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Sonic Forces: New Tag Team level confirmed

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1 hour ago, Shaddy the guy said:

I feel like if people are determined to believe something like that we're not going to have much to stop them with. Afterall, I still meet people who think Boom was a reboot, despite that being denied within the first day of it being announced. 

You think that's bad? I once bumped into someone who thought Sonic was flat out sold to Nintendo (due to the exclusivity deal) and legit thought that LW was a sign that not even nintendo could do sonic right in 3D and thus desided to redo sonic via Sonic Boom...

...thankfully I was there (twitch chat, this was the streamer btw) to say that that was complete BS!

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It could be, it looks really fast. But man, is this game boring when I look at it on the gameplay side. Game itself looks visually fantastic, but that won't do it for me. First you run linear paths, smash enemies out of your way and there's a wider area where you one-hit everything, run next linear path etc. what's the point of that? We've had this before, but it's even more simplistic now.

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3 minutes ago, BlueFlare said:

It could be, it looks really fast. But man, is this game boring when I look at it on the gameplay side. Game itself looks visually fantastic, but that won't do it for me. First you run linear paths, smash enemies out of your way and there's a wider area where you one-hit everything, run next linear path etc. what's the point of that? We've had this before, but it's even more simplistic now.

Either we're seeing a case of quantity over quality, or the early levels just kinda suck. Probably the former. 

Edit: I'm actually really bothered by the fact that Fist Bump plays every time you double boost. That's going to get annoying really fast. Why not use the instrumental version? 

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What are the robots placed in circles meant for? Just to make you stop a few seconds and press "fire weapon"? The whole level screams "run the whole time and sometimes stop to do something really easy". 

I can't seem to find anything funny or impressive in this level. It's almost like a movie that asks the viewer to keep the play button pressed in order to finish, and even that would be at least more fun to watch, as the only outstanding stuff here are the environments, that you can't observe while playing.

Sega is lucky to have greenlit Mania. Forces is going to be another mediocre Sonic game.

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3 hours ago, KHCast said:

Wasn't it said the the OC wouldn't be faster than Sonic? He seems to be leaving Sonic in the dust most of the level lol

I mean, that's like saying Knuckles is faster than Sonic in Heroes due to the times he's leading the team.

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50 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

Re: Comparing this level to Generations'
 

Generations' green hill may have never deviated from a single hallway and a straight line, but in that entire level:

  • There was high route, low route platformer-based design in it's most basic level design, where failure at ideal gameplay would catch you in slower and more methodical platforming to gradually teach and engage the player, and reward skill with better performance when avoiding such obstacles
  • There was high route, low route design in it's alternate routes, where skilled reaction times and attentive spacial awareness would net the player with faster routes and times, creating a good, challenge-based sense of purpose for exploration and value of choice for the player
  • The higher routes were, to a degree, more challenging to remain on, as the faster you went the harder it is to react to incoming level design, thus keeping engagement up despite skipping level design in the process
  • And featured a basic flow with fluid and engaging platforming fitting to the Sonic series

In comparison, the Tag Team level features:

  • High route, low route design in the form of wisp containers, which come placed in front of the routes they're designed for, removing all skill needed to possibly access them, and simultaneously merely provide a "press X to skip the level" section in the process, as pointed out before
  • High route, low route design that is visible to the player, but locked arbitrarily behind other characters or weapons to play through on second or third times, creating a form of replayability and variety for the sake of variety, but doesn't benefit the player in their initial runthroughs in any way with their options. In actuality you only have two paths at a time to choose, if you even have the right ability for any of the routes in the first place, so it can be seen as an illusion of depth from one angle
  • High routes are specifically easier while being more rewarding, aping Mario games and their special high routes in a way, but completely trivializing the skill factor essential for a platformer with how easy they are to find and access, (unlike Mario) and how easy and flat out superior to the normal route they are for Sonic to navigate, in terms of speed and skill required (unlike his typical high route balance and design)
  • And just a basic lack of any engaging platforming, traditional or Sonic-esque, as everything is either automated or ridiculously simplistic

