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How do you think the gameplay of Frontiers would be like? After seeing some level previews in the trailer.


J.R.
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OK, now that the trailers has came out and got to see some levels, it was true that it was Open-World. Looks very nice here. But I wonder how Sonic's physics would work in a Open-World space.  Each places looks like it has a centre, maybe when each level would start

 

But that is what I noticed.

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  • J.R. changed the title to How do you think the gameplay of Frontiers would be like? After seeing some level previews in the trailer.

In cyberspace, I'm expecting typical Boost stuff. 

In the open-zone, it's been described as combat focused, with puzzles and platforming. Boost isn't very conducive to those, so either he won't have it or it'll be limited in some way. Maybe a fast-travel mechanic? Or he can do it in some sections, but not in others. If he can just boost through enemies there wouldn't have to be combat mechanics. Sonic's movement is going to have to be more precise in order to run in a tight enough circle around enemies and pull off that spin-cycle move.

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I posted this in another topic, thinking I was posting to the megathread instead. Oh well, it def fits here more!

—-

The boost will return, but it's possibly the main thing that you can customize/upgrade with the skill system. The 'spincycle' move possibly being one of many different abilities you can make it have; whether that's a boost honed into being as fast as possible, one with heavy offense, one where it can fly, one where it lets you phase through things or brings up gusts of wind, things like this. It also makes sense out of how the game can just become boost gameplay in the 'cyberspace' areas; the game will have made it normal to swap out the properties of your boost attack by now, so just making it a speed-attributed boost in those levels would explain it.

Because of the possibility of boost having a lot of different versions of itself, it probably won't consistently be your method of getting across the environment, so I imagine Sonic may have a different move for that. I'm gonna personally guess the SLW Spindash could make a return for that, especially since I imagine that move's ability to coast indefinitely forward would prove really useful along long stretches of field; but not be so fast that takes the point out of using boost or alternate forms of movement.

There's also all the combat to take into consideration that may use said skill-tree system more extensively, but I don't really know what to say before playing a bit of PSO2:NG to gather my thoughts on that more.
—-

This is all kinda taking a best case scenario really; I kinda truly expect something no less janky than a normal action MMO but with Sonic being fast; a single set running speed and not much else for traversal. Or just Forces with attacks on top. We’ll see.

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I think it will be...bad.

We obviously don't know exactly what it is yet as Sega hasn't bothered to show us the actual game, all we have to go off of is the leaks and what we can try to guess from the environments. The boost seems to still exist, given the leaks talk about Unleashed/Gens-like stages and Sonic appearing to boost with extra digital-ish effects in the CG parts of the trailers. I think we can reasonably assume the cyberspace levels aren't too different from existing boost games (though who could say which boost games they lean more towards).

The environments we've seen don't look like they're designed for Sonic. There's a lot of aimless empty fields, equally aimless but tree-dense forests, wall surfaces that are too rough and craggy to run on. I genuinely don't know how Sonic is supposed to interact meaningfully with any of this. In fairness that might be because Sonic controls unlike any game before and they've somehow made him work in these environments, but, they haven't given me any indication of this, especially since they still seem attached to the boost gameplay.

There seems like there's more of a focus on combat. The leaks talk more about fighting enemies and bosses than how Sonic moves. Maybe the way Sonic moves was assumed to be obvious so they focused more on the newer elements. Maybe there wasn't much to how Sonic moves in comparison to how much of the gameplay was focused on combat and other things.

So here's 3 options:

1. The "open world" is overhyped, it's basically just hubs with more filler to pad the runtime like many previous gimmicks, and the real focus is on the cyberspace stages which are basically just more boost gameplay.

2. The open world is a big focus but they basically just threw boost gameplay into an environment that's not really designed for it. Be prepared to slam into every tree in the forest and bounce awkwardly off the overly-organic terrain.

