|Platform||Wii U, 3DS|
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.
Sonic Lost World tries to get back to the platforming roots of Sega’s blue hedgehog. Gone are the sprawling and complicated over-world maps, RPG elements, and character switching; this is Sonic as you love him, fast and focused. Lost World features an entirely original area of Sonic’s world for you to explore, one filled with new enemies and plenty of hidden secrets. Though Sonic is the only playable character, some of his friends—as well as his sworn enemy, Dr. Eggman—will appear, and our hero will even get help from some unusual places. While seeming familiar, the use of new geometry, as well as the mixing of 3D and 2D stages, make this a Sonic game like you’ve never seen before.
On the surface, Sonic Lost World looks exactly like the kind of game Sonic fans have been clamoring for. However, the problem I experienced during my brief demo is the game’s mixed message of speed and exploration. There are plenty of secret paths to find, and a lot of area to explore, but all of this amounts to stopping to smell the roses. Any time you decide to favor exploration rather than concentrating on speed, it feel less like a Sonic game to me.
Is this a deal breaker? Not necessarily. The gameplay was smooth, and the speed was there. Perhaps when the full game comes out, the balance will be such that everything will mesh—or else players can always opt to play through the game in different ways, thereby increasing replay value. But, in a limited setting, and when initially trying to get the feel for the game, things just felt off.
Overall, Sonic Lost World is a huge step in the right direction—and while I can envision ways in which Sthis latest Sonic project could turn out great, I just can’t get my hopes up due to how many times this franchise has burned me in the past.