Sonic Generations First Look Preview

We hold our breath and try to keep up as we get our first look at classic Sonic meets modern Sonic in Sonic Generations.

For a while now, Sega has been trying to reconcile its two contrasting portrayals of Sonic: the old-school Sonic, characterized by the fast-paced, side-scrolling action of the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis days; and the new 3D Sonic, a brighter, cheekier, and slightly more supersonic version (geddit?).

We've had old-school gameplay with 3D looks (Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1); 3D gameplay with a dash of side-scrolling (Sonic Colours); and finally, a Kinect-powered racing game (Sonic Free Riders). Now, still hoping to find the perfect balance, Sega has put the two Sonics together in Sonic Generations, a new platformer designed to celebrate the iconic mascot's 20th anniversary. We recently had the chance to sit through a short demo of the game's first two levels at Sega's offices in Sydney.

At this stage, not much is known about Sonic Generations' story. The game will encompass the 20 years of Sonic's history and will be set across three defining eras: the 2D Mega Drive/Genesis era; the introduction of 3D in the Dreamcast era; and the modern-day HD graphics era. Instead of creating new levels, the developers have revamped a bunch of iconic stages throughout these eras in HD and given players the choice of playing each stage in either classic side-scrolling 2D or in modern-era 3D.

There will be two incarnations of Sonic to go with each of these options: a classic Sonic and a modern Sonic. Each incarnation will retain the character's set of moves from whatever era he comes from, meaning the spin dash and spin attack for classic Sonic and the homing attack and sonic boost for modern Sonic.

Our first look at the game took us through the first level in the Green Hill Zone, which we saw twice: once in classic and once in modern. As old Sonic fans will remember, Green Hill Zone is all about lush tropical environments, achingly blue skies, brightly colored palm trees, checkered hills, and a zillion loop-de-loops. The level has been given a HD makeover, so it still retains the classic feel of the old Sonic games, but there's a lot more color and vibrancy to admire. Not that you have much time to take in the surroundings, what with this being a Sonic game and all.

Our head spun as we watched Sonic get back into old form in the classic mode, zipping around the various springs, slopes, and loops while jumping for rings, avoiding spikes and generally becoming reacquainted with all of his old abilities (the spin dash is a favorite). It's fast, but it's nothing compared to what comes next.

Entering the same level again, the 3D Sonic doesn't mess around. The camera now moves very closely behind Sonic, so we get a different perspective as he slides and jumps his way across the environment. In the big blur of blue and white and green, we managed to work out that Sonic now has the ability to use a homing attack to target enemy badniks from midair. In this level, the badniks were in their simplest form, the ladybug-like mechanical baddies that Sonic can easily manage.

This incarnation of the level also introduced zip lines, which Sonic glides across to avoid pits and large bodies of water. We also saw an underground part that has Sonic sliding across a zip line through a cave while being pursued by a giant mechanical fish. Things got crazy when Sonic decided to use his boost while zipping: It took the game from supersonic to hypersonic with no remorse for the poor sod watching (us).

As usual, there is more than one way to complete a level (up high, middle range, or ground level, from what we could tell), which is good to know because some parts of the 3D levels look hard to complete. Our demo was over before we knew it, but it left us feeling giddy with excitement. Or maybe just giddy.

Sonic Generations is due out on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year.

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Discussion

121 comments
GameMaster1995
GameMaster1995

Love it! As a hard-core Sonic the Hedgehog fan, I finally think were turning a corner as far as Sonic in new gen gaming. The days of having to endure some of the (some unfair) criticism of the new gen, 3D Sonic games are numbered. With "Sonic Unleashed" (excluding the gimmicky Werehog levels), "Sonic Colors", and now "Sonic Generations", we are finally seeing why we Sonic fans truly love Sonic. With the exclusion of the "Sonic Adventure" series, we haven't seen Sonic's full potential, and I think now we are arriving at our destination. SEGA, just take your time because I really think that this could actually raise the bar even higher as far as platformer games go! Only bad thing is no Wii release....

GameMaster1995
GameMaster1995

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

earthshaker1213
earthshaker1213

There's no shooting in this game. Sega learned not to put shooting after Shadow the Hedgehog. And 3 alternate realities? It's 2, not 3. Get your facts straight. "Beaten to within an inch to their life and thrown out of the back alley. That should be you getting beaten by thugs and thrown into the back alley. Sonic fans aren't moronic just because you say so. I don't have time to talk you anymore with ********** like you who ***** about something they don't like and act like trolls. I'll respect someone who gives good, clean opinions instead of people ******** about a franchise and such.

earthshaker1213
earthshaker1213

@Darth_Shenron The Sonic Franchise is not a dead franchise unless Sega and Sonic Team says so. And, I've never really heard of shenmue and skies of arcadia so how could everybody like it.

earthshaker1213
earthshaker1213

@fadthebad the previous installment wasn't a let down. On average, the game is rated about an 8 to 8.5. IMO, I think this will be better than colors.

al_win
al_win

Sonic Generations for the Win my friend!

famonameio
famonameio

I think it would be awesome to see it on the mac platform. It's a gaming machine too!

