Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360 preview build)/Comparisons

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General comparisons

Preview Build TitleScreen SU.png
Preview Build
SonicUnleashed title.png
Final game

The title screen has a different background. It also uses the same sound effect for pressing Start as in the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game.

  • The claw slash effect doesn't play in the main menu.
  • The loading screen is different for both nighttime and daytime.

Gameplay comparisons

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Preview Build
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Final game

Sonic the Hedgehog's jump animation is different, being much more transparent.

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Preview Build
SWA final werehog hud.png
Final game

Sonic the Werehog's HUD is unfinished, and identical to the one seen at E3 2008[1].

  • The game runs at an uncapped framerate. This is fine on hardware, but produces poor results on emulators using powerful computers, as the game's physics start breaking at framerates above 60. You need to cap it using external software.
  • The player cannot Drift by pressing B or holding Right Trigger - they have to brake, then make a sharp turn. Much harder to pull off, and makes snaking much harder to do.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog makes an annoying sound everytime he slides. He also exclaims "WOO!" everytime he Stomps.
  • The visual effect for boosting is a work in progress.
  • The camera is zooms out less while boosting. This creates a placebo effect of daytime feeling much slower, despite Sonic the Hedgehog having identical speed values to the final game.
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Preview Build
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Final game

The title screen has a different background. It also uses the same sound effect for pressing Start as in the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game.

  • The physics are overall much less refined. Sonic the Hedgehog has less air drag, feels even more slippery than the final, and cannot turn as effectively. Sonic the Werehog is slow, and lumbering. Both of them feel worse to play.
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Preview Build
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Final game

The lock-on reticle for the Homing Attack is different.

  • Sonic begins the game with all of his moves, and the upgrade system is not present.
  • At the end of a level, S Ranks are always achieved no matter what.
  • There's a 'replay' button on the end of level screen. This is missing in the final, but returned in Sonic Generations.
  • In-game cutscene music continues into stages and hub worlds when skipped. This does not apply to FMVs.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is even slower in the hub worlds, and slides around in a neutral stance when paused.
  • The transformation cutscenes for Sonic changing between forms in hub worlds is a WIP.

Sonic transforming into the Werehog (Preview)

Werehog transforming into Sonic (Preview)

Sonic transforming into the Werehog (Final)

Werehog transforming into Sonic (Final)

  • Neither of Sonic's forms play an intro animation at the beginning of stages. The only exception is Cool Edge Act 1 (Daytime).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's quickstep is much less powerful outside of dedicated quickstep sections, barely moving Sonic at all.
  • The global illumination is much higher resolution than the final game. It looks better, and doesn't have any noticeable impact on performance.
  • Despite the GI being higher resolution, the lighting is overall worse on the majority of stages. Most likely because compiling the advanced lighting could take days, and it'd be far too much effort to go through for every single minute layout change.
  • Entrance stages use the same UI as action stages.
  • Entrance stages all have their stages laid out in the beginning of them, likely for playtesting purposes.
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Preview Build
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Final game

Sonic the Werehog's fur is a slightly different coloration. He resembles the textures used in the Wii version far more than the final game.

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Preview Build
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Final game

Sonic the Werehog's claws use white trails, rather than the purple used in the final game.

  • M-speed is much easier to pull off, requiring less precision.
  • Sun and Moon Medals are not present, however the UI for them still exists.
  • Motion blur is significantly less intense.

Stage comparisons

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Main article: Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360 preview build)/Comparisons/Stage comparisons

Hub comparisons

Something to note about all Hubs is that NPCs will use placeholder dialogue when loaded in from the Debug menu, as Sonic will lack a story state. All hubs do have proper dialogue if Sonic does have a story state, however.



SWA preview apotos town.png
SWA preview apotos night town.png
  • Mostly finalized, however there are more NPCs walking around than the final.

Entrance Field

SWA preview apotos entrance.png
SWA preview apotos entrance night.png
  • Lacks any objects besides the entrance stages which are in placeholder positions.
  • For some reason, exiting the field will not take the player to the town, but rather starts the game from the beginning, playing the opening FMV.
  • The nighttime field lacks music.



SWA preview mazuri town.png
SWA preview mazuri night town.png
  • There are more NPCs walking around than the final game.
  • Otherwise, final.

Entrance Field

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SWA preview mazuri night entrance.png
  • Daytime has early geometry.
    • Nighttime has geometry that's slightly further along, but still unfinished.
  • Stage placements are early.
  • Camera is closer to Sonic the Hedgehog than the final game.



SWA preview spagonia town.png
SWA preview spagonia town night.png
  • Early lighting at both times of day
  • There are more NPCs walking around than the final.
  • If you walk into Professor Pickle's lab from the town, it will cause the Professor kidnapped cutscene to play, giving Sonic a proper story state.
  • The rails still use their Action Stage physics, relying on momentum physics rather than automatically sending Sonic forward like the final game's hub.
    • This leads to the rails being incredibly hard to use, as unlike the Action Stages, Sonic is much slower and you cannot rely on the Boost.
  • There are draw distance issues at nighttime, leading to Sonic Frontiers-esque pop-in.

Entrance Field

SWA preview spagonia entrance.png
SWA preview spagonia entrance night.png
  • Early geometry, only the first room of the field is present.
  • No objects besides the day/night hourglass.
  • There are severe draw distance issues, meaning you're able to see into the skybox.
    • The draw distance issues are even worse at night.

Professor Pickle's Lab

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SWA preview spagonia night pickles.png
SWA preview spagonia pickles B.png
  • Finalized geometry, however the camera angle is different.
    • The daytime lighting is different, however the lighting at nighttime is finalized.
  • When loaded from the Debug menu, Pickle uses generic dialogue, but Tails says "Clear all the trials without falling and become a legend! Clear all the trials without falling and become a legend!". Strange, isn't it?



SWA preview chun nan town.png
SWA preview chun nan night town.png
  • There are water lanterns floating about the creek that illuminate at nighttime, which are absent in the final game.
    • The final game instead has flowers and lily pads populating the water.

Entrance Field

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SWA preview chun nan entrance night.png
  • Early geometry, the majority of the platforming is absent or early.
  • The water is pure white.
  • Nighttime has draw distance issues, causing entire buildings to pop-in.
  • Early object placements, all stages are laid out at the entrance.



SWA preview holoska town.png
SWA preview holoska town night.png
  • Daytime has early lighting.
    • Nighttime lighting is final, however.
  • Geometry is also unfinished, but the layout is done.
  • More NPCs than the final.

Entrance Field

SWA preview holoska entrance stage.png
SWA preview holoska night entrance.png
  • Completely placeholder, all that exists of this field is a small ice cave.
  • The area lacks a skybox, and as such the void is clearly visible.

Boss comparisons

Egg Beetle[2]

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  • Similar to the final game
  • Missiles fall down much more slowly
  • Current boss attack phase is visible as debug text

Egg Devil Ray[3]

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  • Similar to the final game.
  • 2D sections have a different arrangement of lasers.
  • 3rd phase has a laser grid attack not seen in the final.
  • Rings don't respawn.

Dark Gaia Phoenix[4]

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  • A goal ring is present at the start
  • Water barrels take longer to respawn
  • The boss's colors completely glitch out when the fire is extinguished.

Dark Moray[5]

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  • A goal ring is present at the start
  • The ledge cannot be grabbed, debug is required to get up there, or a well times uppercut attack.
  • Have to defeat much more smaller enemies, around 4, 6, and 8 per phase respectively
  • Ice spheres home in much more aggressively.
  • No Music


Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360 preview build), prototype version of Sonic Unleashed
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Part of Sonic Unleashed development