SONIC FRONTIERS - Game Developer explains major problems!

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 2 months ago
preview_player
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This isn't really a Sonic game!
There are engine problems here that are unlikely to be fixed properly for release, this engine really isn't made for Sonic!

Music:
Keys Of Moon - Illusions

💬 Comments
Author

This is an incredibly informative video that really helps explain the major problems we are seeing regarding Sonic Frontiers. Thank you for doing this!

Author — Sam Procrastinates

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Thank you for this. Eloquently explained the more subtle things and why they matter.

Author — Game Apologist

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I’m kind of glad that the marketing for this game has been unintentionally honest to a degree loll. That way we can actually break down the problems that we can actually see, instead of being mislead by smoke and mirrors marketing.

Despite me being optimistic about Frontiers, I appreciate and thank you for the video. Really informative breakdown. Hopefully Sega can take these criticisms to heart and delay the game.

Author — Trey Nobles

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Sega these are the type of devs you need, people that know what they’re doing.

Author — Aron Williams

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Being a Sonic fan is painful. Sonic Team has to be the most mediocre veteran game studio out there. There is just no excuse for a studio that has over 3 decades of experience to put something like this out after a supposed FIVE YEARS of development. They're an embarrassment to the industry.

Author — DjimonMoz

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Also sonic going from climbing to wall running seems even more weird when we've seen sonic in the past with abilities that would fill that transition well.

- Sonic CD/Mania's peel out (the figure-8 charge),
- the sonic CD ova over homing attack (where he stops falling and spins in the air, to then launch forward. Pretty much what inspire Laser wisp's).
- The spindash. Literally a ball that you charge like a pullback toy car.
- Even the sonic adventure 1 ring dash would work!

It makes me wonder if the ppl at sonic team now, even know what the sonic franchise is? The sonic forces tails scene being a good example.

Author — Wako Doodle

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Modern Sonic has got to be the franchise with the most squandered potential that I've seen. Even the times when the 3D games are considered relatively good, they're still not as universally excellent as they truly could be. The quality output is just so uneven from Sonic Team.

Author — Loco Logic

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Feels like this level of pointing out all the problems needs to be brought to creators like SonicShow to bring them back to reality instead of insisting everyone else has been 'lied to', and only HE has figured it out as a Sonictuber. Very well done video.

Author — ShinyAjax

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The core problem with all of this is the lack of smoothness, Sonic is so stiff, the platforming looks lazy and should have less rails or dashpads everywhere

Author — LauDJar

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I can't help but imagine eggman with his current voice actor verbosely explaining the flaws of modern sonic games, it's funny to me. This video is fantastic though, I'm glad to have a more in-depth critique about the state of sonic frontiers and also learn about game development/coding in a way!

Author — MrNoob2014

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As somebody who has no practical experience in gamedev, but has an interest in learning about it, I noticed something else about this game, that is impressively bad news for it. I didn't pay much attention to the graphics and what I'd assumed to be just polish stuff (given this video, seems like I just had no idea how fundamentally bad a problem the pop-in is), instead looking for the underlying mechanics at play and trying to interpret out the philosophy behind how each of the elements of the game are put together. And well, I am not seeing much that one could consider good there.
For starters, the natural landscape and platform elements feel largely disconnected. Like the two parts weren't developed together, but rather the world was made first and then the platforming team had to figure out how to add their stuff to the world. Apparently they really frequently lost their flow or got bored, as you can tell by the random scribbles of rails floating in the sky, completely devoid of any reference to their surroundings.
Then we have Sonic himself not fitting into that whole construct, since he works best in fantastical, unrealistically flowy environments, where he can use his variable momentum to carry him through different routes. That is not an effect you can fully achieve on plain, natural terrain, especially not with grind rails sometimes literally tripping up his flow.
Sonic's natural gameplay style comes into a great deal of conflict with the constantly small scale, functionally walking pace puzzles, where you may have to consider every step you take, making the player feel confined and slow, when Sonic is meant to be a character, who feels free and fast.
A similar issue are the enemies and the combat system as a whole. None of it builds on momentum and in fact, the enemy tankiness causes them to act as a roadblock, a momentum stopper, when the throwaway enemies have previously always been glorified bounce pads. That is not to mention, that all of them having only a singular attack each makes them boring to the point of tedium really fast. And Sonic's way of dealing with them does little to help recover the lost flow, as there is no point in running around at full speed until you see an opening, plus those cinematic, special attacks, especially with their frequency, each disrupt the player's active part in the gameplay for at least a solid second.