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

Sonic sucks? Naw,just needs a little help.I did enjoy Sonic Colors though.

cody20
cody20

Take your time and do this one right Sega. put it on delay if you need to. make additional tweaks if you need to...just do it right. Personally I thought Sonic Adventure 1 was a great game (however, not without its flaws)and I like the idea of finding new levels vs. just choosing them from a menu...we'll see how Sega does. Please don't disappoint!!

Xiosis
Xiosis

This could be entrusting, I need to see a trailer and some gameplay before consider getting this.

warrner11
warrner11

It's "It's" not "It"s"..... this is fun :)

warrner11
warrner11

@Ur_Daddy_711 "I before E, except after C" doesn't matter. Don't loop me in with the rest of those who cant let go of the past. I enjoy some of the new gameplay mechanics they've come up in the the 3D gen, just that a lot of it has been poorly executed. and it "Werehog"

Ur_Daddy_711
Ur_Daddy_711

@warrner11 Did you mean to say that your a Sonic "Soldier"? Because you spelled "Solider". I think that pretty much says everything about you and the rest of your ilk. You people need to quit living in the past. This is nothing innovative. Sonic Team already introduced this fusion of side-scrolling and 3D platform during Sonic Unleashed, and no, I'm not talking about the Warehog, either. I give up. I guess I'm just mad because I can pull a better game out of my @$$ than a lot of these other fried developers. Let's be honest. If it wasn't for Sonic's cute anime mug, these developers would be living under an overpass. Anyone remember Little Blond Boy and the Giant Egg? Sonic brings back a lot of nostalgia for me, pray to God they don't F this up again!

warrner11
warrner11

@Ur_Daddy_711 is calling some1 an imbecile really necessary? I know completely what im talkin bout. You have posted a long winded rant that makes u come off as one of those people that seem fed up with something but will still go about using it regardless. Ive been a sonic solider since '94 so im just as disappointed with many of the recent ones (Sonic 06, Unleashed, Shadow), but im still somewhat hopeful that they'll find their stride and make us a true gem for the 3D gen of sonic games.

darksongbird
darksongbird

@Scandals123 I see what you mean. You're not alone. I actually think I'm in the minority that loved races, but loved Treasure Hunting just a bit more.

Scandals123
Scandals123

@darksongbird Yeah i just found the treasure hunting tedious. It wasnt badly designed or anything, I just prefer as much speed from a Sonic game as I can get

super600
super600

This looks really fun, but I have one minor complaint with this.I thnk the boost in the 3D sections has the potential to be abused to the extreme in this game.

darksongbird
darksongbird

I think I just might give this game a purchase even though it's my brother who owns a PS3 and not me. BTW, Scandals123: I'm one of the people that just loved Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the Gamecube. The Treasure hunting missions were actually my favorite. I only disliked racing in the karts and fighting in the machines. Racing was great on foot though. It's by far my favorite Sonic game (and I've played some of Colors too)!

Scandals123
Scandals123

so, the 2D part is basically what Sonic 4 Episodes 2-whatever could be? Better than waiting for new levels I guess. I always enjoyed the 3D Sonics, well the early ones at least (Sonic Adventure, SA2, Sonic Heroes) for the Sonic parts, but felt they wasted a lot of time with the treasure hunting or the robot fighting parts. People only buy Sonic games for speed, and without that the franchise falls flat. At least Sega have spent time in the last year bringing speed back with Colors and Sonic 4, and looks like they're heading in the right direction here too

DARKNESSxEAGLE
DARKNESSxEAGLE

As long as Sega doesn't go down the path RareWare did, then the rejuvenation of Sonic should go well from now... As long as they don't do anything stupid (e.g. 'sonic unleashed 2' or 'sonic and the black knight 2')

M-Yu
M-Yu

Last year was a turning point for Sonic and i hope that this game keeps up the momentum Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors built

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

If this is as good as Sonic Colors, I'll check it out. First time I enjoyed a Sonic game in about 10 years.

mstormer
mstormer

@Ur_Daddy_711 I disagree. I think it's fine to say that sonic is slowly picking itself back up, I mean, Sonic colors was the best sonic game in about a decade!

eliebaz
eliebaz

@Ddcooljoe @Ur_Daddy_711 Iam afraid im going to have to agree with you, sonic got me into gaming as well, the new sonics really sucked the last good sonic was 3 on the sega, with one or two okay ones here and there, but this classic style gaming could really be what sonic needs definatley interested again, looks great so far lets see what its rated :)

Ddcooljoe
Ddcooljoe

@Ur_Daddy_711 I would have to agree with you. It hurts me, as well, that I agree with all of what you said. I started playing Sonic back when I was 3 or 4 years old and that's what got me into videogames. I feel like Sega is trying to kill me with all these mediocre Sonic titles they've been making. I think we can only hope that Generations, will FINALLY be the revival that the series needed.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

Man, does ANYONE still care about this pathetic franchise?

