Sonic Team interview by Sonic Central (May 15, 2005)
From Sonic Retro
Sonic Central: This is the first time that gunplay will be the main focus of a Sonic game. Is it something you've always wanted to do? Is it something the fans have been asking for? Or is it something a little more experimental than that?
Sonic Team: Gunplay is just one component of the entire game that is new to gamers familiar with the Sonic-based games. We want to offer something different to gamers and expand the traditional platform genre with some new and unexpected fun and entertainment. In Shadow the Hedgehog™ there is drama and an integrated storyline that unveils more of the mystery around this character. Everything is relevant to the style and tone of the game.
Sonic Central: Given the fact that Shadow is the ultimate life form, and a weapon himself, why is it that you decided to give him a gun?
Sonic Team: Shadow is on a mission to find out about his past and who he is. Being a rebel, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the answers to the questions he has. Shadow is not equipped with a gun, but he is able to take them from the many enemies he encounters along the way in order to help him to meet his goal. This opens up a huge variety of weapons including human guns and alien lasers.
Sonic Central: So does this mean that Shadow has other powers that he can utilize in this game?
Sonic Team: Absolutely! Shadow is the Ultimate Life Form and as such he has Chaos powers, which help him progress through the game. Chaos Control allows him to manipulate both time and space and Chaos Blast affords him the power of ultimate destruction.
Sonic Central: Why choose Shadow? Did you want to give fans a buzz by getting to be the bad guy? Or did you just want to explore the personality of one the series' more interesting characters?
Sonic Team: We’ve been interested in featuring Shadow in his own adventure since we first introduced him in Sonic Adventure™. He has since made return appearances in Sonic Adventure™ 2, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle™ and most recently in Sonic Heroes™. Creatively, Shadow has a completely different personality than Sonic so we can do things that are just as cool as Sonic, but different at the same time.
As a rebel and a mysterious character, people questioned whether Shadow was good or evil from the beginning. So in this debut adventure, we allow the gamers to explore the mysteries of Shadow’s past and perhaps reveal the answers to those questions. We want to put the gamer in control of the truth behind Shadow. The buzz our fans will get from playing with Shadow is the complete control over his destiny – essentially they decide whether he’s the bad guy or not.
Sonic Central: In one of the earlier games we were left thinking that Shadow might have died – is this game therefore a prequel of some sort?
Sonic Team: No, the Shadow The Hedgehog game picks up the story after Sonic Heroes. Playing through the game will allow the player to help Shadow, and in turn themselves, discover what really happened.
Sonic Central: Is Shadow The Hedgehog really Sonic Adventure 3, the next in the Sonic series?
Sonic Team: No, Shadow The Hedgehog is an extension of the Sonic Universe – not the next chapter in it. Although Sonic and Shadow’s paths may cross from time to time they each have their own adventures to follow.
Sonic Central: Since Shadow is Sonic's enemy, what does this game mean for Sonic? Is he your main enemy in this game? How does Robotnik fit into things?
Sonic Team: Shadow is more of a nemesis to Sonic rather than a true enemy; they may be adversaries but there is a mutual respect between the two of them. As the story and game progresses, more and more of Shadow’s past is revealed. As such, Sonic and other favorite characters from the Sonic series, such as Tails, Knuckles and yes, Dr. Eggman, all play an integral part in the story. It’s up to the player whether they are friend of foe. Dr. Eggman has always been after the chaos emeralds for himself, but Shadow needs them to unravel the mysteries of his past, so inevitably they will come into conflict somewhere along the line. Sonic certainly plays a key role as you uncover Shadow’s past, but the real enemy in this game are the Black Creatures…
Sonic Central: One of the strengths of the 3D Sonic series has been the range of playable characters - can you hint at who else will be playable in Shadow The Hedgehog, if any? Will there be differing styles of play for different characters?
Sonic Team: As this is the first solo adventure for Shadow, the primary adventure and gameplay revolves around our star, Shadow.
Sonic Central: Will there be any classic levels revisited, from previous Sonic games, both 3D and 2D?
Sonic Team: There will be some familiar elements that have been celebrated through the years that will deliver the iconic gameplay fans love from the series, but this is a new game. We do not want to alienate the many fans of the Sonic franchise and we hope that gamers will appreciate and respect the new way this character is developed and the way the story and game unfolds in this unique extension of the Sonic Universe.
Sonic Central: What multi-player functions will there be?
Sonic Team: There are many different functions planned for this game and we look forward to revealing more details in the months to come.
Sonic Central: The game looks roughly similar to Sonic Adventure and Sonic Heroes, in terms of how Shadow shoots through the levels. Was there any concern about how gunplay would slow the character down, and make it less about speed than previous Sonic games?
Sonic Team: We are excited about our new game and even more excited by the challenges that come from designing a new style of game. This game will appeal to fans that enjoy games with intense speed as well as those that enjoy pure destruction. Players will be able to choose either or…both.
Shadow is a character that, like Sonic, is known for his speed and power. We have no intentions of deviating from our strengths as a team or the strengths of this character in delivering intense 3D action. In order to do this, we’ve combined the best of our past title’s gameplay elements with some new ideas. This fusion of old and new gives a variety of action including gunplay, without losing the features of the series that have made it such a success. We look forward to offering a different type of entertainment to new gamers as well as fans of the Sonic series.
Sonic Central: Can you give us any details regarding bonus games, special stages, or the inclusion of unlockable classic Sonic games? And how will the player's performance be rated - on speed, destruction, accuracy etc?
Sonic Team: We are proud to unveil a new game that is unlike any Sonic title to date. Shadow The Hedgehog delivers a completely different style of game structure that puts the gamer in total control. Every decision and every path that the gamer decides Shadow should take has a different consequence and result. The variety and progression of gameplay will be dynamically affected by the choices you make. We look forward to offering you a deep gameplay experience. This game is full of many surprises and we will be unveiling more details in the months to come.
Sonic Central: Where would you like to see Sonic & Co go next? Online multi-player territory? An RPG? GTA-style exploration and open-ended gameplay?
Sonic Team: We are always exploring new directions and our goal is to continue to push the envelope creatively and technologically for the Sonic franchise. We are so excited about the opportunity of expanding the Sonic universe with Shadow The Hedgehog and we look forward to unveiling details of our new plans in the future.
- Original Interview at Angel Island Interviews.