Among other things such as

  • Enemy rooms that are created to pad out the game by showcasing the Avatar's abilities with cannon fodder, rather than as a good challenge or as an engaging stepping stone to progressing through the game
  • A drastically shorter length than Green Hill and lack of fleshed-out mechanics or idenitity, as a side product
  • And scripted setpieces like the Tag Team function that while may look cool for the first time through, will immidiately lead to diminishing returns after you see it on repeat playthroughs or later on in the game, once you realize you're not really doing anything

Just because they're both "straight lines" doesn't mean they're an equivalent comparison whatsoever.

 

Linearity is only an actual flaw if the pathway isn't engaging enough. Green Hill in generations is a starter stage, so I give it kind of a pass when more skilled players say otherwise, (I know it was a fantastic stage on my first playthrough) but everything it does with "going in a straight line" is relatively fleshed out, engaging, and complex enough in the first place. Not exactly as multi-tiered enjoyable as the original Green Hill is, where you could go slow and explore and still enjoy it, but still. Forces's, what, fifth level, on the other hand, barely ticks any of those boxes in terms of level design. It's got one, one section where the design slightly resembles a solid, Generations-esque pathway in the form of a high route at the start of the level, but everything else might as well have been a straight line. Why?

Because the level design never actually impacts your progress. It's simply you controlling your character as efficiently as possible, on a flat plane, or in a straight line. And I dunno if anyone noticed, but you don't even have to jump in the level to complete it in the first place. Only if you don't have the lightning wisp equipped do you ever have to, and even then it's just for a small lip on an otherwise flat area, and one other cog gap if you have the block wisp equipped.

But does nothing but a straight line mean the game is bad altogether? Not necessarily. Fighters like Bayonetta have ridiculously flat and linear level design. It just depends entirely on how engaging the activities you're preforming during gameplay are. So now that the level is basically nothing more than a straight, flat line, you have to ask yourself:

 

Is the gameplay the game offers you actually engaging enough?

 

Personally I'm impressed by the fact that we even have to navigate a 3D space with turning cameras and, though superfluous, crazy winding ring trails and pathways in the first place. Was not expecting that at all from the Colors crew. Or just the mere fact that we got a completely uninterrupted 3D stage in the first place. So despite my reservations towards the gameplay, I'm interested in playing this base gameplay if only due to the fact that we haven't been able to play a level in this vein in forever. And I'm betting a lot of people are interested in playing it for similar reasons, such as wanting to boost and homing attack in a Sonic game once again, or wanting to play as their OC through a world like this, or just running through a world like this in general.

But objectively, there's still too many flaws and lack of engaging design for me to say this is a good level or good gameplay. It's a level that I, personally, want to see more of in the same vein of a pure 3D, twisting stage... but I also was a hard advocate for the Rise of Lyric game as a potential sub-series because of those same reasons, as well. Heck, you could even argue that RoL had better game design than this, though combat is on the other side of the extreme of simplicity.

Boost, grapple hook, more boost, grapple hook, flamethrower/whathaveyou, grapple hook, gadget again, grapple hook, stage complete. Or just cut out the latter half and replace it with wisp, grapple hook, wisp, grapple hook, wisp. This is extremely shallow gameplay, especially for a platformer and especially for a Sonic level, early game or no, and I really don't want to treat it as the standard that we'll be pleased by and support for the series tbh. They can do much better than this, and Generations is proof of that.

Now this, this is a great post. This means being able to judge critically what you are being shown, and it's what most of the people here who are defending the game lack. Critical judgment.

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10 minutes ago, Celestia said:

I mean, that's like saying Knuckles is faster than Sonic in Heroes due to the times he's leading the team.