Hiroo4
Hiroo4

Uh. Sonic 4 episode 2?

Spacerac
Spacerac

Also, people upset the game is not coming to Wii; Sonic 4 aside, Wii got Colors and 360 got Riders. Sure Riders sucked, but PS3 got nothing. It's just the Wii's turn now.

Ur_Daddy_711
Ur_Daddy_711

@ssj5_nick and @warrner11 Let me knock down 2 birds with one stone here - you two imbeciles have no idea what you're talking about. Read my response and see which corresponds with you. First off, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 were released before 2002, I was talking about the past 5 years. Yes, Adventure 1 & 2 were great endeavors but Sega will never return to that formula and it'll be long overdue when they do. And wether I play this game or not means absolutely nothing. I mean, (lol), does anyone not remember "The Warehog"? I mean, GOD DAMN! What were they tripping on?!? Don't tell me: "Well, at least they were trying to be original". These developers are off their sake stained rocker. Sonic Heroes? All Sonic Adventure needed was a faster graphics rendering technology and new stages. Sonic 4 was the straw for me. I thought, they couldn't possibly F this up! I come to find that they want me to pay $15 for 3 stages. 3! Seriously, these guys have issues! Now, I used to love Sonic. So all this pains me more than any of you. But, the nail in the coffin has already been hammered. This is what you call shooting bullets into his grave.

unnamed475
unnamed475

Its the first time in a while I will follow a sonic game

Spacerac
Spacerac

People, Sonic Unleashed is called Sonic World Adventure in other places. It is for all intents and purposes "Sonic Adventure 3." So fuggeddabout clamoring for SA3.

paradigm68
paradigm68

*sighs* Have to remember not to get my hopes up...

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

GO WEEGEE ! IT's finally a game staring WEEGEE!

mstormer
mstormer

Unsurprisingly, Green hill zone looks amazing in HD. Can't wait for this, i'm a sonic fan and i'm totally getting this!

mstormer
mstormer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

Reminds me of the Sonic 4: Episode 1. Make it like classics and people will buy it. I don't mind classic sonic, but Sega needs to learn that making something classic isn't what makes it good, it is making some original that makes it good. I will still play this but I want a SA3!

chechak7
chechak7

i just remember old days Sonic 1-2-3-4 i love it

schmam123
schmam123

everyone im a big sonic fan and i can tell u y they wont make SA3 cuz they might screw up on a game that is 3d and not 2.5d as ppl put it i feel like sonic 06 was supposed to be SA3 but since it sucked ppl didnt want to think it was SA3

ssj5_nick
ssj5_nick

@Ur_Daddy_711 What are you talking about? Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 were proof that 3D Sonic can work and colors was a good reminder. Quit focusing on the crap that came in between. And I'm surprised that you're frustrated with Sonic having to stop Eggman from turning the gay little aliens gayer. That's every Sonic game ever. Way to be late to the party.

ssj5_nick
ssj5_nick

So let me get this straight. The Wii delivers the only decent Sonic game with Colors since Adventure 2 and it can't have the next good Sonic game now that the blue hedgehog is back on the right track? Well **** your **** Sega because now I have to give those ******** at Microsoft more of my money to repair my piece of crap that is the Xbox 360 if I want to play Generations.

warrner11
warrner11

@Ur_Daddy_711 u know u'll be one of the first to play.....

FedCom
FedCom

Mobius's checkered dirt does look silly...but awesome at the same time. Really liked the implied setting the Megadrive games were set in. Come to think of it looking at the Sonic's together I really like the original more. The Dreamcast was fun but it just seems like the games have been trying to get faster and faster, while the original games had the perfect blend going on (hence the constant re-releases). Will have to see if this can actually be good but it's looking nice at least and that's unusual for me.

darkspineslayer
darkspineslayer

Son, I am disappoint. call it what you want, your rehashing old level design now because your attempts at new ones failed to capture. it takes time to rebuild a reputation after something like Sonic '06

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

This proves that Sonic is stil lalive and kicking! I really like Sonic games!