3. They've all but given up the pretense of Sonic being a platformer and made an action/adventure game with a fast character and some token platformer stages. You're here to explore, fight enemies, and solve puzzles, and doing "Sonicy" stuff is limited (ex, you can wallrun, but only on the glossy panels on towers and certain walls).

These, obviously, are not the only options, they may surprise me and go off in some completely different direction. But I can only go off what little information we have, and none of it gives me any confidence in the game.

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herefor1reason

Looking at this image

 

2.jpg

and the same scene from the extended world japanese footage that shows the structure on the far right is indeed a ramp, I'm inclined to suspect momentum mechanics are present. Look at this shot, the tilt of the terrain leading to the ramp. If it was just flat ground and then a ramp, I'd lean more towards this area being built for the boost, using it to launch yourself to temple thing off screen here, but looking and the terrain, it's clearly a giant slope leading towards the ramp, with the stone arches likely showing the minimum possible distance you need to build enough speed to reach the ramp's destination, the temple.

On the other hand, maybe it's really just curved like this for visual variety, and you do just boost from the ramp to reach the temple. I honestly don't know what to think about the world design of this game. There's not much explicitly clear indication of how you'll be traversing it, to the point that I'm not even sure how much you'll even be jumping.  Not much in the way of apparent platforming (though some leaks do use the phrase "platforming challenges", I can't remember which ones have been validated or not). If you showed me this image and only this image, and told me it was from a Sonic game, I'd already be really excited about the return of momentum as a core mechanic but it's NOT just this scene.

Look at this one

3.jpg

See how it looks like the same setup as the trailer shot with the slope and the ramp (the first image) but the temple is being preceded by what seems to be a flat, elevated road? Does this image seem to imply momentum like the one above? Maybe you just enter this temple in a different way and momentum isn't needed here. Or maybe it's the same scene but the camera angle and the ruins and the terrain are hiding the slope of the road and the hill leading to the temple. See what I mean about it being difficult to glean any insights from this? There's some educated guesses you can make, the towers for example have a material texture you see elsewhere that makes me think you run up them, but it's just as often that they contradict any specific ideas you might have, like this.

 

I want to be losing my fucking mind about this game. All the other pieces besides gameplay are there, it's just that with Kishimoto directing and the uncertainty about the actual moment to moment gameplay, I can't quite find anything that makes me sure it'll be good and the sort of thing I want from Sonic gameplay (momentum physics mostly).

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I expect a paradigm shift in many aspects.

I'll present some things that may happen in this game. Some which have some grounds based on what was presented, some extrapolated based on trend, and some that are a bit more wishful.

A slower Sonic in the typical gameplay loop

One observed issue of developing a typical Sonic game is that the volume of asset needed to match Sonic's travel speed and people's expectation does not make it very sustainable. On a same budget, a game that would take the player 20 hours to finish would equal to something much lower due to the nature of Sonic being able to tear through non-repeatable/versatile environment. As a result, the idea of selling both games the same is a very hard sell. You're heard a lot about how Sonic games are unsatisfactory in terms of length. This was even more so an expressed complaint in the last entry.

Switching from linear to more open while keeping the same rules from the past decade of game multiplies the work needed to make it presentable (from the view of the ever-growing want/need of a typical gamer) is crazy, especially when you are also trying to fix the value proposition (that is typically game length for a typical customer). Therefore, I'm expecting a slower Sonic where his speed will be demonstrated by his attack move sets.

Very little (or at least less) platforming focus

Only based on what is shown, I'm expecting the game to not be a platformer, but rather a more combat-oriented game. This doesn't mean that there won't be any of them, but rather that it won't be the focus. As mentioned earlier, his gameplay abilities would be less be about how he can traverse huge zones, and instead be about how be can attack enemies in a visually fast way.

Ring system overhaul

The combination of combat-oriented gameplay and open field leads me to think that the ring system won't act as a shield-based immunity with (very, very very) easy recovery. Instead, a normal health-based system might take its place, perhaps not too different from Mario where the rare scattered rings are there to recover health.

