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How would you do Sonic Forces?


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We all know that Sonic Forces is a bad game. I myself have mentioned it sparingly during my other threads. It lacks emotion, the gameplay is either boring or broken, the climax sucked, it's bordering on false advertisement with Shadow and Chaos 0, it brought back Classic Sonic, and I don't even need to explain Tails.

I don't like focusing on problems how ever, and I began to wonder. Is this another 06, another game with nigh endless potential, but no one able to draw it out. I began looking deeper, and for once, I didn't see the most disappointing Sonic game ever made. I saw a masterpiece.

I want to see if anyone else can pull something great out of this dumpster fire. I am not going to share my idea until later, so I have a chance to see what other people can do with it.

Thank you for reading.

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Well for one, I would put a lot more emphasis on the fact that Eggman won, with the setting reflecting that. Twisted cities filled with Eggman's face, as well as Eggman propaganda and symbolism, forests and valleys being mechanized, Eggman statues everywhere, water being polluted, G.U.N being sabotaged by Eggman, the works.  Take Sonic CD's bad futures and have an entire game centered on them. You're in Eggman's world now and the setting should reflect that, giving you the feeling of being in constant danger and reminding you that you need to stop him before he does any further damage. I hate how despite the fact that Eggman basically won and took over 90% percent of the world, the setting in the final game barely reflects this outside of telling you and some minor hints. Especially since the world should be plastered with Eggman, because well

He.

82430159-0FC8-46BE-A962-0B53073FD4A6.png.99a361dfadd9adfd7990a9c74b38f4c4.png
 

Has.

77C37960-B11E-41A1-A426-26B691BEF919.png.665160bf254bbaf2acad4f3fc12a7db0.png

An.

CE37E89A-94B4-4157-A563-573B09B01989.png.ed006bffc4ad296752de8f78ac53fa9c.png

EGO!
C78E8BA0-4CC6-457E-9E25-32AB174B7A92.thumb.png.dd974dbd6d245b23751e6bbca8eec74e.png

In other words. Show, don't tell.


 

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7 hours ago, TB100 said:

Well for one, I would put a lot more emphasis on the fact that Eggman won, with the setting reflecting that. Twisted cities filled with Eggman's face, as well as Eggman propaganda and symbolism, forests and valleys being mechanized, Eggman statues everywhere, water being polluted, G.U.N being sabotaged by Eggman, the works.  Take Sonic CD's bad futures and have an entire game centered on them. You're in Eggman's world now and the setting should reflect that, giving you the feeling of being in constant danger and reminding you that you need to stop him before he does any further damage. I hate how despite the fact that Eggman basically won and took over 90% percent of the world, the setting in the final game barely reflects this outside of telling you and some minor hints. Especially since the world should be plastered with Eggman, because well

He.

82430159-0FC8-46BE-A962-0B53073FD4A6.png.99a361dfadd9adfd7990a9c74b38f4c4.png
 

Has.

77C37960-B11E-41A1-A426-26B691BEF919.png.665160bf254bbaf2acad4f3fc12a7db0.png

An.

CE37E89A-94B4-4157-A563-573B09B01989.png.ed006bffc4ad296752de8f78ac53fa9c.png

EGO!
C78E8BA0-4CC6-457E-9E25-32AB174B7A92.thumb.png.dd974dbd6d245b23751e6bbca8eec74e.png

In other words. Show, don't tell.


 

Pretty good idea, and it's in line with the Doctor. 9.78/10, really, really good, but not much to it.

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At the risk of being numerically rated, which isn't something I'm looking for on a forum, I would honestly put exclusive emphasis on the avatar system. It's the thing that the game does differently, so lean into it.

Sonic Forces spreads itself more thin than it really needs, trying to squeeze two forms of Sonic and the Avatar into a single game (while at the same time developing a new engine for the company). I don't love the avatars, but they're a core part of this game with plenty of mechanics attached that are neither fully developed nor significantly used. I don't cotton to having mechanics for the sake of mechanics. Drop Sonic. Both Sonics. There's not room to develop a character that has a progression system and two that don't. Link the species-centric abilities to equipment that you gain and upgrade through the experience system. Same with the Wispons. Let progression build out in the way that Sonic Generations or Secret Rings did, treating certain items and abilities as a loadout that you can tune to the situation.

