|Developer: Sonic Team, Hardlight|
|System(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC|
|Number of players: 1|
Sonic Forces (ソニックフォース), known as Project Sonic 2017 during development, is a video game that was released on November 7, 2017. In the same vein as Sonic Generations, the game features both the "classic" and "modern" forms of Sonic the Hedgehog. Additionally, it introduces a new gameplay style in which the player creates an Avatar. Forces is the first game to use Hedgehog Engine 2 as its rendering engine.
Development started for Sonic Forces in 2013, around the release of Sonic Lost World. The original title of the game, Project Sonic 2017, was first mentioned at the Tokyo Joypolis Sonic 25th anniversary party on June 25, 2016, and the game itself would be announced at Sega's 25th anniversary party at San Diego Comic-Con one month later on July 22, 2016 where it was announced alongside Sonic Mania. The presence in the reveal trailer featuring Classic Sonic returning to help Modern Sonic made fans and journalists believe the game would be a sequel to Sonic Generations, but Takashi Iizuka confirmed that it was not a sequel, but a new stand-alone title. The game's title was eventually revealed to be Sonic Forces, with "Forces" being chosen because of the themes of "power" and "army", with two strong forces (Sonic and friends vs. the Eggman Empire) facing off one another.
During a live stream held in Japan to commemorate the release of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, it was revealed that there will be a new character introduced for the game with a new gameplay component besides the usual 2D and 3D gameplay. According to Iizuka in an interview in Famitsu Magazine, this third character would not be "Boom Sonic", but an "unexpected character" who plays a vital role in the story and "embodies the overall features of the game". The character's appearance was first teased in a Nintendo Direct streamed on April 12, 2017, and the character was planned to be announced at E3 2017. However, the character was revealed one month earlier than planned on May 16, 2017, with the character turning out to be a character that the player can customize to their liking. Revealed at E3 instead was the return of Shadow the Hedgehog, Metal Sonic, Zavok and Chaos as henchmen to Dr. Eggman and a new and mysterious villain known as Infinite.
Fueled by his years-long hatred of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman prepares to take yet another shot at expanding his Eggman Empire across the globe by working on an "invincible instrument of destruction" within the confines of his laboratory, with Orbot and Cubot commenting on how serious Eggman is this time. When everything is ready, he launches a large scale offensive on a city. As all hope seems lost for the survivors, Sonic enters the scene after having answered Tails' emergency call. Eggman, having expected Sonic to show up, pulls a surprise from his sleeve and summons none other than Shadow the Hedgehog, Metal Sonic, Zavok and Chaos to stop him, along with a newcomer: an enigmatic and powerful being known as Infinite. Sonic tries to fight them, but is overwhelmed and easily thrashed by the newcomer's mysterious power. Tails, unable to help or figure out Infinite's power, can only watch as Sonic gets defeated and captured by Infinite and his allies.
With Sonic defeated and the world believing him to be dead, Eggman and his forces quickly conquer 99% of the world over the course of six months, with only but a few isolated areas still free from their control. All hope is not lost, as a faction of Sonic's friends have banded together to form a rag-tag team called the Resistance, with Knuckles the Echidna as the commander, and other members including Amy, Rouge, Silver and the Chaotix. Tails is excluded from the Resistance, as he has vanished after Sonic's disappearance, said by Silver to have "lost it".
However, depsite assembling a small army, the Resistance isn't strong enough to stop Eggman's forces, and the innocent are starting to give up hope. As the Resistance's core members discuss their situation, their newest recruit arrives: a cowardly soldier (whom the Resistance nicknames "Rookie") who survived an encounter with Infinite months prior. Not long after, Knuckles learns from Rouge that Sonic is still alive and that he is being held prisoner onboard the newly-rebuilt Death Egg, and formulates a plan for the Rookie to infiltrate the Spaceport and steal a shuttle.
Somewhere in the city, Tails tries to fix a badly-damaged E-123 Omega, only to be threatened by Chaos. Before Chaos could attack him, Classic Sonic arrives, emerging from a wormhole he was sucked into after his recent battle in his dimension, and saves Tails. Tails theorizes that Infinite's strange powers are affecting other dimensions, which may have pulled Classic Sonic into their world. This allows Tails to regain his hope, and sets out with Classic Sonic to save the world.
