HomeMobileHow Sonic Frontiers Came to Be an 'Open-Zone' Game | IGN First

How Sonic Frontiers Came to Be an ‘Open-Zone’ Game | IGN First


The Sonic collection is not any stranger to giant departures from established formulation, and Sonic Frontiers is shaping as much as be one of many greatest departures the blue hedgehog has seen but. It takes the one-of-a-kind excessive velocity 3D motion and adapts it to suit a non-linear open world, or as Sonic Workforce themselves seek advice from it: an Open Zone. To interrupt down the origin of this resolution to interrupt new floor with the 3D Sonic collection, I talked with Sonic Workforce Artistic Officer Takashi Iizuka, who not solely defined the origin of the Open Zone design, but additionally spoke in regards to the resolution to merge outdated and new kinds of Sonic gameplay in Sonic Frontiers.

Sonic Frontiers – IGN First Screenshots

IGN: When did you first get the thought to make an open zone targeted Sonic recreation? Was this one thing that you simply brainstormed as an thought earlier than the event of Sonic Frontiers?

Iizuka-san: After finishing Sonic Forces, we have been brainstorming on what to do subsequent. We realized there’s little room for evolution with a standard 3D Sonic recreation. We would solely be capable of make one thing that followers have seen earlier than. That is why on the very begin, we mentioned as a workforce easy methods to change this linear model of gameplay.

IGN: Did you look to every other Open World video games as inspiriation when it got here to designing Sonic Frontiers’ Open Zone gameplay?

Iizuka-san: As I simply talked about, this recreation started with us asking easy methods to give extra freedom to linear Sonic video games. Its origin is in a distinct place from open-world action-adventure video games. This new “open zone” recreation system is our manner of giving as a lot freedom as potential to a Sonic 3D motion recreation.

Open world video games like Zelda or different AAA video games basically have RPG or journey worlds. For Sonic, the core here’s a 3D motion recreation. Our primary thought was to have that happen in an open house. What units Sonic Frontiers aside is that this totally different strategy to an open recreation world.

IGN: I wished to take a second to speak in regards to the music. Once I was taking part in it I used to be actually struck by how totally different the soundtrack was in comparison with different Sonic video games. It’s extremely like somber and melancholic. What introduced you to, to make this variation within the total tone of the soundtrack?

Iizuka-san: I believe Sonic Frontiers has a clearly totally different and extra life like look in comparison with conventional Sonic video games. Sonic tales have additionally been about “One thing unhealthy has occurred, repair it!” They very clearly inform the participant what must be completed. Sonic Frontiers, although, locations Sonic on these islands and asks what he must do, and easy methods to save his pals. Its theme is that it asks each the participant and Sonic to unravel these questions collectively. The soundtrack additionally has much less concentrate on upbeat tracks that match a given stage. It is targeted extra on serving to to create a mysterious feeling surrounding the islands.

You can also make plenty of discoveries and revel in 3D Sonic motion on the sport’s open zone islands.


IGN: Are you able to discuss somewhat bit in regards to the cut up of getting this open zone together with conventional Sonic ranges, and why you felt that was vital to have each this new, experimental open zone format, together with the addition of the extra conventional Sonic ranges.

Iizuka-san: You can also make plenty of discoveries and revel in 3D Sonic motion on the sport’s open zone islands. Nonetheless, additionally they include conventional Sonic-style high-speed linear motion phases. Followers of conventional fashionable Sonic 3D motion ought to get pleasure from these. They’re going to be capable of use the methods and actions they’ve realized to beat them. By merging these open zones and conventional 3D motion phases into the identical islands, gamers will be capable of get pleasure from a broader number of 3D motion than earlier than.

IGN: Puzzles are a surprisingly giant a part of Sonic Frontiers. Are you able to discuss in regards to the resolution to fill the world with puzzles and use them as the way in which to increase the map?

Iizuka-san: Exploring islands is a part of the enjoyable in Sonic Frontiers. It is about each the 3D motion and the thrill of what you uncover. The islands in Sonic Frontiers include plenty of totally different components and quirks. That features puzzle-solving. These contain utilizing each motion recreation methods in addition to your mind. You possibly can unlock island areas by way of these puzzles containing numerous sorts of gameplay. A part of the enjoyment is regularly opening up the realm accessible to you.

IGN: One factor that has modified all all through the historical past of Sonic has been tone. Some video games have been very shiny, colourful, cartoony, others have been somewhat darker and moodier. The place would you say Sonic Frontiers lands on that spectrum?

Iizuka-san: Previously, Sonic video games have used extra cartoon-y or darkish kinds. What sort of temper does Sonic Frontiers have? Previous video games within the Sonic collection have taken totally different tones relying on their story and themes. This time, these mysterious islands are the sport’s main setting. That is why our artists have labored exhausting to create a mysterious temper.

IGN: With the inclusion of the Open Zone, it virtually seems like we have accomplished a loop again to the primary Sonic Journey, which additionally had a really small-scale open world. Is visiting the Sonic Journey video games one thing that pursuits you, whether or not within the type of a remaster or a sequel?

Iizuka-san: I’ve talked about this in earlier interviews, however I want to proceed the Sonic Journey collection. Sonic Journey additionally incorporates smaller open areas generally known as Journey Fields. I believe we have used what we realized with these on this recreation as nicely. I have never thought of my subsequent recreation but. However I personally assume it might be good if we might use what we be taught with this recreation in Sonic Journey.

IGN: With Sonic being greater than 30 years outdated now, there’s not solely an viewers that has grown up with the basic Sonic video games from the Genesis and Dreamcast eras, but additionally a rising viewers that is rising up with the flicks and extra fashionable Sonic video games. How do you attempt to enchantment to each these audiences?

Iizuka-san: Nicely, Sonic goes to be 31 years outdated. Sonic followers from 30 years in the past are adults now. There are additionally younger followers who might have began with the flicks and such. Going ahead, we wish the Sonic model to enchantment to each teams in its video games and different media. A part of that’s our June launch of Sonic Origins. It is an ideal illustration of the origins of Sonic for followers each outdated and new. We additionally plan on creating extra video games like Sonic Frontiers that may delight 3D Sonic veterans in new methods. Our plan is to focus on these particular teams of Sonic followers with every of our releases going ahead.

Mitchell Saltzman is an editorial producer at IGN. You will discover him on twitter @JurassicRabbit





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