Sonic is getting behind the wheel once again, as Sega today announced that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will arrive in stores late this year.
Set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, 3DS, and PC, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is a sequel to 2010's million-selling Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. The follow-up will feature some of Sega's most recognizable characters racing against one another in vehicles that switch between land, sea, and air modes on the fly.
Beyond returning racers like Sonic the Hedgehog, Jet Set Radio's Beat, and Super Monkey Ball's AiAi, the game will add in more vintage Sega characters like Golden Axe dwarf Gilius Thunderhead and Skies of Arcadia pirate Vyse. The tracks will also take inspiration from Sega games, with circuits themed after Jet Set Radio, Super Monkey Ball, Panzer Dragoon, and more.
In addition to the new faces and places, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will introduce new gameplay mechanics to encourage stylish and aggressive driving. The game will also implement a "fair weapon system" to make sure that players can block or evade any attack if they have the skill to do so. Finally, the game will include a revamped multiplayer mode, as well as grand prix and battle arena game types.
As with the original, development duties for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed are being handled by Sumo Digital. The studio has a history of working not just with Sega's iconic characters--it also created Sega Superstars Tennis in 2008--but also with racing games. Other Sumo Digital-developed racers include Sega Rally Online Arcade, OutRun Online Arcade, and F1 2009.
For more on Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, check out GameSpot's first preview.