Article updated as of 29 June 2022 with new information.
Following a showcase on Nintendo’s morning presentation, SEGA unveiled a plethora of new gameplay and story details about Sonic’s upcoming mainline title, Sonic Frontiers, currently set for a holiday release.
Cyber Space levels
The Direct trailer showcased the “Cyber Space” levels for the first time. They were designed to be a linear experience with a point A to point B objective. New places will be featured and old ones, like the iconic Green Hill Zone, are expected to return.
Take on challenges at Super Sonic speeds, and grab keys to progress.SEGA
It was confirmed that the entrances to Cyber Space have been made by “the ancient civilization of Starfall Islands.” The player will be tasked to solve puzzles and complete challenges to earn Portal Gears, which will unlock the entrances to these levels.
Players will also need to complete challenges in each Cyber Space level to receive Vault Keys, to progress further in the game.
Sonic’s new journey begins when him and his friends – Amy and Tails – head to the Starfall Islands in search of Chaos Emeralds. As they approach the islands, sudden trouble hits their plane, and they are sucked into a dimensional portal. Sonic then finds himself separated from his friends and awakens in a strange, digital world – Cyber Space.
He miraculously escapes Cyber Space and arrives on Kronos Island, one of the Starfall Islands, full of ancient ruins where strange enemies roam. It is then up to Sonic to explore the Starfall Islands, find his lost friends and uncover the mysteries around him.SEGA
The main draw of Sonic Frontiers is the open-zone gameplay. SEGA said that players will be able to explore through puzzles, Cyber Space, side quests, combat, and talk with different characters across the island in “any order they’d like to match their play style.”
The freedom that fans will get to explore through Frontiers is something that has never been done before in a Sonic game.
The combat in Sonic Frontiers will require players to use various button controls to fight strategically. The game throws an incentive to combine moves in combos, such as dodges, parries, and counters, to deal with enemies during the journey. The combat can be further expanded by unlocking new moves and combos via the Skill Tree.
For players that want more straightforward gameplay, the game will have an Auto Mode where various attack combos can be executed with a single button, allowing all fans to enjoy the combat system in Sonic Frontiers.
New Cyloop ability
One of the new skills that Sonic learns in Frontiers is the “Cyloop” move. It creates a band of light mirroring Sonic’s tracks. Players can surround enemies, items and areas to uncover its various effects and unlock the secrets of the Starfall Islands.
Throughout the ancient ruins of the Starfall Islands, there are various puzzles for the player to solve. Each completed puzzle can grant items to increase Sonic’s power and defence, reveal hidden parts of the map, or unlock new ways to navigate the island at fast speeds, a la Sonic Speed Simulator.
When starting Sonic Frontiers for the first time, fans can choose between two player control styles: Action Style and High Speed Style.
Action Style was made for newcomers to the Sonic series, with a bigger focus on more accurate platforming. Meanwhile, High Speed Style will offer more speed, great for players used to previous Sonic games.
The following are official descriptions of the two primary characters to be featured in Frontiers thus far, Sonic, and Sage.
Sonic the Hedgehog
“The world’s fastest supersonic hedgehog. Sonic’s adventure begins on the Starfall Islands in pursuit of the Chaos Emeralds and his lost friends. He is also guided by a strange voice along the way.”
“A mysterious girl that appears across the Starfall Islands. Throughout the story, she cautions Sonic to leave the Starfall Islands despite his mission to find and save his friends.”
A large enemy that looks like a tall building. Run up the arm it throws down to find its weakness at the top and attack.
An enemy composed of various stacked parts. Its weakness is at the top of its head, so Sonic will need to figure out how to destroy each stack to get to it.
An enemy with high-speed attacks reminiscent of the fighting style of its namesake. Can block incoming attacks and strike with shadows of itself.
This enemy spawns in groups and attacks in jabbing motions with both hands.
A floating enemy causing damage with attacks that appear as electric tornados.
A wheel-like enemy that rushes towards Sonic once he is detected and attacks at high speeds if provoked.
An enemy protected by a hard shell that attacks at a distance with a boomerang-type move. Sonic’s attacks cannot penetrate the hard shell, but other methods such as Cyloop can catch this enemy off-guard.
An enemy formed by a group of spheres that attacks Sonic with electricity.
Sonic Frontiers is expected to be released this holiday season for the Xbox consoles, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam and Epic Game Store.