Along side live demos for Green Hill and City Escape
Patrick Riley has been making the rounds, doing his job to promote Sonic Generations. That generally involves regurgitating the same info we’ve heard a dozen times already, but as the Sonic Boom event gets ready to kick off, Pat stopped by the Gamespot booth at E3 to provide a live demo of City Escape and reveal some new details about the game.
The first of which: the console versions of the game support stereoscopic 3D. Patrick also fielded questions from the chat, re-affirming that the only playable characters are Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic, and that Sonic Generations is a singleplayer-only experience (that is, unless you’re playing on the 3DS, which apparently has some sort of race mode). And as for Chaos Emeralds and Special Stages, well, expect the Sonic Heroes special stage to remain exclusive to the 3DS, with an “alternative method” for collecting emeralds to appear on the console versions of the game.
But enough about that: The real spectacle of this demo was seeing extended, uninterrupted gameplay footage of City Escape in action, starting with Modern Sonic’s run. Modern Sonic’s City Escape is laid out in a way that will be very familiar to fans of the original level – but not so familiar as to be a exact copy. Areas clearly designed to poke at your nostalgia for the Dreamcast stage were broken up by brand new and surprisingly wide-open plazas and intersections, toying with your memories. That theme continued as the stage entered its iconic chase sequence. The old G.U.N. semi has quite a few new tricks up its sleeve, including spindly robotic arms swiping at Sonic with buzzsaws and rocket-propelled jet boosters.
For as much as Modern Sonic’s City Escape was about playing with your familiarity, Classic Sonic’s City Escape was basically an entirely new level that just happened to take place in a city. It was also here you could faintly make out the familiar “Escape from the City” song playing in the background, so fans worried about its inclusion can put those fears to rest. The G.U.N. truck from Modern Sonic’s run is a lot more persistent in this level; constantly driving in, out, and through the background to break down scaffolding and deny access to bonus items for players not quick enough to grab them. At one point, Classic Sonic busts an item monitor, providing him with a skateboard in an obvious 90’s riff on Modern Sonic’s streetboarding sequence. While on the board, a simplistic trick system seems to be in place, and pulling off particularly impressive tricks will elicit a cameo from Omochao who congratulates you on a job well done.There was at least one thing about this demo that was perhaps a little less implicit; spotted at several points in City Escape were new “bottomless pit” warning signs, clearly intended to give you an idea which holes you can jump down and which ones are best avoided. As the demo winded down and Classic Sonic cleared the stage, a question from the chat came up regarding leaderboard support. Riley clammed up at this point – while he would confirm leaderboards, he also seemed to be talking around some unannounced form of “internet functionality” we will likely learn about at a later date.
We’ll have more images from this live demo later on this evening, but if you would like to see the demo for yourself, simply hit up Gamespot’s E3 Day 2 page and fast forward to 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Update: Images and a Youtube rip of the City Escape demo are over here.