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Sonic Forces Previews / Impressions Thread

A bit surprised this wasn't brought up before here.

As we know, Forces has a few previews from its E3 showing. But there was also quite a glut of previews on the game that came out in the past couple of weeks, there was recently a post-E3 event of Nintendo games coming soon for the Switch that was demoed in Europe, and Forces was among them.

And interestingly enough....none of them were exactly glowing.

E3 2017 previews:

PCMag - Sonic Forces (for PlayStation 4) Preview

Sonic Generations was one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games in recent memory, and even without the custom character aspect, Sonic Forces seems to be embracing the choices it made in its gameplay and level design. The Avatar levels are still a wild card, and just how much they stick close to Classic or Modern Sonic's styles (or how wildly they diverge from them) could make or break this game.

There's a strong foundation here, and a lot of potential for offbeat fun we haven't yet seen in an official Sonic game. We won't know how well those things will really mesh until Sonic Forces comes out this holiday season.

Twinfinite - "Sonic Forces Embraces Modern Characters Like Shadow and Will Be Fuel for Fanfics"

Gameplay wise, I wasn’t blown away with what I played. I was very limited in terms of customization options for the Avatar character, so it wouldn’t be fair to criticize that just yet, but putting that aside even, it felt a little clunky. When I jumped, it felt like the gravity was turned up a notch and I instantly came back down, which made finesse jumps difficult to land. It was almost as if the jump button was sticky and I couldn’t get a full jump off (it wasn’t sticky, for the record).

...

On the other hand, the 3D modern Sonic style stage I played felt great. It plays like a smoother version of Sonic Generations which was already the finest version of modern Sonic gameplay to date. What I was most happy about is that the boost function doesn’t appear to be as abusable and never ending as it was in Generations and Unleashed. Players will need to use their boost more tactically instead of spamming it to win.

AppTrigger - "E3 2017: Sonic Forces escapes the city, not its past"

It took me some time to put my finger on just what it was I didn't like about Sonic Forces. I played two stages. The first was the opening city level we've seen in trailers, a familiar playstyle from prior 3D Sonic titles. The second was a 2D platforming level controlling one of the customizable characters, though I didn't actually get to mess around with the customization features. But the conclusion I finally came to after playing Sonic Forces for a bit is this: neither really feels much like Sonic to me.

By necessity, Sonic must go fast, yet in the city level I constantly felt the need to slow myself down to deal with some obstacle. The path he moved on was mostly linear, as opposed to divergent and dynamic with many levels and options for passing difficult obstacles. Auto-targeting made dispatching enemies simple…perhaps too simple. There was really little left for me to do but run forward and occasionally stop to hit an attack button. There was no puzzle to it, and little skills required or taught.

Post-E3 2017 previews:

Nintendolife - "Running Scared from Sonic Forces"

Sonic Team, for the longest time, seems to think that Sonic is all about speed. To be fair that’s what all the marketing for the original games was pushing, but in reality speed in Sonic is a reward for playing well, not the standard staple of each game in the series (in terms of the old school classics, at least).

And so you can probably tell where we’re going with these first impressions. Yes, we’ve played Sonic Forces and yes, it’s just what you’d expect if you're a pessimist. It's a modern Sonic game that disappoints at nearly every turn. We played three different levels with three different characters, namely Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the infamous custom-created Avatar.

NintendoLife also put out this critical video preview. Fandom reaction to it hasn't exactly been the greatest.

Eurogamer - "Maybe it's time for us to leave Sonic Team's take on its own series behind"

To my surprise and delight, one of 2017's very best video games is made by none other than Sonic Team. Yup, that Sonic Team - the developer formerly known as Sega AM8, the one behind behind Sega's iconic mascot and the very same studio that's been by the hedgehog's side through the good times and the bad.

You will likely not be surprised to discover, however, that that game is not Sonic Forces. Not unless something special happens between now and launch, that is.

Metro - "Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces hands-on preview and interview – ‘The focus is on old school fans’"

The production values are fairly high, with decent graphics, but the 3D sections still seem as imprecise as ever. To the point where you only seem to need to point Sonic in roughly the right direction to succeed. The demo level did get harder as it went along, but we never felt fully in control – and a lot of the obstacles appeared to come and go without any real inconvenience.

The same is true of the 2D sections, which compare poorly to Sonic Mania. For a start, the view is zoomed out too far, so that you're often squinting to make out what's going on, but the controls also aren't as tight and it doesn't even seem to be as fast.

All of which sounds quite critical, but our complaints our only in comparison to the excellence of Sonic Mania. Sonic Forces seems fine really: family-friendly junk food compared to the fine dining of Mania.

