Capsule Review: Sonic Forces

A 2D and 3D Sonic game with a fun character creator and unfun levels.

A platformer with a mix of 2D and 3D levels. As in Sonic Generations, there are 3D levels played as “modern” Sonic featuring boost gameplay and 2D levels played as “classic” Sonic featuring gameplay modeled after the original Genesis/Mega Drive games. Forces adds the Avatar - a player-created character that can be several different animal species and whose coloration, appearance, weapon abilities, and outfit are customizable - who also gets 3D levels both alone and teamed up with modern Sonic.

The Avatar character creator is surprisingly robust and I enjoyed dressing up my character in the outfits I unlocked by progressing in the game - but the game didn’t make good use of my created character. It frustrated me that I still had to play so many levels as Sonic, and in any case I wasn’t doing anything interesting as any of the characters. Levels are over in a minute or two and not especially memorable, especially due to the game frequently taking control away to autopilot through set pieces.

Ultimately, the game feels pulled in too many directions. It’s clear that a lot of love went into the Avatar creator and all its customization options and outfits, but then the rest of the game fails to let this shine. Instead, the player is forced to spend a lot of time with Sonic in insubstantial levels, carried forward by an abrupt and nonsensical story with a tone that’s all over the place (including, very early on, the fact that Sonic is apparently tortured by Eggman for months). A stronger focus on the avatar and a more consistent tone would have helped a lot, though you’d still need more compelling levels on top of that.

I Stopped Playing When: I played for about an hour and a half, sampling every level type and unlocking new outfits for my Avatar. I considered playing more to get more outfits, but since there wasn’t anything compelling to do with the Avatar and the actual play felt like a chore, I chose not to bother.

Docprof's Rating:

One Star: Not for me. While there might be someone out there who'd enjoy this game, I was actively repulsed by it or just found nothing to latch on to.

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