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Steve McQwark Indeed

Sonic Forces biggest flaw is ignoring it's own plot.

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Sonic Forces is SUPPOSED to be about an epic struggle in a dark war torn word, with sonic captured, and a desperate attempt to try and find a solution to take the world back.

By running through colorful levels and cities that don't look war torn at all...?

This is where Sonic Forces fails the most to the point it also effects how the game is made. The story.

Let's go through some bullet points:

A. We get almost zero backstory in game about eggman hiring mercenaries.

B. Sonic's capture and the implications surrounding it are quickly rendered pointless. All stakes are thrown out the window after a couple levels as Sonic is not only fine but escapes shortly after he's freed.

C. This "war" mostly happens off screen. At one point Knuckles leads an ambush which causes the resistance to lose 80% of their men. Somewhere.

D. Most of the stages don't look like you're running in a battle field, but the generic Sonic levels instead. These would be good as alternative levels after taking land back, but as the default levels you play in a game where "egg man won" is just pointless.

E. There's no interaction with the "army" in game, outside one cutscene. Nor do we really get more detail on what happened before the avatar is spared.

F. We see zero indication that Eggman took over any areas on screen, outside some of his giant robots appearing in a few levels.

G. If the illusions are just as strong as the real thing, why wouldn't egg man use the Ruby to create a shadow Sonic that you have to use your wits to beat? Why some old enemies?

The game is designed like your playing lost world or colors again and the level design is not taking any of the "plot" into account.

It doesn't feel like we have a army that's going to fight evil enemy forces, it feels like generic Sonic level design and colorful backgrounds with zero stakes.

To me it's the biggest flaw of the game.

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Just gonna poke at some of those... just cause I've got nothing better to be doing right now

1 hour ago, Steve McQwark Indeed said:

A. We get almost zero backstory in game about eggman hiring mercenaries.

Episode Shadow counts as in-game doesn't it? In the Eggman's facility stage, it offers an explanation as to why he hired a team of mercs, what they were guarding and introduced Jackal boy as a prideful soldier of fortune. There is enough backstory to label all the important facts here. Would have been nice to have more, but I wouldn't call it almost zero. Its not like something went left unexplained leaving behind a plot hole.

 

1 hour ago, Steve McQwark Indeed said:

B. Sonic's capture and the implications surrounding it are quickly rendered pointless. All stakes are thrown out the window after a couple levels as Sonic is not only fine but escapes shortly after he's freed.

I agree with you here, but anyone who expected anything else was flat out kidding themselves. There was no way Sonic Team was going to let the player go for any extended amount of time minus what everyone came to forces to do. It was billed as the next big Modern Sonic game. You can't bench the protagonist and not expect some kind of revolt.

 

1 hour ago, Steve McQwark Indeed said:

C. This "war" mostly happens off screen. At one point Knuckles leads an ambush which causes the resistance to lose 80% of their men. Somewhere.

D. Most of the stages don't look like you're running in a battle field, but the generic Sonic levels instead. These would be good as alternative levels after taking land back, but as the default levels you play in a game where "egg man won" is just pointless.

Again I agree, but you might be stretching this one a bit far too.

The problem here is that a lot of the generic level tropes in Sonic games do play into what Forces was trying to accomplish. Stages designed like an Eggman base (such as Adventures Hot Shelter or 06's Aquatic Base) would fit right at home in Forces, because... well Eggman has bases. So stages like Chemical Plant, Death Egg and the ones that take place around the Imperial Tower fit right in with no complaints. They are base stages and fit the theme of any Sonic game, Forces included.

So that leaves Green Hill - which is dominated by an Eggman weapons facility that dedicates an entire level to infiltrating. Crisis City Park Avenue which is an active warzone. Mystic Forest which is under constant bombardment by Eggman's forces and Metropolis which actually has Infinite appear mid level to defend.

While its not as consistent as you may like (Classic Sonic's jaunt through the Forest Casino for example seems devoid of a lot of that same carnage) Each area does have at least 1 level devoted to showing how the larger conflict is impacting the landscape. It would have been nice to see more of Eggman's mug plastered all over the places he's conquered, and not doing so was a missed opportunity, but lets not pretend like this was some Sonic-y world untouched by Eggman either. The mystic forest was on fire. I think its a safe bet that the desertification of GHZ had something to do with that Pyramid base. Park Avenue was shelled and evacuated. His chief enforcer was despatched to defend Metropolis. Every non-base stage had clearly been touched by a global conquest.