VG247 - "Sonic Forces is rough to the point of being comical – is there any way to save Sonic Team’s soul?"

On paper it should've been a no-brainer. Sonic Generations was good, and so a simple sequel to that game seems like a strong idea. The idea to finally let Sonic fans create their own characters in-game is a stroke of genius considering how fans have been doing that for years already (google your name the hedgehog and check the results). But somehow, inexplicably, Sonic Forces so far feels worse than Generations.

In the classic Sonic level I play there's something floaty to his jumps and generally loose to his movements that doesn't feel right. The modern Sonic gameplay seems less finessed than Generations, back to some of the pitfalls the series was making back when it first tried this format of gameplay in Unleashed.

The level I play of the new avatar character is guilty of some of the worst enemy design I've seen in ages, presumably thus to facilitate the fact the avatar character might have one of a few different abilities depending on how players choose to kit it out.

Waypoint - "Mario vs Sonic in 2017 is looking mightily one-sided"

Sonic Generations proved that Classic and Modern Sonic can co-exist and even thrive if the levels work and the tone is right. But the main problem with Sonic Forces is that the levels don't seem to ‘flow’ that well.

Talking about the ‘flow’ of each level sounds like airy-fairy-I-haven't-got-a-real-criticism-to-make-so-this-wishy-washy-BS-will-do nonsense. In this case, it's fairly apt. There's a lot of having to check your speed in ‘Classic’ Sonic levels to avoid the obstacles and pitfalls, along with a lot of stopping and starting in ‘Modern’ Sonic levels because you missed a homing attack on an enemy. It's not really a case of ‘git gud', even though playing and learning each level does solve those problems. It's that the whole ‘git gud’ learning curve isn't that much fun.

The lack of flow through each level is true even when playing with your own created character. Along with the weapons, you can equip skills such as the ability to explode into the air or turn into an electric ball of death, slamming through enemies. The idea is that these skills allow you to tackle levels in different ways, using the explosion leaps to reach higher platforms, as one example. But it still doesn't really solve the stop/start nature of each level and it doesn't make level replays that much more enjoyable while learning the fastest routes.

WCCF Tech - "Sonic Forces Hands-On - Thoroughly Forced"

A character creator tool is honestly harmless – but creating your character feels a bit pointless when there's no variety of what you can do in-game. From what we were able to see, all of the OC characters will play identically, using a grapple gun to swing around objects, and using it as a homing attack – essentially making all of the OC stages play like Sonic, but my OC also happened to have a flamethrower. It killed enemies quicker but still didn't manage to make the game fun.

Unfortunately, it's incredibly difficult to get excited for Sonic Forces at this stage. The game didn't look good (although resolution will definitely be higher on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game than Nintendo Switch), it didn't feel very good to play, stages didn't feel inspired or interesting… It was just something I played. Or endured.

Sonic forces one more 3D game out, but maybe he shouldn't have bothered.

Trusted Reviews - Sonic Forces Preview (The Google search for the preview has the subtitle "one step forward, ten steps back")

Being punished for circumstances you can’t predict, and the constant chore of stopping and starting, remains as tiresome as it did in 2003’s Sonic Heroes. Control is often taken away from you, too, and set pieces are presented through a wildly choppy frame rate. Platformers are at their best when you’re rewarded for tight precision and exploration. Sonic Forces clasps your hand like an overbearing parent and seldom lets go.

Last up are the Avatar stages, which harbour a surprising amount of potential.At first I was optimistic, hoping my new weaponry would alleviate previous frustrations. I was wrong. The Avatar stages play almost exactly like the aforementioned Modern playgrounds, with all the disappointment in tow. It’s a shame, and I desperately hope the customisation tools are refined since they currently feel broken. By holding down the ZR button I sent out a constant stream of lightning that killed everything in my path, essentially making me invincible.

Movies Games and Tech - Preview: Sonic Forces

Whilst the control issues plaguing the Modern Sonic portion of the demonstration are not serious enough to make it unplayable, the same cannot be said of the ones found whilst playing as the Avatar character. It’s difficult to move and make use of the abilities each custom character possesses in an efficient manner. In a way, playing as one of these characters is a similar experience to playing the dreaded Sonic Boom Nintendo Wii U title. Being associated with Sonic Boom is definitely not a positive trait to boast about.

Given the state of the title, it’s difficult to not have concerns when wondering what the retail version of Sonic Forces will be like. Hopefully Sonic Team will be able to address all of the issues plaguing this demonstration. As it stands, Sonic Forces may seem to make use of ideas found in the enjoyable Sonic Generations, but it has a long journey ahead of it before it can be as appealing and charismatic, if this demonstration is anything to go by.

