I was able to check out and play the new Sonic game, Sonic the Hedgehog, confirmed to be released later this year.
The Demo started with the E3 Sonic the Hedgehog trailer, with some extra scenes (screenshots and videos to be avaliable in the next couple days). After the intro, I was taken to a title screen that was temporary and only going to be used for this E3 event.
After pressing start, I was taken to a character select screen. I could choose between Sonic and Silver. For some reason, Shadow was not avaliable in this build. I first chose to play as Sonic, of course, and checked out the gameplay.
There was only one stage avaliable for Sonic, which was Kingdom Valley. If you have played the Sonic Adventure series, it plays alot like them. The homing attack is there, speed is there, but also a new form of attack is avaliable (some kind of break dance attack, that can hurt several nearby robots). The camera did not seem to have the issues that plagued the Sonic Adventure series, and it makes me feel a lot better about this coming game as far as mechanics go. The Havoc System is also a very neat addition to the game. It is very cool to see Sonic smash Dr. Robotnik’s foes against walls. The walls breaking looks amazing, with the pieces falling onto the floor and Sonic being able to kick them around. It feels much more realistic.
Sonic was also able to grab onto eagles that took him around the stage. The second part of Kingdom Valley is in this weird water temple, where Sonic runs with AI and you have to dodge and avoid obstacles. The graphics on this particular stage are amazing, and with SEGA stating that Sonic is not running at full speed, as he will when the game is released, makes me wonder how crazy it will be, because Sonic moves really fast as it is.
Sonic looks taller and thinner, but I did not notice anything else astheticly. He is still the blue dude with attitude I grew up with. His animation is very fluid, and the stages were beautiful – very crisp and colorful. Being that this is only a demo of the game, I am sure they will revamp the graphics even more before it is released later this year.
Now let’s talk about Silver. If you select him, you are taken to a different stage, called City Crisis. Silver looks cool, I must admit, but this mysterious hedgehog does not run fast like Sonic and Shadow. In fact, he does not run at all. He walks. I was in shock to see how slow Silver is. But, the coolest thing about him is his telekinesis powers. He is able to lift any object, and throw them against foes. I was able to lift rocks and boxes, and if you hurt Dr. Robotnik’s robots, they freeze in this kind of short circuit. Then, you can lift the robot with your mental abilities, and throw it against anything you desire. Definitely very cool. Also he can hover around with his powers, which is also a very cool thing, but like Tails can only fly until he gets tired, Silver can only hover temporarily. I was not able to get far in the stage with him because his gameplay is very different and people were nuts to play, so I gave the controller to someone else after dying a couple times.
I asked one of the people on the Sega floor if each character would have his own sets of stages. He replied with no, they will all go through the same stage, but Sonic, for example, will be able to reach different areas with his speed that Silver will not be able to, and vice-versa.
Also, I asked what was the role Shadow would have in this game. They were not very clear, but said that Shadow would use military vehicles to reach areas of the game. Being that Shadow was not even a playable character in this demo, I am sure all of that is still in the works and they chose to keep it under closed doors.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 definitely looks promising. Come back to TSS for more information on the game as E3 continues at the Los Angeles Convention Center.