Sonic Unleashed is unleashed?
Saturday, 22nd March 2008, 3:13pm (GMT), 3 Comments
First screenshots of Sonic Unleashed?

If you've not been keeping up, Sega made a new trademark a couple of weeks back for the name "Sonic Unleashed", and when this normally happens, we can expect to see a new game of that name be announced shortly thereafter. What's more, we are due for the announcement of the next primary platformer at any time this year, so is this it? Certainly looks that way!

Just check out the graphics on those environments! "Sonic in Pingu land" springs to mind, as they look like they're made out of plasticine, and I would have been sceptical if someone had just told me about that beforehand, but I think they look really nice! There's something, not quite old skool about them, but not the kind of realistic stuff we've come accustomed to either. It's a unique style all of its own, but thank God, it's bright and cheerful! Apparently they're based on cities in Greece, and the desert-like one looks a tad bland in places, but overall, they've really pulled a surprise out of the bag on this one. The cut scene seems to give mixed signals of both comedy and darkness, so I don't know what quite to make of that, but I really hope they go down the lighter road with this one. We don't need any more serious storylines for the time being.

My biggest question at this stage is a matter of dimensions. 3D graphics, great, but what about the controls? I've been saying for a long time, we need a primary Sonic game that is controlled in the traditional 2D axis form, and mostly side-on. This game could still be that. If you look at the last screen, of Sonic darting out from a behind a box, it suggests to me that he's running a preditermined path down that road and you can move him left and right. Not side-on no, but I really think they'd be safer with 2 dimensional controls at this point.

To me, these look like 360/PS3 screens too. If for Wii, my fear is that it'll follow the same wii remote controls as Secret Rings, which on the whole, didn't work for me.

From what I read, there's more out there right now too. There's word of a 600MB movie, a magazine scan and perhaps more shots, but I'm struggling to gain any clues as to where they might be. Will update.

EDIT:

Ludicrous amounts of screens and Were-hog?

Suddenly the name "Sonic Unleashed" makes perfect sense now. Shared with many I'm sure, my initial reaction to that transformation was a big 'ol "WTF?", but personally I'm not too bothered by it. It seems a little gimmicky and maybe even a bit of a rip-off of Twilight Princess' idea, if this is indeed a gameplay element, and I've no doubt it is..

..But then you browse through all these screens and just think "Wow!". If the game looks this good, they can turn Sonic into a shepherd's pie for all I care. There seems to be a lot of suggestion that it takes place on the 2D axis, either sideways on or from behind like Secret Rings, and that's pretty much exactly what I had hoped for. From the screens I can see two different levels, with the African/desert one being particularly varied, and it looks like the day-to-night feature that should have been in Sonic '06 is back, and you've got to believe, here to stay. That makes me incredibly happy, as I've wanted to be able to play levels set at different times of the day for so long now. And with the werewolf gimmick it makes perfect sense, since presumably Sonic can only transform at night. The contrast between this happy, plasticene world and the darker side is very apparent, and it suggests that alongside it will exist a much darker world, or variation of these levels.

Also note the complexity of that Blue Coast style level, in the aerial shots. It looks like an incredibly non-linear affair if those paths aren't just decorational, with your route weaving around and hopefully expanding into many options. I am absolutely loving what I see, and will constantly be wanting more.

EDIT AGAIN:



Sonic Team... I could kiss you.
Absolutely perfect - EXACTLY what I had in mind. A true "2.5D" adventure for our next primary platformer. The sense of speed suggests that its inspiration mainly comes from Sonic Rush, and going by the success of that format, it definitely seems like the right move for them to have made. My only gripe? Sonic's running animation could be better. I was hoping for something similar to SSBB and indeed, Sonic Rush. Still, who the hell cares, this is pure Sonic GOLD!

Oh, and apparently, the screens posted are from the XBox 360 version, and there is said to be a preview coming up in the Official Nintendo magazine, which suggests a multi-format release. Good move.
Comments   3 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Rachel[i luv sonic] on Friday, 25th April 2008, 10:50pm
Can you add more levels to sonic2?
And you should add more games,too.
#2. Comment posted by Lauren on Tuesday, 13th May 2008, 2:18pm
This website is amazing!
The amount of detail you have gone into is incredible. You've gone to heaps of effort with the aesthetics... just awesome.
I'm doing a Game Design course, and have a theory assignment on genres. I've chosen to write about one of the best games in history - Sonic the Hedgehog.
Very glad to stumble across your page.
Keep up the bewdiful work :)
#3. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 13th May 2008, 5:46pm
Thanks a lot Lauren, I really appreciate the comment!
Wow, lucky you, I'd love to be able to write a piece of coursework on Sonic! Hope my site can act as a useful reference for you.
Best of luck with it!
Featured Posts
Sonic's latest Wii U outing turns away from the popular and well established speed dashes of recent games, in favour of a more traditional platformer approach. But does it work? Get ready for one of the most different Sonic games in every respect!
We've finally done it! The Zone: 0 guides have reached their last big update. Owner LiQuidShade has new projects on the horizon, but this site will always remain in his heart.