🤔
 

Dark Cloud

Member
Feb 2, 2016
12,012
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345
"Mario vs Sonic is looking mightily one-sided". Yeah it's definitely looking like that, again.
 

luulubuu

Junior Member
Aug 26, 2016
2,337
6
0
Yeah, well I'm still day one. Gotta go crazy on my OCs, give Luu the Wolf a chance to live.
Plus, we can finally play as him

 

James Scott

Banned
May 24, 2014
11,386
2
0
Pretty sure Sonic Team isn't making Mania though that ruins Eurogamer's joke.
Yeah, the post e3 previews were pretty negative.
Don't remember there being many games with negative previews that ended up amazing. Especially Sonic which is usually the opposite

It does seem like the 4th Boost game everyone told Sonic Team to make instead of something different so there's that.
 
Jun 18, 2015
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Yeah, well I'm still day one. Gotta go crazy on my OCs, give Luu the Wolf a chance to live.
Plus, we can finally play as him

Is it bad that the picture absolutely made my laugh out loud? Like the guy who did that sounds like a jerk but the description is hilarious lol.
 

Kinsei

Banned
Jun 5, 2013
22,879
2
0
Yeah, those previews are what I expected based on what has been shown off.

*Sigh* I really want this game to be good.
 

13ruce

Banned
Aug 29, 2016
8,331
9
0
Netherlands
This is gonna be a guilty pleasure game of mine probs nothing more or less, thats what 3D sonic has been for a long time in my case.
 

Sami+

Member
May 2, 2013
10,664
1
0
Tallahassee
Sonic Mania comes out next month! :)

This game looks really really terrible and maybe Sonic Team will learn something when their game is 20+ points below the small side game on MC (but probably not)! :(
 

Loz246789

Member
Nov 7, 2016
306
0
0
Damn. I wasn't really expecting the avatar stages to be particularly good, and with Mania coming out the classic stages were always going to pale in comparison...
But to hear the modern stages have issues too? That kind of sucks. Black knight and Lost world aside (which were experimental titles, to be fair), there's a sense of sonic team learning from unleashed, to colours, to generations. I wonder what happened.
 

kirbyfan407

Member
Jul 16, 2014
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0
445
Since Sega already has one Sonic game releasing this year, I almost wish they would delay Forces to 2018 and just polish it. These previews make it sound like it's currently an iterative sequel to Generations that is somehow worse.
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Apr 4, 2013
13,461
5
0
Sonic Mania comes out next month! :)

This game looks really really terrible and maybe Sonic Team will learn something when their game is 20+ points below the small side game on MC (but probably not)! :(
Sonic Team never learn. I'm now convinced that Colours and Generations were flukes.

Sega, please. Just fucking fire Sonic Team already and hire a competent developer for your flagship franchise. How many chances do they need?
 

WillyFive

Member
Sep 17, 2009
28,623
1
0
Sonic Team never learn. I'm now convinced that Colours and Generations were flukes.

Sega, please. Just fucking fire Sonic Team already and hire a competent developer for your flagship franchise. How many chances do they need?

Sonic Team is not the problem, it's a Sega problem of not giving these developers time to polish their games. Almost all of their games require six more months of development, especially Sonic Team titles.
 

Yukinari

Member
May 11, 2015
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0
Sonic Team is not the problem, it's a Sega problem of not giving these developers time to polish their games. Almost all of their games require six more months of development, especially Sonic Team titles.

So wait the main team that made Generations and Colors WASNT working on this all that time?

I thought their B-Team did Lost World.
 

Father_Brain

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
22,707
0
0
35
New York, NY
I enjoyed Generations and I'm sure this will be fun, but I can't get over how underwhelmingly iterative Forces looks six years later. It looks like it should have been released in 2013 or 2014, not 2017.

And yes, I know this hasn't been in development for anywhere near six years, and that much of the team developed Lost World in the interim. That's not much of an excuse.
 

WillyFive

Member
Sep 17, 2009
28,623
1
0
So wait the main team that made Generations and Colors WASNT working on this all that time?

I thought their B-Team did Lost World.

Generations and Colors are from two different teams, I believe, and Colors team went on to do Lost World. Anyway, this was the previous Sonic Team project:

 

Slamtastic

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Oct 26, 2007
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Gotta buy it though.

The ridiculous over the top edge of Infinite and the OC creator are too hilarious to not reward Sonic Team for daring to do them.