I was taking it as a gameplay note more than a general one. I mean we've had characters that were slower than Sonic but still somewhat fast.:/

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3 minutes ago, KHCast said:

I was taking it as a gameplay note more than a general one. I mean we've had characters that were slower than Sonic but still somewhat fast.:/

That's what I meant tho'. In a vacuum, Sonic's gameplay would be faster simply due to the boost alone. The Avatar can move pretty fast (especially cuz dash panels lmao) but I can see why the devs / PR(??) would say Sonic is generally faster.

11 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Now this, this is a great post. This means being able to judge critically what you are being shown, and it's what most of the people here who are defending the game lack. Critical judgment.

Are you trying to start a fight, or...

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34 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Now this, this is a great post. This means being able to judge critically what you are being shown, and it's what most of the people here who are defending the game lack. Critical judgment.

Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaah, no.

While I do wish more people looked at gameplay specifically when considering the quality of the game, at the end of the day people care about what they care about. It's not that they lack critical judgement, it's just that they apply it to other aspects of the franchise, and their wants and needs in life. It's not my place to say what a person should treat with pure objectivity, especially at the cost of their own enjoyment.

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50 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Now this, this is a great post. This means being able to judge critically what you are being shown, and it's what most of the people here who are defending the game lack. Critical judgment.

That's.... not really a kind, just,  objective, let alone fair, thing to say about the opposition in regards to liking sorting you don't like. 

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After seeing the tag team gameplay, any small amount of hope I had for this game was severely diminished.  It's looks so bland and boring. Also, the level design is bit too linear for my taste. Oh, yeah, and the combat looks like a poor mans Ratchet and Clank. I think we're getting another werehog situation where HALF OF THE FUCKING GAME is enjoyable.

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1 minute ago, Celestia said:

already spoke with him in PM--which I should note was a good move on his part and, imo, something y'all could stand to learn when it comes to talking with people when you have some sort of issue with them and it doesn't have much to do with the topic in question.

Fair enough. 

 

2 minutes ago, Celestia said:

It is nice that we don't know every Zone ahead of time, so that's a step up from say, Generations...but surely there's other things they could talk about?

 While  I am fateful that this game will turn out great and all,  I do think that the marketing is SEGA habitually going the opposite end of the extremes compared to Generations' marketing that showed off everything. 

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All the levels I've seen so far look so basic and bland. Like, even Unleashed got more open than this. The excellent post about Green Hill zone above also echoes my thoughts, and Green Hill is the most linear level in Generations. They had all this stuff with actually trying to have some open ended areas or at least multiple ways of getting through a section that isn't just another light speed dash path or whatever. This just looks like the very stuff people complained that Colours' 3D sections were: boring, basic, linear. And even then, Colours had a few nice 3D sections such as some of the stuff in Aquarium Park's last act or Asteroid Coaster. The level design shown so far across the game is as if it's the bare minimum to call it a level. And I love Colours and Generations.

It's as if they took everything they learnt in Generations and threw it out. God damn. Also the inside reminds me of a Castlevania clock tower level, only nowhere near as good.

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I'm no level designer but I feel as if nothing is engaging the player in any type of level in forces. Sonic team are relying too much on the wisps and the same wisps to make the gameplay interesting instead of making the levels themselves interesting as i said earlier. It's just the same old same old. You can take away all the aesthetics, and it will feel like you've played a level from unleashed or colors before. 

I'm glad there is more 3d don't get me wrong, but where are the stage gimmicks? Something that feels natural like it belongs on that stage? You can put ring trails, boosters grappling points and springs in any stage. As long as they don't go to the extremes like lost world did with its stage gimmicks.          (snowball segment)

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1 hour ago, Celestia said:

You know what frustrates me? I've seen some pretty decent impressions of the level from the Gamescom demo, and that's nice to see I guess. But it just makes it even more frustrating how silent SEGA has been on the game.

I know people are throwing around the narrative that they're just quietly releasing this game cuz they want to get it over with, and y'know what, maybe it's true to an extent. And maybe it's just that I'm not some kind of marketing expert but...that seems like a really bad reason. There's also Mania to consider and it certainly makes sense they'd focus on that, but in retrospect and especially now that we know the game is coming out in November...it's just weird.