Back with the Resistance, Rouge reveals that Eggman has only kept Sonic alive for the last six months so that the hedgehog could see his empire upon its completion before being jettisoned into outer space. With Eggman moving the banishment ahead of schedule as a response to the Resistance's rescue attempt, however, the Resistance head to the Death Egg, with the Rookie's choice of route leaving them as the only one able to reach Sonic. As that is happening, Sonic is about to be escorted to his banishment by Zavok, but his restraints break due to the Rookie's commotion onboard, allowing him to take on the red Zeti, who mysteriously fades away upon defeat. As Sonic makes his escape, he finds the scared Rookie under attack from robots and saves them, and together they return to their world via shuttle. After getting reacquainted with his friends, Sonic is sent to go with the Rookie to destroy a weapons factory supplying Eggman, with Sonic quickly accepting the Rookie as his partner.
After the attack, Sonic cuts through Luminous Forest to help Silver, who is being attacked by Infinite. Despite Infinite having the upper hand in the clash, Silver manages to make him drop a mysterious gemstone. Sonic eventually shows up to take on Infinite, but despite putting up a better fight than before, he is still defeated, with Infinite leaving him without killing him as he does not see him as a threat. Meanwhile, Tails and Classic Sonic continue their adventure to stop Eggman, and find him conversing with Infinite about their schemes. By spying on them, the duo learn that the source of Infinite's power comes from a gem called the Phantom Ruby, whose defective prototypes have all been destroyed by Infinite to keep them from interfering with Eggman's plans. After the villains' meeting is dismissed upon the notion that the Resistance and the world will soon fall to the Eggman Empire, Classic Sonic emerges from hiding and takes out Eggman and the machines he uses against him. Despite this, Eggman gloats that he will wipe out the Resistance in just three days and takes his escape before Tails can ask more about it.
Having helped rescue some civilians in the meantime, the Rookie is sent to check out some readings in Mystic Jungle, for them to discover the dropped Phantom Ruby prototype, as well as Classic Sonic and Tails, who have come to the jungle to find Sonic. With Tails and Classic Sonic now reunited with the Resistance, Sonic heads to Sunset Heights to go after Shadow, who is leading an attack on the city. pon finding him, however, the real Shadow appears and dispatches his imposter. Shadow then reveals that the Shadow following Eggman is a virtual reality copy created by Infinite, among other villains serving him, meaning the size of Eggman's army is limitless.
Knuckles then launches an attack known as "Operation Big Wave" on Eggman's undermanned headquarters, Metropolis, only for Infinite to foil the attack and wipe out 80% of the Resistance's troops, forcing the remaining troops to retreat. While retreating, the Rookie comes across Infinite alone, and finds the courage to fight Infinite after remembering Sonic's words of encouragement. Infinite attempts to kill the Avatar but is unexpectedly countered. Despite his confusion, Infinite leaves the Rookie alive, knowing that Eggman will crush everyone in two days.
Realizing that they need to stop the Phantom Ruby to win the war, Tails and Classic Sonic infiltrate Eggman's computer network in the Chemical Plant and find the Phantom Ruby's weakness: it is directly powered by the Death Egg's core, and without a power source it is useless. After growing closer to Sonic after taking out a Metal Sonic replica together, the Rookie stages a diversion in Green Hill while Sonic shuts down the Death Egg's weapon defenses, thus allowing Classic Sonic to destroy the Death Egg, which in turn causes Eggman and his motley crew to make a retreat to Metropolis. When Sonic and Tails corner Eggman to Metropolis, however, the doctor has Infinite banish Sonic into Null Space, with the Rookie also being pulled in trying to save him. Eggman reveals to the confused Tails that he knew the Resistance would eventually target the Death Egg, so he built a hidden backup power supply for the Phantom Ruby underneath Metropolis. Sonic and the Rookie manage to escape Null Space and rejoin the battle, catching Eggman off-guard and prompting him to retreat and prepare his endgame, which is only mere hours away.
