold forward and the boost button. Sonic will automatically turn when holding forward when he comes to a wide turn. Even this part of the game wasn’t fun as there would usually be a small jump to perform or an obstacle that would suddenly stop the player for not acting fast enough. In one particular stage, whenever I would boost, I would run right off the stage. It was so annoying that I had to walk until I cleared that section so I could boost again.
Classic Sonic’s stages were much more fun to play. Classic Sonic has his normal set of moves with a brand new move being the drop dash. The drop dash controls the same as it did in Mania, all the player has to do is hold the jump button while in the air, and they will perform a spin dash as they hit the ground. Classic Sonic’s stages were fairly bigger than Modern Sonic’s. As usual, there is a high route, a middle route, and a low route. The only problem I found with Classic Sonic was the air controls. Jumping and moving in any direction felt slow and would lead me to hit obstacles as I couldn’t move fast enough to avoid them.
Surprisingly, the Avatar was fun to play. The Avatar has an almost exact moveset to Modern Sonic with only two differences; Instead of using the homing attack, the Avatar will use a grappling hook to lock on and attack enemies. The Avatar also cannot boost, unless Modern Sonic is present. Besides the grappling hook, the Avatar has a variety of “Wispons” to use. Wispons are weapons available to only the Avatar that provide many different ways to attack enemies and clear stages. Each wispon has a primary attack and an ability that will activate once the player has touched a Wisp capsule of the same color. For example, If the player has the whip wispon and touches a yellow Wisp capsule, the Avatar can use the light speed dash on rings and enemies if they are close together. These abilities offer many different paths to completing a stage.
The Avatar Customization was another fun section of the game. Completing a stage for the first time, Getting an S rank, and collecting red star rings will all unlock additional clothing for the Avatar. The customization offers many different ways to dress your Avatar, including hats, helmets, gloves, shoes, bodysuits, etc. The player can even create more than one Avatar, although you can only use one at a time.
The bosses in Forces were repetitive and boring. Each boss for Modern Sonic was exactly the same: run until you get close and hit the homing attack repeatedly. Classic Sonic and the Avatar only had one boss each, but they were different, and the Avatar’s boss was actually difficult. One big draw of Sonic Forces was the return of villains from Sonic’s past. These include Zavok, Chaos, Shadow, and Metal Sonic. However, this is not true; you only fight two of these villains. The other two are ‘defeated’ in cutscenes and never mentioned again. This really angered me as I was excited to fight these villains once again. The final boss was the most disappointing of all. As I mentioned before, Sonic Forces has a more mature story, and the final boss reflects that however, the final boss fight is too easy. There is no real challenge and the boss fight is once again reduced to run and use the homing attack. The chaos Emeralds are not even in the game! I thought there was going to be one final BIG boss fight, but after beating every level and doing some research, I discovered that the Chaos Emeralds are not in the game. There is no way to earn them in-game, the only way to access Super Sonic is to get the Super Sonic DLC which was $2.00 until the recently made it free. On the stage select screen switch between regular Sonic and Super Sonic. Once you collect 50 rings, you will automatically become Super Sonic. The Avatar cannot become super and Super Sonic is unavailable for the final boss.
One shining light in Sonic Forces is the music. Each hero has a different style of music that accompanies their stages. Modern Sonic has fast tempo music to accompany the fast gameplay. Classic Sonic stages have music that was inspired by the genesis. The Avatar stages bring back vocals, which haven’t been seen since Sonic Adventure 2.
I bought Sonic Forces for the Nintendo Switch and the graphics are terrible. Most of the stages look perfectly fine, however, there are some parts of the stage that needed more work done. The backgrounds are the majority of the problem. The game looks great on other consoles, but I would beware buying on the switch.
Overall, I would say Sonic Forces was disappointing. Too many aspects of the game need more polish and entire sections need complete reworking. Sonic Team has said that Sonic Forces has had the longest development time of any Sonic game, but unfortunately it needs more time.
- Avatar customization
- Bosses repetitive and boring