Personally, I'd prefer and health recovery to be independent from rings for balance purpose. Perhaps instead, to use rings as currency, or resource to spend it on power unleash.

A story/scenario developed along with the game, rather than on top of the game

One of the things people pointed out is that the story has been for a long time an afterthought; it was assumed that stages and kit are the first things put in place (based on a loose scenario), and then story was put in together to try to mesh them together. 

That said, Sonic Forces presented a scenario and stage set that is coherent, demonstrating that the scenario was as much a first-class citizen as the stage themes. I'm expecting this to still be the case with this game (and probably much more in sync).

A living interactive world

This is more wishful because nothing really demonstrates or extrapolates to this point. What I mean by this is that there might be a focus back on trying to create a world with interactive NPCs because of all the known factors. You would typically try to make a world and scenario more believable if there was something at state, which is often generalized as the safety of people. As such various interactive NPCs to help move forward or want power-ups are due.

At the same time, I can also see a game where Sonic is completely alone and trying to save himself from a robot-infested environment all throughout the game. It would be personally disappointing, but it would work as well.

And so...

When you take all of these in, you may have noticed that it sounds a bit like another game. No, not Breath of the Wild lol.
This is very much the vision of Sonic Boom.

I don't expect everyone to like it, since it may be different than what was attempted (or resigned to do) for the past decade. Nonetheless, I wish this to be successful and create the same rift that Breath of the Wild has done with Zelda; Old fans that clings to past principles to the letter will feel alienated, but the game will attract or fill a new majority's demands and expectations.

We may truly have two pillars that do their best in their own ways.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

I expect Breath of the Wild meets Defunct.

I’m a little more optimistic than I normally would be after seeing little change when Forces came out, but I’m holding expectations until things get more concrete.

I am hoping for some new abilities to make things fresh from the boost-gameplay—even if that’s still around, the more open field might make room for additional mechanics.

it’s anyone’s guess, but the open world aspect is something that has me looking forward to seeing how it actually plays before I really have an impression of it. That and having Ian Flynn write the script has given me a bit more hope than I would like to give.

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3 hours ago, Diogenes said:

 

3. They've all but given up the pretense of Sonic being a platformer and made an action/adventure game with a fast character and some token platformer stages. You're here to explore, fight enemies, and solve puzzles, and doing "Sonicy" stuff is limited (ex, you can wallrun, but only on the glossy panels on towers and certain walls).

I'm reasonably sure this is the most likely outcome given everything we know. 

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Just going off how the terrain looks and the fact it's open world now, I would say they've finally got some momentum-based physics on deck.

Realistically, I can see Sonic's general movement handling more like his Lost World iteration at the bare minimum since the idea of "3D movement" and "parkour" were always kinda there which would fit naturally for an open world game, and they already have that to work with. I would hope they've heavily polished the movement if so, though, since even though that was more towards the right direction for an actual 3D Sonic game, it still had plenty of kinks to detangle. At the very least, I can't see Sonic possibly handling like his Unleashed HD - Forces 3D sections at all for this. They have to realize by now that the movement in those sections were either way too loose or allowed literally no turning agency and would heavily clash with this open world design they're going for now.

I can see the "boost" coming back, but not quite like it's Unleashed iteration. Only because the teaser trailer suggests Sonic's "go fast" mode is this new purple cyber stuff surrounding him.

Mechanically, I would loooove to see it done more akin to Sonic Advance 2's iteration of it to really sell this game being more momentum based and act as this game's "fast travel" at the same time.