A lot more interesting conceptually than just giving up and remaking GHZ and Chemical Plant to appease angry fanboys.
 

James Scott

Banned
May 24, 2014
11,386
2
0
Sonic Team never learn. I'm now convinced that Colours and Generations were flukes.

Sega, please. Just fucking fire Sonic Team already and hire a competent developer for your flagship franchise. How many chances do they need?
Not that they were flukes, but they're played out.
0 reason for Classic Sonic when it's not Generations 2 and Mania is out. It's redundant.
The gameplay style is essentially 10 years old. It feels old and they already built upon it enough.

Imagine if Galaxy was slightly mediocre and then they made 4 more Galaxy games. That's Sonic now
 
Jul 19, 2015
25,317
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Philadelphia,pa
Sonic Team never learn. I'm now convinced that Colours and Generations were flukes.

Sega, please. Just fucking fire Sonic Team already and hire a competent developer for your flagship franchise. How many chances do they need?
Y'all always take shit too far man just give some criticism without calling for people to lose their damn jobs holy crap
 

Neoleo2143

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Dec 21, 2015
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"Mario vs Sonic is looking mightily one-sided". Yeah it's definitely looking like that, again.

Sonic Mania exists so it's not entirely one sided, but yeah the 3D sonics have not compared favorably to the 3D Marios of their time for pretty much the whole of their existence.
 

Kouriozan

Member
Mar 22, 2012
28,515
1
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If only it had Chao Garden to save it like Adventure 1/2.
Well I kinda enjoyed the Adventure games, but something just feel off with Forces so it don't really cater to those fans. It don't seem to have a clear focus from what I read.
 

SatoAilDarko

Member
Mar 3, 2013
12,618
3
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So wait the main team that made Generations and Colors WASNT working on this all that time?

I thought their B-Team did Lost World.

Generations and Colors are from two different teams, I believe, and Colors team went on to do Lost World. Anyway, this was the previous Sonic Team project:


Actually Forces has the same Director as Lost World. This is his first non-Nintendo home console exclusive Sonic game.

Morio Kishimoto is the director of Sonic Forces. He designed Secret Rings and Black Knight. He also directed Sonic Lost World and the Wii version of Sonic Colors.
http://www.tssznews.com/2017/04/12/famitsu-has-released-new-information-on-sonic-mania-forces-iizuka-interview/

From the Sonic Wiki:

Credits

Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) - Lead Game Designer
Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) - Lead Game Designer
Sonic Colors (Wii Version) (2010) - Director & Lead Game Designer
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (2012) - Special thanks
Sonic Lost World (Wii U Version) (2013) - Director
Sonic Forces (2017) - Director

http://sonic.wikia.com/wiki/Morio_Kishimoto
 
Sonic Team is not the problem, it's a Sega problem of not giving these developers time to polish their games. Almost all of their games require six more months of development, especially Sonic Team titles.

This game has been in development for almost than four years. That's roughly the same amount of development time between Mario 3D World and Mario Odyssey, for comparison's sake. The fact that this was the best Sonic Team could come up with during all of this time is entirely on them.

Also, Mania was allowed to skip its Spring 2017 release in favor for the August date it has now; and that was a game that started development back in late 2015 (scope and available resources notwithstanding).

Since Sega already has one Sonic game releasing this year, I almost wish they would delay Forces to 2018 and just polish it. These previews make it sound like it's currently an iterative sequel to Generations that is somehow worse.

Based on the complaints, people aren't complaining about a lack of polish (Switch version aside). Complaints about the playstyles (Avatar gameplay in particular) and the level design point more towards the game's design, rather than glitches and bugs that need to be stamped out. A 2018 delay (even if it was for a full year) would not be enough to make coherent structural changes.
 

Sami+

Member
May 2, 2013
10,664
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Sonic Team never learn. I'm now convinced that Colours and Generations were flukes.

Sega, please. Just fucking fire Sonic Team already and hire a competent developer for your flagship franchise. How many chances do they need?

I honestly, truly thought they were better than this. Both Unleashed and Generations (ESPECIALLY Unleashed) were very competently made and looked like they had something, but just needed some more time in the oven and not having really dumb decisions forced by higher level employees ("kids love beat em ups").

What the hell happened? I really don't get it.
 

Blueblur1

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Jul 27, 2007
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The game was looking rough the moment they first showed the crappy 2D Sonic gameplay. Its as if they threw out all the code from Generations and started over from scratch again using Sonic 4 as a basis.

And the 3D gameplay is more of the same and looks like it consists of even tighter corridors than it did before.
 

