1UP Unleashed Impressions: Concern

1UP Unleashed Impressions: Concern

by July 17, 2008

Nighttime Necessity Questioned

We just posted Kotaku’s impressions, and we just found some new impressions of Sonic Unleashed off of 1UP.com.   Unlike Gamespot they did not get hands-on with the game.  However, like Kotaku’s Mike Fahey, they are just as worried about how nighttime will roll:

We were jazzed to finally see the game in action (no hands-on, sadly), as it looks to perhaps be the first strong 3D Sonic game since Sonic Adventure in 1999. We started off in the Mykonos stage (set in a Greek-inspired area), with its branching paths, grindable rails, and familiar iconography and sound effects from the classic releases. Sonic has a new Quick Step feature (using the shoulder buttons of the Xbox 360 controller in the demonstration we saw) used to essentially “change lanes” (strafe) when in the behind-the-back view, which will help you slide him over to coins and boost pads without having to steer him at high speeds.

In a way, the daytime segments of Sonic Unleashed look to combine the best elements of Sonic Adventure and Sonic and the Secret Rings (with a hint of Sonic Riders) to create an experience that might finally nail the combination of speed and playability that has evaded so many recent Sonic games.

And then the werewolf transformation took place, and we couldn’t help but think, “Why?” As in: “Why is this necessary?” and “Why does Sonic keep making this same mistake?” At night, Sonic Unleashed looks to be a mindless beat-em-up, where Sonic walks around and uses his stretchable arms (a trait common to werewolves, apparently) to slash heaps of small foes and climb up to high platforms. The action is presented in an over-the-top manner, and we can’t say with any certainty that these portions of the game will actually be unenjoyable or poorly executed, but it left a bad taste in our mouths. Walking around open settings and beating up creatures in no way feels like what we know and love about the character and his more successful exploits, and the addition of such mechanics makes us think that Sonic Unleashed will be a tale of two games.

Luckily, the first part of that equation (the daytime segments) looks like a lot of fun, despite the intense slowdown present in the current build (which should be addressed by release). In addition to the speedy running, the daytime segments also encompass some precision platforming action, as evidenced by a China-inspired stage that featured spinning, suspended platforms with rolling pins covered in spikes. Sonic Unleashed certainly looks to draw in several distinct gameplay elements, but unless the daytime segments dominate the experience, we may be looking at yet another uneven 3D Sonic experience.

You can read the full article here, though there isn’t much in the way of new information.