 

1 hour ago, Steve McQwark Indeed said:

F. We see zero indication that Eggman took over any areas on screen, outside some of his giant robots appearing in a few levels.

 

Eggman made some pretty significant land grabs in GHZ. Much of that space was mechanized, so that is at least on visual indicator of his increased influence. Metropolis was also spoken of as "His" city.

 

1 hour ago, Steve McQwark Indeed said:

G. If the illusions are just as strong as the real thing, why wouldn't egg man use the Ruby to create a shadow Sonic that you have to use your wits to beat? Why some old enemies?

If the illusions were just as strong as the real thing, how did an army featuring no less than 100 Shadow's not steamroll over a tidal wave of rookies with white wispons? Shoot, Sonic and co. should never have made it past the first wave to trash talk with Infinite. That many Shadow's and Metal Sonic's should have ripped them to pieces.

sorry... this is neither here nor there lol

 

1 hour ago, Steve McQwark Indeed said:

 and the level design is not taking any of the "plot" into account.

Here I disagree. The level design pretty clearly indicates what is going on in the story. Stages start and end at ques dictated by the story itself. Avatar's Prison hall stage starts in the Death Egg and leads you right down to a section similar to the cells Sonic was being held in. Avi's chemical plant stage takes you from the outskirts of the facility to the launch pad. Moderns Chemical Plant skirts the outskirts and then takes you inside to the heart of the facilities computer room. Modern's Mortor Canyon runs you in a giant loop and ends at the base of Eggmans endgame structure. The Tag levels take you right inside those structures (be it the Iron Tower or the Arsenal Pyramid).

While not as fantastic as say, Unleahsed's sense of progression, Forces does take que's from its story in how it builds its levels and how you advance through them. Not sure how you could come to any other conclusion.

 

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I don't know, this game has so many flaws, this not can't be the biggest.

Don't get me wrong, you're right on most accounts. But

1 I think if gameplay was Generations quality then the game would be considered good, despite the questionable story.

2 While story was handled badly, I think it was sorta lost battle from the start.

I mean how do you show Resistance getting wiped out during "Big Wave"? With not-interactive cutscene in the middle of level? Friendly NPCs? Things happening in the background?

It wouldn't be impossible, but it's more than Sonic ever tried and Sega should realize that.

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A good plot can make a good game an even better experience. But it can't make a bad game good.

Forces, like many Modern Sonic games before it, was not a good game. So most people don't give a damn.

(Most people means people other than diehard Sonic fans who scream about "take itself srsly" plots)

 

Its not that important.

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8 hours ago, DabigRG said:

So, Loonatics?

Didn't see it. I'm talking about how Forces is in the awkward middle ground between "Sonic is a blue hedgehog in a wacky world with only Tails or Amy following him against goofball Eggman " VS "Sonic is a blue hedgehog supported by an army against an embodiment of malice who has conquered a more dramatic world or the relevant bits of it."

In the first scenario, it's not a surprise that Sonic (or Tails or Knuckles) is the only one who can stop Eggman when he's the only one there who can (with everybody else not on Eggman's payroll being some combination of too weak or threatened to stop him themselves). In the second scenario, Eggman's forces are too widespread and strong for Sonic to take them on himself, so he needs a team, a base, an alliance.

Forces tried be both. It has a Resistance, but they're embarassing without Sonic (even the likes of Knuckles, Tails, and Shadow range from Zapp Brannigan to cowering to going on vacation). Eggman tries to be some dark lord but he makes too many big mistakes and has too little presence to pull it off.

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1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

I honestly thing this was just a Generations 2 at first, but when Boom went belly-up, they replaced it with custom characters and then realized they needed something for adventure fans, so they stapled a dark story to it.

This is the most plausible scenario. 

Depending on where the sales end up through this quarter for Forces, I think the next game won't be anything like it in terms of "plot". 

 

 

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For me, the poor gameplay and controls were the biggest flaw, but the story was very underwhelming, and did not fit the gameplay well at all. Nothing in the game's levels felt like they really fit the story at all. The only exception being the Space Gate level, that level felt more like Sonic really was breaking out of a space prison. Aside from that, nothing else really fit. 

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