James Scott

Banned
May 24, 2014
11,386
2
0
Actually Forces has the same Director as Lost World. This is his first non-Nintendo home console exclusive Sonic game.


http://www.tssznews.com/2017/04/12/famitsu-has-released-new-information-on-sonic-mania-forces-iizuka-interview/

From the Sonic Wiki:



http://sonic.wikia.com/wiki/Morio_Kishimoto
Lost world had some good ideas but the controls were bad. Maybe if they had a few more months (they really needed to fix how you grind for Flickies and lives which the DLC managed)
Oddly enough the 3DS version had better controls but it falls apart after the first world
Would've really liked to see them build upon it like Unleashed which had half a good game in there but instead people were begging for Sonic Team to stop trying to move the series forward
 

Spaghetti

Member
Nov 4, 2013
8,905
0
0
What the hell happened? I really don't get it.
I have a theory - and it's completely unsubstantiated mind you - that Sonic Team probably spent a significant amount of time working through prototypes for a new type of 3D Sonic game but were paralysed by the potential negative effects of change/uncertain about quality/forced into something safer by higher ups, and ended up reverting to basically making Generations 2 with not a whole lot of time left on the clock before a desired release window.

I want to give Sonic Team the benefit of the doubt that they would not willingly backslide on a working formula.
 

Gunstar Ikari

Unconfirmed Member
Jan 21, 2013
5,565
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0
I'll always take Sonic previews with a grain of salt, but pretty much everything since Generations released points to that game being a happy accident so it won't be a huge shock if Forces turns out to be a dud too.

I think they're referring to Puyo Puyo Tetris. Which is an incredible game, yes.

Funny thing is that, as a Puyo Puyo fan, I feel like Puyo Tetris is actually one of the weaker entries in the series.
But who's playing the game for Puyo Puyo anyway lol
 

hatchx

Banned
Jun 30, 2009
7,266
3
0
Toronto
Sonic team needs to do what Nintendo did for Mario 64 and make sure sonics controls, physics and movement are fun and intuitive in a blank open space first.

It's as if sonic team gets so wrapped around new settings and gimmicks that they never actually polish the second-to-second gameplay.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
85,508
4
0
Actually Forces has the same Director as Lost World. This is his first non-Nintendo home console exclusive Sonic game.


http://www.tssznews.com/2017/04/12/famitsu-has-released-new-information-on-sonic-mania-forces-iizuka-interview/

From the Sonic Wiki:



http://sonic.wikia.com/wiki/Morio_Kishimoto

I just looked up what Hiroshi Miyamoto (the director of Generations) has been up to and Sega apparently has him churning on Mario & Sonic at the Olympics titles. What.The.Fuck.
 

RK128

Member
Jan 6, 2014
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I have a theory - and it's completely unsubstantiated mind you - that Sonic Team probably spent a significant amount of time working through prototypes for a new type of 3D Sonic game but were paralysed by the potential negative effects of change/uncertain about quality/forced into something safer by higher ups, and ended up reverting to basically making Generations 2 with not a whole lot of time left on the clock before a desired release window.

I want to give Sonic Team the benefit of the doubt that they would not willingly backslide on a working formula.

I get the impression Forces when though a very troubled development, not unlike Sonic 06. But thanks to having a winning formula lean on (Modern Sonic), they scrambled together whatever they had done to make something like a Modern Sonic game.

Classic being tossed in and Avatar scream 'Gameplay styles to pad out game when our assets are being limited'. Generations didn't have this problem really, but it's far more evident with Forces I think.

With Avatar being so similar to Modern Sonic, it's clear that Avatar was made to compensate for the lack of Modern Sonic Stages. Classic...was included for the very same reason. To use existing assets to pad out the game.

I hope that using a solid formula would lead to a good game at the very least, but I think they wanted to make an Adventure styled game but forced it into a Modern Sonic game. The whole 'darkness' aspect, vocal themes coming back? Stables from the Dreamcast Era sonics.

I will say this though; I am feeling a creative spark that I felt was missing in Generations and Lost World. This same spark lead to Unleashed and Colors, two of my favorite Sonic's. So, hoping my gut feeling is right and this will be fun.
 

PlatypusDude

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Jan 2, 2016
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Yeah, the game is probably going to be actually quite a bit better if you don't take it seriously as it wants you to. The comedy factor is approching infinite levels

I doubt they can top the President having a photo of Sonic and Shadow on his desk though.

This whole game has just felt off from day one, kinda depressing considering I thought Colors and Generations were actually good games. I had hoped they could keep that going, but lol Sonic I guess.