As for what you can do in this game? I'm imagining it as if StarFall Island was like Sonic Adventure's cutscenes interpretation of Station Square for its general scope, and that the zones for StarFall Island would be as if "Speed Highway" was already within the main hub to travel and run through and fight big bosses in. It'd be way more seamless. Kinda like Jak and Daxter in a sense, and that maybeeee it'd being like Jak and Daxter, some of these "zones" transition to other islands (I'm not too familiar with the "leaks" since I'm just kinda loosely paying attention since I'm not particularily into that culture tbh, but I think they said there're more worlds than StarFall Island, right?) ...? And I would assume there're like mini platform challenges sprinkled with the main hub for you to do things within that world, as well as some random enemies and mini bosses to fight against here and there as you get closer to the zone type areas.

Nothing too deep and that's all I got for now.

 

 

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Many elements from the leaks and terrain looks like it'll be a speedy/speed-based action-adventure game with an hint of plateforming sometimes. Many elements goes toward that : focus on battle, skill-tree, not really plateformy terrain on the trailer. We might have the possibility to do some actions, like wall-running/maybe some sort of parkour, maybe a boost (but that certainly won't really play like a common boost gameplay). I don't believe at all in a "physics-based plateforming game", it simply doesn't look like that. I think that Sonic will be somewhat more controllable out of boost (if it's there), but maybe slower. I wonder of much it'll be like the Zelda Zone DLC or not.

About wall-running, IDK if it'll be there on just the purple wall or not. The presence of specific "purple wall" makes me thinks they'll be made for that, and the Zelda Zone DLC in Sonic Lost World also add a difference between "runnable wall" and "not runnable ones", so it might be still present. I wonder if it'll be somewhat like the parkour system, or more automated.

Grind have high chance to be present, there seems to be one grind bar in one of the environments. There is also one ramp that seems to be made for propulsing ourselves to a floating island, so I think we might some kind of "use your speed to go somewhere mechanichs". What makes me curious are the puzzle. According to a leak, they aren't too stupid, but let's wait and see.

 

About battle mechanics. It seems we'll have some close-range combat, but also some "distance combat" using the spin circle and stuff. I'm pretty sure they'll pull a secret ring where you really have to unlock some skill for battle to finally become less boring. I wonder if the "multi-homming attack" from Lost World will be back, and if they'll have some inspiration from that game for that too, as it's maybe the Sonic game with the most interesting badnics (but let's hope the control scheme is less a mess than Lost World, that is its biggest issue for me).

My biggest question on that side is the life system. I think we might have some more "lifebar"-esque handling of Sonic's life, maybe with Rings refilling it. Super Form seems to have their classic way of working, so let's see.

 

Note : I think that the "boost gameplay"/"generation-like gameplay" from the cyberspace gameplay will certainly be a really simplistic version of the boost gameplay, and maybe one that don't really play like a real boost game. I'm not sure they'll even have 3D I think they'll be pretty simple.

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22 hours ago, Diogenes said:

I think it will be...bad.

We obviously don't know exactly what it is yet as Sega hasn't bothered to show us the actual game, all we have to go off of is the leaks and what we can try to guess from the environments. The boost seems to still exist, given the leaks talk about Unleashed/Gens-like stages and Sonic appearing to boost with extra digital-ish effects in the CG parts of the trailers. I think we can reasonably assume the cyberspace levels aren't too different from existing boost games (though who could say which boost games they lean more towards).

The environments we've seen don't look like they're designed for Sonic. There's a lot of aimless empty fields, equally aimless but tree-dense forests, wall surfaces that are too rough and craggy to run on. I genuinely don't know how Sonic is supposed to interact meaningfully with any of this. In fairness that might be because Sonic controls unlike any game before and they've somehow made him work in these environments, but, they haven't given me any indication of this, especially since they still seem attached to the boost gameplay.

There seems like there's more of a focus on combat. The leaks talk more about fighting enemies and bosses than how Sonic moves. Maybe the way Sonic moves was assumed to be obvious so they focused more on the newer elements. Maybe there wasn't much to how Sonic moves in comparison to how much of the gameplay was focused on combat and other things.

So here's 3 options:

1. The "open world" is overhyped, it's basically just hubs with more filler to pad the runtime like many previous gimmicks, and the real focus is on the cyberspace stages which are basically just more boost gameplay.

