It is no secret that the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has had its fair share of successes, as well as some particular titles which have gone down in history as a stain on the series reputation. Earlier this year, we reviewed Sonic Mania which undeniably proved that there is still a place for the blue blur’s 2D efforts. Now it’s the turn of Sonic Forces, which represents the other half of the company’s plans for their infamous mascot. In what seems like an impossible chain of events, Dr. Eggman has finally succeeded in conquering the world with the help of his latest creation, a robotic warrior by the name of Infinite.
As if this weren’t terrifying enough, he has also managed to neutralise and capture Sonic. Six months after this ordeal, a group of resistance rebels lead by Knuckles the Echidna are joined by a new recruit, as well as the Classic styled version of Sonic, who has been transported to this alternate universe after the events of Sonic Mania. After freeing their world’s version of Sonic from Dr. Eggman’s rebuilt Death Egg, the resistance must work together to destroy Infinite, and put an end to the Eggman Empire once and for all. The plotline is fairly enjoyable, and is considerably darker than previous entries. Most of the script suits the mood of an apocalyptic story, but there are a few places in the script that could definitely do with a rewrite, as they feel decidedly out of place or rush the story forward without a plausible explanation.
The main gameplay of Sonic Forces is divided into thirty distinct levels, which are separated into four different types of stage. The levels navigated by Modern and Classic Sonic should be instantly familiar to anyone who has played Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations. The Classic Sonic areas stay true to the tried and tested 2D gameplay that was made famous in the days of the SEGA Mega Drive, except with the addition of the Homing Attack, and the Drop Dash which was a new move in Sonic Mania. It’s definitely recommended to use these moves often, as the regular running pace of the hedgehog feels slightly stunted when compared with older entries. The Modern Sonic stages feel mostly the same, with the only noticeable change being that the areas you speed through feel slightly narrowed, which doesn’t allow much room for freely choosing your direction or using the shoulder buttons to change lines in mid run.