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SpongicX

Was Sonic Forces False Advertising?

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It seems Sega lied to the viewers over a lot of things in this game, or told us incorrectly. Remember when they said it would run on the “Hedgehog Engine 2?” Whatever engine it was running did not feel at all as good as the one from Unleashed.

Remember when they confirmed the game would have seperate story modes for the characters? That was obviously non existent, it was more like the structure of Sonic Adventure 2, except with one story mode, instead of three. We didn’t get a story mode for any of the characters, besides Shadow’s short dlc. The story swapped around between the 3 different characters, we had no influence on seeing sides of the story.

They mentioned Sonic’s friends would be more involved and have larger roles, but they honestly did not. Technically, Sonic Heroes gave them more to do, because they were actually playable. Just seeing them stand around and chat, or pull off one attack is not the most exciting way to see these characters return after so long, they were still put to the sides over Sonic, Classic, and the new Avatar. Shadow was even made playable, yet his dlc didn’t add anything valuable, and his role in the actual game was wasted and unexplained as well. The game tried fooling us into thinking he betrayed everyone, yet it turns out it was an evil fake. Where was the real Shadow this whole time? He apparently wasn’t captured like Sonic, so what’s his excuse for not helping the resistance until Sonic reappeared?

I don’t know about you guys, but this game felt like a let down, and Sega definitely wasn’t honest with us about the final product.

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It wasn't false advertising. The graphical upgrade from Unleashed alone should prove this is running on an upgraded Hedgehog Engine. A game engine isn't a slap a game and it'll work, it's a base template to work from and includes things such as rendering graphics and such. The graphical quality and the fact it never dips below 60fps is testament to the new engine. Control issues and such is down to the physics engine used and the programming of the game,

The theee stories thing isn't incredibly accurate because these kinds of elements change all the time in gaming. SA2 had the rumoured morality choices and branching storylines, Tails levels were implemented late in development due to fan demand etc. The theee story aspect may have been too ambitious for their schedule or budget and it had to be cut. Cut features does not mean false advertising. Furthermore. There's proof to back this up since Classic was clearly intended to have his own story considering the majority of his levels features

him and Tails trying to find Modern and the resistance. [\spoiler]That's a sign of being cut last minute due to either deadline or budget issues (Likely the former).

And Sonic's friends were in a major role. They might not have been playable, but they served as your mission command and backup through the game, and feature heavily. That is a major role especially compared to what they had been getting since 06.

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38 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

It wasn't false advertising. The graphical upgrade from Unleashed alone should prove this is running on an upgraded Hedgehog Engine. A game engine isn't a slap a game and it'll work, it's a base template to work from and includes things such as rendering graphics and such. The graphical quality and the fact it never dips below 60fps is testament to the new engine. Control issues and such is down to the physics engine used and the programming of the game,

The theee stories thing isn't incredibly accurate because these kinds of elements change all the time in gaming. SA2 had the rumoured morality choices and branching storylines, Tails levels were implemented late in development due to fan demand etc. The theee story aspect may have been too ambitious for their schedule or budget and it had to be cut. Cut features does not mean false advertising. Furthermore. There's proof to back this up since Classic was clearly intended to have his own story considering the majority of his levels features him and Tails trying to find Modern and the resistance. That's a sign of being cut last minute due to either deadline or budget issues (Likely the former).

And Sonic's friends were in a major role. They might not have been playable, but they served as your mission command and backup through the game, and feature heavily. That is a major role especially compared to what they had been getting since 06.

I don’t know, I thought Unleashed looked better in most departments. The visuals looked a bit worse in this game. The big difference was it had a lot more going on in the background or in game cutscenes, but it did not look as detailed as Sonic Unleashed anywhere else. The game was very clunky and unresponsive at times. It felt more like it ran on the same engine as whatever Lost World ran on.

The physics did not feel anything like they did in Unleashed. There was no mention of a hedgehog engine during the game’s opening either. Sonic Unleashed informed players ahead of time what engine it ran on, but this game definitely didn’t have “Hedgehog Engine 2” listed upon starting the game up. Maybe it’s just a Switch issue, but a Switch game should not look or run worse than a game made on PS3 or Xbox 360. From what I heard, the Switch version only has a minor decline in quality vs the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Forces, so it shouldn’t have to run more poorly than Unleashed.