2. The open world is a big focus but they basically just threw boost gameplay into an environment that's not really designed for it. Be prepared to slam into every tree in the forest and bounce awkwardly off the overly-organic terrain.

3. They've all but given up the pretense of Sonic being a platformer and made an action/adventure game with a fast character and some token platformer stages. You're here to explore, fight enemies, and solve puzzles, and doing "Sonicy" stuff is limited (ex, you can wallrun, but only on the glossy panels on towers and certain walls).

These, obviously, are not the only options, they may surprise me and go off in some completely different direction. But I can only go off what little information we have, and none of it gives me any confidence in the game.

This is basically where I'm at, but with a few additional predictions:

- Sonic's boost aura is different now. He "disappears" instead of having the protective shell around him from before. I think this hints that the Boost has actually lost the ability to damage enemies, or at least had this property severely nerfed. I've actually wanted this to happen for a long time but it doesn't sound like its for the right reasons. It would just be to enable the combat system that they've probably spent a lot of time refining. The Boost will just be a way for you to quickly breeze past enemy outposts you don't want to interact with along with getting into cyberspace.

- I think Sonic will interact with trees and bumps in the road "automatically" with a light parkour system like a lot of AAA games have nowadays. Nothing fancy, just him automatically hopping over bumps in the road and weaving past trees. Think 'brainless' instead of clunky, which isn't much better, but yeah.

- We already know about the spin cycle. I'm guessing there will be more patterns like that and the puzzles will just boil down to boosting in a way that matches lines and patterns on the ground. Anything more complicated than that would require some kind of physics engine and lmao.

- There's talk of a skill tree. I think this game will be like secret rings where every aspect of Sonic will be able to be tweaked, so he'll start feeling kind of shitty and end the game in a decent spot.

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GameMaster0097

I think it will follow a basic repetitive structure throughout the game:

Get objective location, go to location, fight a group of enemies, do a light puzzle like press a switch to raise a platform or push a block, boost level, boss fight. Every once and a while, you'll get to an area that's blocked off and you'll need a special ability to progress. Get the ability through the skill tree, go back to area, continue on. Rinse and repeat for about 5-6 hours.

Just a quick thought about the Spin Cycle, would probably work similar to the Pacman World 3 powerup where you circle enemies, which you can see at 8:49 in this video. It would also appear to work similarly to Paralooping in Nights into Dreams.

Looking at the screenshots and the view of the map we have seen, I believe that there would be no momentum-based physics in the game besides very basic moving up hill reduces speed slightly, down hill increases speed slightly. When I think of momentum-based physics, I imagine a much more complex use of Sonic that reacts to very small changes and inclines in the environment, and thus allowing the player to use those inclines to launch Sonic all over the environment.  While there are variations in the map with hills, this should be expected in a game where you're outside in such an environment. Both BOTW and Genshin Impact have maps designed similarly as well. For the place with the "ramp", this is the only area shown in this location that has anything remotely similar, due to this, it doesn't seem like something to be Spindash jumped off of (Spindash jumping also doesn't mean momentum-based physics since you can do it in games like Shadow or P-06, games which don't have momentum based physics). I also don't see where you could gain any momentum prior to the ramp either since the Japanese footage shows an extended look of the area and everything leading to the ramp is flat indicating it's either just a flat walkway to the ramp or for some reason there is an absolutely GIANGTIC hill before that to roll off of. If I had to guess, you probably push a switch or do a light puzzle to cause something to fill in the gap for you to cross.