The level design needs a 100% complete overhaul. It's not good enough to just have a bunch of enemies stand in a straight line on a flat plane and treat that as a level. That isn't design. That's lip service to the Wispon system. If you're going to have the system, use it. Build levels around what it can do, and challenge the player with different layouts. Figure out if you're actually designing a combat-centric game or a platforming-centric game (there's a real danger to believing you can be both in this series, such as Sonic Heroes and Black Knight). If you're platforming, center upgrades towards doing more interesting platforming. If you're combat, there's much more work to be done in order build depth into the combat system, but the upgrades involved can be more straightforward.

This isn't a full plan, there would need to be a LOT of rebalancing (and a whole lot of level redesign) to actually make this viable, but it's how I envision a better version of this game off the top of my head.

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Two main points stand out to me: One, have the Avatar possess their Phantom Ruby more or less from the start, or in the lead up to their first mission. Two, expand their choice of abilities so it's not just "grapple hook and gun".

To hear Sega tell it, the Avatar was made specifically to tap into the fancharacter niche. Whether or not that's misguided or whether or not they were actually sincere about that is certainly up to debate - I'm not here to contest that. But to put forward that idea and not give the player any real way to express themselves besides cosmetically - and it's also debatable whether they did even THAT right - is a slap in the face. Forget the gun business entirely, just throw out a spread of special powers that have movesets themed around them and have the player pick one to stick with throughout the playthrough much like they would have for species specific abilities (which are themselves pretty embarrassing and sad - seriously like half of them are just changing how rings behave).

In that respect, the Phantom Ruby plays into it beautifully - in many respects it IS described as essentially altering reality, so to have your character tap into it from the start instead of as a deus ex machina device is actually a pretty convenient excuse to have a character of yours come apon power pretty suddenly, and give them another vector of customization besides slipping on some sunnies that might not even be physically attached to your player model. It doesn't have to be an especially huge spread, especially considering this is Sonic Team's first attempt at a concept like this - start with three, at most five of them, and make one of them Chaos powers because you know that's what a sizeable amount of people who want to make OC adaptations are actually after anyway.

From there yeah, it's mostly just a question of level design. I'm not knocking the boost style per se, but Forces is in that regard a legendary joke, a fucking caricature of everything people have been mocking boost games for since Unleashed - literal hallways of brainless, nonstop boosting that trust the player's initiative so little they often litter the track with several rows of boost pads even there are literally no fucking bends in sight. There really isn't a simple solution to this I can fit into a paragraph: it's a very deep seeded issue with Sonic games that has gotten worse and worse with every entry and probably won't be fixed without a generous amount of time, testing and fresh talent. Oh, and get classic Sonic out of this game. He had absolutely no reason to be here, and retconning him to be a completely separate character rather than just a different era of Sonic is definitely not fucking helping.

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1. Classic Sonic is removed from the story.

2. Avatar should have even more customization options like in RPGs.

3. Gameplay should be totally rebuild and more in Adventure style with different playable characters. Speaking of, the Avatar missions would be great if our fursona have different playstyle than just being reskin of Sonic.

4. I have no problem with the resistance and Eggman take over the world story, especially when Archie comics done that thing very well. But it should be just better written and we should see all of this events during the gameplay and cutscenes. The locations as a battlefields with fighting NPCs, more fighting-focused videos etc. would be so great. 

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19 hours ago, GX Echidna said:

At the risk of being numerically rated, which isn't something I'm looking for on a forum, I would honestly put exclusive emphasis on the avatar system. It's the thing that the game does differently, so lean into it.