Also, fans wanted to see these characters in action, or play as them, not  hear them through communicators with static head icons. That is a real lackluster way of bringing back characters. Bigger roles or not, we still didn’t see them do much. We wanted to be shown, not told what they were doing. Don’t even get me started on how poorly they portrayed Tails in this game.

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5 minutes ago, Infinite ∞ said:

The 3 different storylines was apparently a mistranslation, not a lie.

Yes, it was my understanding that Nakamura had actually deconfirmed character story modes.

5 minutes ago, SpongicX said:

Maybe it’s just a Switch issue, but a Switch game should not look or run worse than a game made on PS3 or Xbox 360. From what I heard, the Switch version only has a minor decline in quality vs the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Forces, so it shouldn’t have to run more poorly than Unleashed.

I believe an interview suggested that the Switch came along relatively late into development and wasn't what Sonic Team were expecting?  So the Switch port might have been a rush job with poor optimisation.

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1 minute ago, FFWF said:

Yes, it was my understanding that Nakamura had actually deconfirmed character story modes.

I believe an interview suggested that the Switch came along relatively late into development and wasn't what Sonic Team were expecting?  So the Switch port might have been a rush job with poor optimisation.

I saw split screen comparisons, and the Switch seemed to run fine alongside the PS4 version.

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13 minutes ago, SpongicX said:

I don’t know, I thought Unleashed looked better in most departments. The visuals looked a bit worse in this game. The big difference was it had a lot more going on in the background or in game cutscenes, but it did not look as detailed as Sonic Forces anywhere else. The game was very clunky and unresponsive at times. It felt more like it ran on the same engine as whatever Lost World ran on.

The physics did not feel anything like they did in Unleashed. There was no mention of a hedgehog engine during the game’s opening either. Sonic Unleashed informed players ahead of time what engine it ran on, but this game definitely didn’t have “Hedgehog Engine 2” listed upon starting the game up. Maybe it’s just a Switch issue, but a Switch game should not look or run worse than a game made on PS3 or Xbox 360. From what I heard, the Switch version only has a minor decline in quality vs the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Forces, so it shouldn’t have to run more poorly than Unleashed.

From the modding scene, it seems like Forces' gameplay engine was built on top of Lost World rather than Unleashed/Colors/Generations. Quite bewildering, but that's the reason why there's pretty binary acceleration along with other quirks from Lost World such as Sonic losing all his speed when manually jumping on an enemy and the lack of momentum being maintained sometimes when landing.

Sonic Team was proud of the Hedgehog Engine they built for Unleashed, so they advertised it in the startup logos for that game only (they were also looking to license it to other companies at the time, so that may have been the main reason for the up-front advertisement), but it was definitely also used in Generations, and to a scaled back degree in Lost World as well.

And remember (you're kinda melding the graphics + control talk, so not sure if you know), Hedgehog Engine (1 and 2) are graphical lighting engines - they have nothing to do with controls or gameplay whatsoever.

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Sorry, I thought the Hedgehog engine also affected the physics and controls. I could have sworn the hedgehog engine revolved around the speed and physics of the game. I honestly don’t understand a lot about game making. I still thought Sonic Unleashed overall looked and played better. Forces did have a smoother framerate, but it’s clunky controls and messed up physics are still a huge letdown, and don’t add any favors to the Hedgehog engine. People even complained how they felt Generations felt toned down compared to the graphics and physics of Unleashed, so it’s sad to see Forces look and play worse than both Unleashed and Generations.

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11 minutes ago, Shaddy the guy said:

They're not just lighting, they're rendering systems made to work expressly with how fast you travel through stages.

Hm, I don't think that's necessarily specific to the Hedgehog Engine; from what I've read it's just lighting. Though I could be wrong on that. Reference: https://info.sonicretro.org/Hedgehog_Engine

Point is though, Hedgehog Engine ain't got nothing to do with the gameplay.

7 minutes ago, SpongicX said:

Sorry, I thought the Hedgehog engine also affected the physics and controls. I could have sworn the hedgehog engine revolved around the speed and physics of the game. I honestly don’t understand a lot about game making. I still thought Sonic Unleahed overall looked and played better. Forces did have a smoother framerate, but it’s clunky controls and messed up physics are still a hige letdown.