It is nice that we don't know every Zone ahead of time, so that's a step up from say, Generations, but surely there's other things they could talk about? There's a mission tab in the menus that we don't know anything about just yet, for example. It doesn't have to be major things that could potentially spoil stuff, y'know.

I feel like we'll be getting much more info throughout these last 2 months or so. I mean, I wouldn't really believe any PR, but Webber did say we'll get a lot of info that might make people say "okay, that's a lot of information". We'll see I guess.

I do agree that this silence is frustrating and then bombarding with a lot of info during the last several months is not only IMO a bad marketing, but also a sign of the game itself being rushed. The main example might be this year's Mass Effect Andromeda. From what I recall, we barely knew anything about the gameplay till Game Awards 2016, and even then they showed barely any gameplay. Since then we got quite a lot of information about a lot of stuff that it was overwhelming, but it also showed how the actual game looked like a rushed job with facial animations and different bugs that were seen in gameplay videos, despite it being developed for 5 years (allegedly, the actual game was made in just 18 months according to kotaku I think). This concerns me the most about Forces as well - the game comes out in a little bit more than 2 months, yet we didn't see a lot of stuff. The stuff they have shown looks "okay" at best and "very underwhelming" at worst (yes, I still think nothing they've shown has been outright awful, just very underwhelming) and don't show anything that might make customers say "okay, I'll buy" (except for maybe Custom Character). That, and looking at several outright glaring incomplete animations tells me that this game hasn't been in development for 4 years.

Then again, I notice this kind of marketing strategy in many AAA projects and I'm no marketing expert, so what do I know.

Anyway, the Tag Team mechanic I find interesting on paper, but it is essentially a combination of Modern and Avatar with, in my opinion, an unintuitive leader change input compared to Heroes. Still, it's not awful.

The level is fully 3D, yay! But the first segment is just a hallway and the double boost mechanic is literally a Mach Speed section from 06 that's even more restrictive. It looks cool as a spectacle, but doesn't really add to the actual gameplay. I did notice that you refill Double Boost gauge by destroying enemies and collecting rings and that, when drained, you have to fill it up fully to make characters use the boost again, which makes me wonder if there'll be some challenge of maintaining this boost in later levels. The pyramid section I actually somewhat liked because of how you can go different ways of getting to the end. You can go and destroy a circle of robots and go through platforming or you can skip by either using a trail of rings with Bightning wisp or using the Burst wisp to go in the air. Alternate paths are also something I appreciate, even though they don't last as long as they should've and end up at the same place. I do agree, however, that eve this section had less control than whatever I would like. And goddamn, with that many dash panels it seriously feels like Dimps are working on the game. Also, again, what's the point of so many rings outside of points? And why give 50 free rings and 3 GODDAMN DASH PANELS at the end of the level?

Overall, again, not awful, but still a little bit underwhelming, especially for someone who really likes Heroes despite its flaws don't @ me

 

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Dude this looks awesome, I never expected them to bring Coop into a Sonic game, I'm not even sure if that's ever been done before in Sonic. I certainly couldn't get Sonic and Shadow to team up in Adventure.  And when the two boost together it sounds like something just out of Adventure 2 lol.

I really like how Emerald Hill turns into a pyramid at the end of the level. I've seen Emerald Hill in Sonic Mania trailers but it hasn't been remixed quite to this extensive extent. I know some people are a bit fatigued by the level, but they've gone to huge stretches to make it new and fresh. Mania's awesome and Forces is awesome too!

Really cool to see those mechanical cogs and the open 3D environment inside the pyramid, if that's the design of the levels going forward then this is really going to be a cool game, it looks like Pyramid Cave in Adventure 2, which is an awesome level.

And what is that really cool robot Sonic? He looks badass, is he an old character? His music theme in this is absolutely amazing, so sinister.