 

front 0-min.PNG

front 1-min.PNG

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I think if the game sucks, it'll suck for reasons completely new to Sonic. Likewise, if it's good, it'll be for reasons much different than normal. I have a feeling the controls will most likely be both universal and decent, since an open world means they logistically can't slap automation and scripting over every little thing that doesn't work like with the boost titles. But we'll see, not much to go off from there. Level design is also another thing that can't really be talked about right now, since we haven't seen much of the world-- and most importantly, we don't know the extent to which Sonic can interact with it. I'm not expecting a level of interaction on par with Breath of the Wild (nor would I necessarily want that) but something close to the level of the cool things I could do in Sonic Adventure 1's hub areas would be cool. I think having a lot of missions or collectibles to find could especially go a long way in encouraging the player to interact with their surroundings. Koroks are perfect game design, don't @ me

The main sticking points for me at the moment are the combat and the EXP system/skill tree. I don't really mind simplistic combat so long as the enemy design is good and Sonic has a wide range of potential interactions with them (again, like with BotW) but I expect that to be a contentious aspect of the game regardless of how good or bad it is. But that aside, the bosses had better be great, haha.

The EXP/Skill Tree system sounds like it could be very interesting. I'm hoping that it's something like "you unlock new skills to open up new areas and options in exploration and combat" rather than something boring like just getting standard stat boosts when leveling up. As a rule of thumb, level ups and stat boosts are poison for action focused games because they often disincentivize engaging with a combat system more meaningfully and thoughtfully, so I would prefer if Frontiers didn't fall into such a trap.

Overall, who can say? I understand the pessimism and I understand the optimism. Sonic being let loose in a big world is a strong idea, but it's also a terrifying one for how easily it can go awry. We'll see, but I'm hopeful.

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BubbleButt TV

What if this is kinda like a hybrid of boost and Adventure type gameplay?

Like you run and gain speed naturally and when you reach a fast enough speed, Sonic will glow with that aura which signifies that you can use your boost

spacer.png

the "Spincycle" is such an interesting mechanic on paper. Having Sonic perform attacks simply by moving around is a unique idea and makes me hope that they created this move as a way to show off Sonic's refined movement and controls.

B9851607-B4FB-4323-8E0D-FE84931A4596.thumb.jpeg.11225310bb3229e445efe302e99d04be.jpeg
This image is interesting. It does not scream typical boost gameplay to me. 16E79681-9CA5-43C0-B130-4579FA55B55D.thumb.jpeg.2d4743c7c37ee9e93d8cab5838b0f148.jpeg

and this structure back here? With those floating loops and roads? Is that gonna be automated or what? It's so unlike anything we've seen before in the 3D games.

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My dream is something with momentum. Something like Mario Odyssey where it feels good to just move and mess about with the moveset. Rolling, jumpy tricks, wall jumps etc. With no boost in sight. Except maybe as just a quick-travel method.

What I'm expecting is some bog standard action-adventure with an emphasis on combat. My question is are the enemies gonna have health bars? We haven't seen a game with them since 06 give or take. But effortlessly ploughing through enemies that put up zero challenge got old after lvl 1 in most of the Boost games. Having most of the game focused around it is gonna suck hard.

And if the Boost absolutely has to be in this game, then hopefully only in the special stage cyberspace levels. And hopefully with more time, effort, money, love, black magic or whatever was missing in Forces levels.

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herefor1reason
23 hours ago, BubbleButt TV said:

What if this is kinda like a hybrid of boost and Adventure type gameplay?

Like you run and gain speed naturally and when you reach a fast enough speed, Sonic will glow with that aura which signifies that you can use your boost

spacer.png

 

That was my first thought on seeing the original trailer. Sonic runs normally for a bit, and the glow ticks on for a decent amount of time before he finally boosts. Assuming this trailer communicated any gameplay information, potentially aside from the spin cycle, I'd think this has to be it. But then, in the new trailer, Sonic does it without the buildup following the explosion, so it's hard to tell.

 

I think that if this IS true, those arches before the ramp would show how long you need to run before the glow activates. And I like it on paper, it's a nice middle ground between the Sonic Advance boost mode and the modern boost we've had since Rush/Unleashed (depending on how you wanna count).

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