Sonic Team discusses how Sonic Frontiers became an 'open-zone' game, and the game's approach to music
Sonic secrets revealed
Sonic Frontiers is taking the series in a new direction by opening things up. Sonic Team is calling Sonic Frontiers an ‘Open Zone’ game instead of open world, but the idea is the same. Grandiose landscapes that Sonic can zip through and explore at his leisure. In an interview with IGN, Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka explained the decision to head in this direction.
After completing Sonic Forces, we were brainstorming on what to do next. We realized there’s little room for evolution with a traditional 3D Sonic game. We’d only be able to make something that fans have seen before. That’s why at the very start, we discussed as a team how to change this linear style of gameplay.
To be clear, Sonic Frontiers offers a mix of open zone gameplay along with more traditional sections, which should hopefully make for a perfect blend in the eyes of Sonic fans.
You can make lots of discoveries and enjoy 3D Sonic action on the game’s open zone islands. However, they also contain traditional Sonic-style high-speed linear action stages. Fans of traditional modern Sonic 3D action should enjoy these. They’ll be able to use the techniques and actions they’ve learned to beat them. By merging these open zones and traditional 3D action stages into the same islands, players will be able to enjoy a broader variety of 3D action than before.
Finally, Iizuka also talked about the approach to Sonic Frontiers’ soundtrack, which is quite different from previous games.
I think Sonic Frontiers has a clearly different and more realistic look compared to traditional Sonic games. Sonic stories have also been about “Something bad has happened, fix it!” They very clearly tell the player what needs to be done. Sonic Frontiers, though, places Sonic on these islands and asks what he needs to do, and how to save his friends. Its theme is that it asks both the player and Sonic to solve these questions together. The soundtrack also has less focus on upbeat tracks that match a given stage. It’s focused more on helping to create a mysterious feeling surrounding the islands.