The entire Resistance eventually confronts Infinite and his army of replicas at the Eggman Empire Fortress in an effort to crush Eggman once and for all. As Infinite attempts to destroy the Resistance however, Omega, now fully repaired and ready to join the Resistance, ambushes him. Having enough of the rabble, Infinite creates a massive virtual sun over the planet to wipe out the entire Resistance in one fell swoop, which has been Eggman's endgame all along. As all this happens, Tails notices that the Rookie has the Phantom Ruby prototype from Mystic Jungle, and deduces that the Rookie can neutralize the virtual sun with it. Since the prototype's design only let the Rookie use it, the Rookie climbs the Imperial Tower and eliminates the virtual sun, giving the Resistance a fighting chance. At the same time, Sonic confronts Infinite while he is weak from having formed the sun, but regains his full power in his battle with Sonic. At that point, the Rookie comes to Sonic's aid and together they defeat Infinite for good.
Warned by Eggman that he is not done yet though, Sonic and the Rookie destroy the Phantom Ruby's power supply, seemingly winning the war. However, what they thought was the power supply was actually a decoy, and the original Phantom Ruby has been incorporated into Eggman's trump card: the Death Egg Robot. With the Eggman Army on the rise thanks to the Ruby, Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Rookie confront Eggman together and destroy his Death Egg Robot. With the Phantom Ruby getting destroyed in the process, Eggman's army vanishes, leaving the Resistance as the victor.
With the war finally over, Classic Sonic fades away and returns to his home dimension as a result of the Phantom Ruby's destruction. After the Resistance bids farewell to Classic Sonic, the group sets out to clean Eggman's mess around the world. In the aftermath, Knuckles disbands the Resistance, although not without Silver noting that they still have a lot to do. Feeling that plenty of people out there need their aid, the Rookie parts ways with their new friends, and meets up with Sonic in the city to say goodbye to each other before setting off in search of new adventures.
Episode Shadow takes place before the events of Sonic Forces, with Shadow the Hedgehog being informed by Rouge the Bat that an active Eggman base has been discovered outside Eggman's chain of command in a strategically useless position. Suspecting Eggman is up to something, and with rumors flying about the doctor developing a new weapon, Shadow heads to the base to link up with E-123 Omega, who has also been sent by Rouge to do some recon. Before Shadow could reach him however, Omega launches a full-frontal attack on the base, only for Shadow and Rouge to lose radio contact with him.
Shadow arrives at the base and discovers that Infinite had wiped out Omega to test out his new power. Although Shadow does not find his opponent familiar in the slightest, Infinite reveals that he knows Shadow, and begins telling his backstory, revealing that he was once a mercenary who led a group known as the Jackal Squad, who were assigned by Eggman to protect one of his facilites. A couple of months ago, Shadow wiped out the Jackal Squad in a raid on the facility, and laid a beatdown on Infinite, telling him not to show his "pathetic face" around him again before leaving. Outraged by his own weakness, Infinite discarded his former identity and assimilated with the finalized Phantom Ruby prototype to become stronger.
After finishing his story, Infinite attempts to get his revenge on Shadow by trapping him in a virtual reality with his new power. Although Shadow escapes this reality, Infinite is pleased with the results and gloats that not even Sonic can stop him now. Before Shadow could question him on what he means by that, the facility begins to explode, which Infinite uses as a distraction to escape, leaving Shadow to withdraw on Rouge's orders.
About a month later, Shadow is contacted by Rouge as Eggman is launching an assault on the City, but assures him that Sonic and the others are on the case so there is nothing to worry about. As Shadow recalls Infinite's words, however, Rouge alerts him that Sonic has just been defeated by Infinite and his replicas.
Sonic Forces has three playable characters, with the story told from the perspective of each of these three characters. Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic both return with the gameplay styles they had in Sonic Generations, with Classic Sonic emulating the play style of the classic 2D games with the addition of the Drop Dash from Sonic Mania, and Modern Sonic returning to the boost-centric formula after having departed from it in Sonic Lost World.