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I see people celebrating that the stage is fully in 3D, but this feels like 3D for the sake of it rather than a meaningful step toward 3D level design.

The problem is there's almost nothing I see in this stage that couldn't be done in 2D as well or better. The only exception seems to be the spinning gears where you clear the enemies, but that appears to be a hollow goal. I haven't seen anyone actually being attacked by them. They're not obstacles, they're nuisances.

I think Generations made some great improvements to the Unleashed 3D formula but I don't see that being expanded here. Instead, the design philosophy seems to be mostly: place enemies, objects, springs, and boosters along the X and Y axis, shift the camera angle behind-the-back, multiply all objects across the Z-axis.

Its all just rows and grids of identical objects. Forces so far looks like a lot of the troubling design philosophies in Unleashed-Generations taken to their natural extremes.

I think this footage is especially disappointing after getting Sonic Lost World a few years ago. Yes, that game was deeply flawed in many ways, but it also clearly made an effort at proper 3D level design. It didn't always work. In fact, it didn't even work most of the time, but at least the 3D there felt substantially different from the 2D portions. Lost World's 3D wasn't just a camera-shifted version of its 2D sections.

I know most people hate SLW, but I think it's actually the closest Sonic Team has ever come to getting 3D Sonic right. It wasn't quite there yet, but I think if they had continued to learn to learn from Lost World we could have an incredible Sonic game. Instead, it appears the decision was to play it as safely as possible.

I think that's really unfortunate.

Spoiler

I'm also bitter because I happen to LOVE Sonic Heroes and I think the Boost formula would be a really natural fit for a Heroes-style game. Everything about Sonic Forces lends itself to implementing a Heroes-style system and instead we've got this shitty Avatar.

I would love it if instead we got Team Sonic vs Team Classic vs Team Dark. 

 

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2 hours ago, Spooky Mulder said:

I see people celebrating that the stage is fully in 3D, but this feels like 3D for the sake of it rather than a meaningful step toward 3D level design.

The problem is there's almost nothing I see in this stage that couldn't be done in 2D as well or better. The only exception seems to be the spinning gears where you clear the enemies, but that appears to be a hollow goal. I haven't seen anyone actually being attacked by them. They're not obstacles, they're nuisances.

I think Generations made some great improvements to the Unleashed 3D formula but I don't see that being expanded here. Instead, the design philosophy seems to be mostly: place enemies, objects, springs, and boosters along the X and Y axis, shift the camera angle behind-the-back, multiply all objects across the Z-axis.

Its all just rows and grids of identical objects. Forces so far looks like a lot of the troubling design philosophies in Unleashed-Generations taken to their natural extremes.

I think this footage is especially disappointing after getting Sonic Lost World a few years ago. Yes, that game was deeply flawed in many ways, but it also clearly made an effort at proper 3D level design. It didn't always work. In fact, it didn't even work most of the time, but at least the 3D there felt substantially different from the 2D portions. Lost World's 3D wasn't just a camera-shifted version of its 2D sections.

I know most people hate SLW, but I think it's actually the closest Sonic Team has ever come to getting 3D Sonic right. It wasn't quite there yet, but I think if they had continued to learn to learn from Lost World we could have an incredible Sonic game. Instead, it appears the decision was to play it as safely as possible.

I think that's really unfortunate.

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I'm also bitter because I happen to LOVE Sonic Heroes and I think the Boost formula would be a really natural fit for a Heroes-style game. Everything about Sonic Forces lends itself to implementing a Heroes-style system and instead we've got this shitty Avatar.

I would love it if instead we got Team Sonic vs Team Classic vs Team Dark. 

 

As @Sonikko so brilliantly put it yesterday...

2dvs3dlevel.png

Forces 3D gameplay is not 3D. It's just a different camera angle, and will more often than not result in even simpler level design the actual 2D sections because of the limited view you get from a third-person perspective. If you try and move along the Z axis, you'll be met with a dodgy camera, invisible walls, unfair deaths or all three.

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