Don't worry, a lot of people get that wrong. Doesn't help when Sonic Team advertises "HEDGEHOG ENGINE 2!" without too much explanation in their trailers. People wouldn't think to think that they're talking about their lighting/rendering engine of all things in a trailer.

And yeah Forces is pretty clunky. They should've built the gameplay off Generations rather than Lost World.

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Not necessarily, at least not in the legal sense. The trailers and marketing from the game either contained content that was direct from the game or were clearly concept art of the game. I mean, some of the trailer stuff made no sense in context, and the concept art didn't make it into the game, but they were entirely stuff that was in the game or stuff that's very open to change. And they just mentioned the Hedgehog Engine 2, which is also true in the game. Think of it as kind of like how "blast processing" and "16 bits" were common marketing buzzword for Sega Genesis consoles, but there was some truth in them as blast processing really did refer to (a rather small) part of how the Genesis functions and 16 bits is the amount of memory the Genesis could handle at once.

You could argue that they were misleading with the trailer by implying a more coherent and consistant game that they actually got, but even that doesn't really hold up well considering that no developer really sets out to make an incoherant and inconsistent game. The developers could argue that the result went off kilter and they posted the trailers when they thought their efforts were going to result in the game being more coherent and consistant or just say that they didn't think that their final product was that problematic (the fact that the trailers have all footage from the game itself helps their case a lot for both arguments). There's little way to prove otherwise without some kind of leak or formal investigation (and even those can provide false and misleading information).

So I'd say don't sweat it.

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I’m not sure I would call it false advertising, but it’s pretty lame that they hyped the story up the be something much greater than it really was. I mean,

black screen of exposition, Chaos and Shadow being a waste of space and not even having a boss battle, telling about stuff but not showing any of it...

it could’ve been great, if only the execution wasn’t so shite.

Also, it’s odd that instead of going back to the engine they used for Unleashed/Colours/Generations they built the Boost gameplay mechanics on top of Sonic Lost World. I haven’t played Sonic Forces yet, but from the sound of it the gameplay feels iffy because of it. 

 

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Details about a game are always subject to change prior to the release of a game.  That's generally how these things work.

The only way it would constitute "false advertising" is if they advertised a game like Sonic Forces and we got something completely different and unrelated.  That, or they made a selling point (such as pre-order exclusive DLC) and failed to deliver it.  Legally subjective terms such as a game not being very good, long, or interesting are not false advertising.  Otherwise, we could sue any game company for not being wholly honest with the contents of their game prior to release.  In other words, if you showed us this...

...and the game turned out to be more like this...

 

...then it would be false advertising.

If anything, I would think Sonic Mania's release was "false advertising."  They somehow "forgot" to mention the Denuvo DRM that was available and only corrected themselves moments before the game's release.  Legally, you would have a case of false advertising there because they failed to mention something that is pretty crucial to the purchase, which is extremely misleading.  But good luck convincing any lawyer to take your side on that one when you have EULA among others that would ultimately make it your responsibility.

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I wasn’t trying to say should Sega be sued, I was just asking if they didn’t deliver on what they were giving us. Just cutting $20 off a full price tag does not excuse a game for being such a mess. How did this game take 4 years to make? The only replay value in this game is unlocking avatar costumes, yet it’s hard to do so when the game’s controls are so unresponsive.

Has anyone else tried playing Modern Sonic’s metropolis level, and notice how the game forces Sonic to occasionally run off the cliff during the 3d sections? Even if you’re not boosting, the game will sometimes make Sonic run forward off a cliff, despite the fact I was leaning hard on the control stick for Sonic to lean right. It made S ranking the level a living pain, because you never know when it will act up during the 3d sections.

I guess the game isn’t falsely advertised, but it certainly wasn’t worth the hype, and was worth the negative reception it recieved before release.

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The only thing falsely advertised was the Easter Eggs if you use specific avatar parts then things would happen.

So far not seen anything to support that anywhere.

 

And... That's it.

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Pretty obvious that the graphics themselves are a step up from Unleashed, the global illumination is far more extensive than it was in even Unleashed, and there's even new effects like Ambient Occlusion, which was completely absent in previous hedgehog engine games.