The game's third playable character is the Avatar, also known as a Custom Hero, whom players can customize to their liking. The player chooses from a base of seven animal species, and can then customize the character's gender, upper headgear, middle headgear, lower headgear, gloves, shoes, accessories, bodysuit and skin color. As the player progresses, hundreds of accessories and costuming options will be unlocked for the player to use. The Avatar will also gain a unique ability depending on what species they are:
Gameplay-wise, the Avatar is similar to Modern Sonic, but uses a grappling hook as a means of platforming. They can also utilize unique gadgets known as Wispons, weapons that can harness Color Powers in new ways that can be used for both attacking and getting around. Before a level, the player can select which Wispon they would like to use, thereby allowing access to different parts of the levels.
There is also a fourth gameplay style known as "Tag Team Stages" which involve Modern Sonic and the Avatar working together. The player will control both characters to navigate through the level, with the leader switching to Sonic when boosting and to the Avatar when using a Wispon. At specific points, the two can peform a new move known as the "Double Boost", which is a faster boost triggered when the player engages an automatic quick time event.
|Platform||Nintendo eShop reference||Monthly Nintendo eShop chart appearances||Weekly eShop chart appearances and rankings||Weeks on the eShop (original run / cumulative total)||Overall monthly performance|
|Nintendo Switch||Nintendo Everything (starting 11/10/17)||November 2017||11/10 (#6), 11/17 (#6), 11/24 (#18)||3 / 3||Was Europe's #15 most-downloaded Nintendo Switch game on the Nintendo eShop in November (Source: Nintendo Everything)|
On August 31 2017, at the same time the release date was announced, it was announced that a "Bonus Edition" of Sonic Forces will become available for pre-order for all console versions of the game with special bonus content. A Sonic Forces-themed controller skin for each respective console (DUALSHOCK 4, Xbox One wireless controller, Joy-Con Grip) featuring Sonic and Infinite will be included in the US version, while the European version gets four art cards, along with all regions getting special Sega/Atlus-themed outfits for the Avatar:
On September 19, 2017, it was announced that Shadow the Hedgehog will have his own playable story as free DLC. Episode Shadow serves as a prequel to the main story and details the Shadow's allegiance, the fate of Team Dark and the untold story of Infinite's rise to power. Shadow gets three redesigned stages to play through, as well as the ability to play through most of Modern Sonic's stages in the main story after the stages have been cleared once. As a playable character, Shadow possesses the same abilities as Modern Sonic.
On November 25, 2017, the Sonic Twitter officially announced the launch of a DLC "Sanic T-shirt" (based on the infamous "Sanic" internet meme). Like Episode Shadow, this DLC is also free.
On December 22, 2017, a DLC pack was released that enables both Classic and Modern Sonic to transform into Super Sonic during gameplay. If the player uses Super Sonic in a level, they cannot enter the world rankings. The DLC was initially going to be free until January 23, 2018, after which it becomes paid DLC, but this decision was eventually reversed, and as of January 24, 2018 the DLC will remain free.
Concept art of Sunset Heights
Concept art of Guardian Rock
Concept art of Lost Valley
Concept art of Arsenal Pyramid
|PlayStation 4, US (Bonus)|
|PlayStation 4, EU (Bonus)|
|PlayStation 4, JP (Bonus)|
|Xbox One, US (Bonus)|
|Xbox One, EU (Bonus)|
|Xbox One, JP (Bonus)|
|Xbox One, AU (Bonus)|
|Nintendo Switch, US (Bonus)|
|Nintendo Switch, JP (Bonus)|
|Nintendo Switch, AU (Bonus)|
|Sonic games for the following systems|
|1996 Sonic the Hedgehog CD | Sonic the Hedgehog The Screen Saver | Sonic's Schoolhouse 1997 Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island | Sonic R 2003 Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut 2004 Sonic Heroes 2006 Sonic Riders 2010 Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing 2011 Sonic Generations 2013 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed 2017 Sonic Mania | Sonic Forces|
|2017 Sonic Mania | Sonic Forces|
|2017 Sonic Mania | Sonic Forces|
|2017 Sonic Mania | Sonic Forces|