So, from what I can tell the basic design of this game is a bunch of individual pieces, which are each more or less flawed in their own ways, being thrown together into a hardly coherent, fractured foundation they now tried to build a game on top of. I find it hard to believe, that this will lead to anything passing the point of painful mediocrity, even if it gets delayed, unless some ridiculously massive changes are made.

Author — Remor

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100% agree with everything you said, your insight on animation is great

Author — Lonnie Maynard

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Yeah I had the same issues and wow some I didn't notice like the lunging up in the sky and falling issue.
Great video!

Author — shadow759

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When hearing you talk about how Sonic is just a reskin in a Fantasy game, someone made a video theorizing that Sega is re-using phantasy star online assets for the open world. They even went so far as to match asset colors and while that's shaky at best, it makes me think they could've just taken some old builds of PSO and scattered them around. The Sonic Movie treatment would be right for this game, I don't think even the best story from Ian Flynn ever could save it in it's current state.

Author — StarrFall

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I just noticed they seem to have applied the "collectable pickup" animation to all things Sonic can pick up, even the rings which are far too plentiful for that to be appropriate. These little things all combine together to make it feel unprofessional. For a legacy franchise that has existed for over thirty years should look better than this, especially now that the movies have made the series more popular than it has ever been. There is no excuse.

Author — Ghost

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i still had hope for this game but this video really made me open my eyes on the actual unfinished state of everything. I never knew that even the simplest and basic of problems (like the engine problems, the wrong animations playing, etc.) slipped past the clean up stage, if there even was one. 

At this point I definitely think Sega shouldn't be managing Sonic Team if they're rushing them the same way they did years ago. If only a new studio like Toys For Bob can get a hold of the ip because of Sonic's potential... but I doubt that tho :/

Other than that, amazing analysis! A perspective of an actual game dev instead of fans is so incredibly refreshing.

Author — kryllic

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In the original sonic adventure there is a feature where sonic turns his head to show things of interest and that one animation is better than any of the animations in this trailer

Author — blake skits

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Eggman expressing his deepest heartfelt concern for his adversary's lack of improvement and polish in this day and age shows that he's a true nemesis homie~

"Sonic, buddy, come on.. you gotta step it up" ~ Dr. Robotnik maybe

Author — Rein Ryuumata

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I've said it before and i'll say it again, I think my biggest issue with this game so far is just how much they seem to take control away from you for these automated mini setpieces with the rails and the springs. This is supposed to be an open world game, why aren't we using some of the new movement tech to do all this instead of having it done by the game? Despite that i'm still looking forward to the game but it just feels like they've missed the point entirely on how developers utilize this style of game.

Author — InspireTheLiars

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One thing that I noticed right away is that this game’s engine seems to be largely unchanged from Sonic Forces. The jumping physics, the slow turning and lack of animation when he is launched into the air, the grinding animations and ability to slowly slide up a rail, so much of this game’s control seems to be copy pasted from Forces. Which is even more unfortunate than you’d expect, because a ton of Forces’ gameplay control was copy pasted from Sonic Lost World! Once again the jumping physics and fixed speed grind rails are present, but the main thing that proves my point is the acceleration. In Sonic Lost World, there is no acceleration. You walk by moving the stick, then run by pressing the run button to immediately switch to a faster speed. As Sonic Forces copied the gameplay of Lost World but removed the run button, Sonic Forces PRETENDS to have actual acceleration by making the walking state gradually gain speed. The illusion is shattered, however, when you gain enough speed to trigger the automatic ‘run button’, where you will suddenly jolt forward with extra speed you didn’t naturally gain. It seems Frontiers has thankfully smoothed out this particular transition, but considering how stiff and awful controlling Sonic was in Forces (and Lost World to a slightly lesser extent), I have no expectation that it’ll be any fun to do in Frontiers when so much of the control has once again been copied.

Author — Arcaden