Sonic Forces spreads itself more thin than it really needs, trying to squeeze two forms of Sonic and the Avatar into a single game (while at the same time developing a new engine for the company). I don't love the avatars, but they're a core part of this game with plenty of mechanics attached that are neither fully developed nor significantly used. I don't cotton to having mechanics for the sake of mechanics. Drop Sonic. Both Sonics. There's not room to develop a character that has a progression system and two that don't. Link the species-centric abilities to equipment that you gain and upgrade through the experience system. Same with the Wispons. Let progression build out in the way that Sonic Generations or Secret Rings did, treating certain items and abilities as a loadout that you can tune to the situation.

The level design needs a 100% complete overhaul. It's not good enough to just have a bunch of enemies stand in a straight line on a flat plane and treat that as a level. That isn't design. That's lip service to the Wispon system. If you're going to have the system, use it. Build levels around what it can do, and challenge the player with different layouts. Figure out if you're actually designing a combat-centric game or a platforming-centric game (there's a real danger to believing you can be both in this series, such as Sonic Heroes and Black Knight). If you're platforming, center upgrades towards doing more interesting platforming. If you're combat, there's much more work to be done in order build depth into the combat system, but the upgrades involved can be more straightforward.

This isn't a full plan, there would need to be a LOT of rebalancing (and a whole lot of level redesign) to actually make this viable, but it's how I envision a better version of this game off the top of my head.

Pretty Good Idea, and I won't rate your idea if you don't want it, just a thing I do.

14 hours ago, Blacklightning said:

Two main points stand out to me: One, have the Avatar possess their Phantom Ruby more or less from the start, or in the lead up to their first mission. Two, expand their choice of abilities so it's not just "grapple hook and gun".

To hear Sega tell it, the Avatar was made specifically to tap into the fancharacter niche. Whether or not that's misguided or whether or not they were actually sincere about that is certainly up to debate - I'm not here to contest that. But to put forward that idea and not give the player any real way to express themselves besides cosmetically - and it's also debatable whether they did even THAT right - is a slap in the face. Forget the gun business entirely, just throw out a spread of special powers that have movesets themed around them and have the player pick one to stick with throughout the playthrough much like they would have for species specific abilities (which are themselves pretty embarrassing and sad - seriously like half of them are just changing how rings behave).

In that respect, the Phantom Ruby plays into it beautifully - in many respects it IS described as essentially altering reality, so to have your character tap into it from the start instead of as a deus ex machina device is actually a pretty convenient excuse to have a character of yours come apon power pretty suddenly, and give them another vector of customization besides slipping on some sunnies that might not even be physically attached to your player model. It doesn't have to be an especially huge spread, especially considering this is Sonic Team's first attempt at a concept like this - start with three, at most five of them, and make one of them Chaos powers because you know that's what a sizeable amount of people who want to make OC adaptations are actually after anyway.

From there yeah, it's mostly just a question of level design. I'm not knocking the boost style per se, but Forces is in that regard a legendary joke, a fucking caricature of everything people have been mocking boost games for since Unleashed - literal hallways of brainless, nonstop boosting that trust the player's initiative so little they often litter the track with several rows of boost pads even there are literally no fucking bends in sight. There really isn't a simple solution to this I can fit into a paragraph: it's a very deep seeded issue with Sonic games that has gotten worse and worse with every entry and probably won't be fixed without a generous amount of time, testing and fresh talent. Oh, and get classic Sonic out of this game. He had absolutely no reason to be here, and retconning him to be a completely separate character rather than just a different era of Sonic is definitely not fucking helping.

All good point, and I think the idea of player skill tree/load out is a great idea. 10/10

7 hours ago, Raya said:

1. Classic Sonic is removed from the story.

2. Avatar should have even more customization options like in RPGs.

3. Gameplay should be totally rebuild and more in Adventure style with different playable characters. Speaking of, the Avatar missions would be great if our fursona have different playstyle than just being reskin of Sonic.

4. I have no problem with the resistance and Eggman take over the world story, especially when Archie comics done that thing very well. But it should be just better written and we should see all of this events during the gameplay and cutscenes. The locations as a battlefields with fighting NPCs, more fighting-focused videos etc. would be so great. 

I do think that Classic Sonic sucked in Forces. The Avatar customizations were pretty bad too, and the rest of you points are valid at the minimum. 10/10

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