Shadow resolution, texture resolution, tesellation... There's just so much stuff at play here that is either a massive step up from previous Hedgehog Engine games, or just wasn't there previously.

I mean, if you look at a level like Egg Gate.

... It looks exactly like the Unleashed Intro. I say that Sonic Team finally achieved their goal of having pre-rendered quality graphics in real time.

Now... Having said that.

I don't think that Forces ever has any striking moments like Unleashed did where we see all that technology at play. There is no "Adabat" in Sonic Forces, if you get me.

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45 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

Pretty obvious that the graphics themselves are a step up from Unleashed, the global illumination is far more extensive than it was in even Unleashed, and there's even new effects like Ambient Occlusion, which was completely absent in previous hedgehog engine games.

Shadow resolution, texture resolution, tesellation... There's just so much stuff at play here that is either a massive step up from previous Hedgehog Engine games, or just wasn't there previously.

I mean, if you look at a level like Egg Gate.

... It looks exactly like the Unleashed Intro. I say that Sonic Team finally achieved their goal of having pre-rendered quality graphics in real time.

Now... Having said that.

I don't think that Forces ever has any striking moments like Unleashed did where we see all that technology at play. There is no "Adabat" in Sonic Forces, if you get me.

That’s what really disappointed me, the enhanced graphics were only noticeable  for things in the distance or quick time events, but not used productively for the parts where we’re supposed to be in control. Why was so much attention put into the parts our eyes shouldn’t be focused on? A lot of wasted space for what’s supposed to be an improved engine. The brightness and darkness made it hard to see the characters during 2d segments where the camera is zoomed far out.

While some parts looked decent in Forces, I thought a lot of it looked a bit irritating. The lighting was too strong throughout the game, and it had some heavy looking bloom effects that looked a bit off. For instance, during the cutscene where Sonic and Tails confronted Eggman at the Metropolis level, I thought that bluish light that shined on Eggman from the background looked too strong and out of place. They were outside, not in a room with bright blue lights shining from behind. Others even pointed out how the lighting on the characters looked out of place during the war sequence. Some felt it should have looked toned down to match the darker looking sky and background from that moment. The characters shouldn’t have looked so bright.

I hate how so many games keep trying to force such extreme lighting in fantasy settings now in days, it kind of loses the fantasy charm when they try forcing heavy lighting physics in games that don’t need them. I don’t mind having a few areas with intense lighting, but it gets annoying when so many areas use such intense lighting throughout. I thought Unleashed had decent lighting physics overall, it did a better job at balancing light and dark levels, which makes sense, due to it’s gimmick, but in Forces, I did not think the lighting they used worked well for the most park. It looked nice for the backrounds and effects, but looked terrible on the characters themselves.

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I recommend you go back and play Unleashed. The Generations mod uses much sharper textures than the original game, and lighting effects like god rays are much more realistic in Forces than Unleashed, where they looked like white smears. Unleashed doesn't hold a candle to Forces. 

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13 hours ago, Sky The Destroyer said:

From the modding scene, it seems like Forces' gameplay engine was built on top of Lost World rather than Unleashed/Colors/Generations.

Interesting, that at least explains why there's that odd "pop" on Sonic's jump that seemed out of place.  

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14 hours ago, SpongicX said:

It seems Sega lied to the viewers over a lot of things in this game, or told us incorrectly. Remember when they said it would run on the “Hedgehog Engine 2?” Whatever engine it was running did not feel at all as good as the one from Unleashed.

They can call their internal game engine anything they want regardless of how good it is.

Quote

Remember when they confirmed the game would have seperate story modes for the characters? That was obviously non existent, it was more like the structure of Sonic Adventure 2, except with one story mode, instead of three. We didn’t get a story mode for any of the characters, besides Shadow’s short dlc. The story swapped around between the 3 different characters, we had no influence on seeing sides of the story.

I haven't even touched Forces and this sounds too subjective of an interpretation to contest against Sega.

Quote

They mentioned Sonic’s friends would be more involved and have larger roles, but they honestly did not. Technically, Sonic Heroes gave them more to do, because they were actually playable.

Sonic Heroes is 14 years old. No matter the impact of Forces or that game, no one would realistically use that as the baseline when there have been well over a dozen titles in the franchise since then.

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