Sources close to SEGA have informed The Sonic Stadium that the publisher intends to announce/tease a new game within the Sonic the Hedgehog series next month. Sonic fans will recall that February 2nd is of course what SEGA calls ‘Hedgehog Day’, a day the company usually likes to tease fans about upcoming Sonic games. However, one of our sources states that the game won’t be announced until mid-February, while another just says we “will hear about it from official sources next month”. It’s likely SEGA could tease a reveal on Hedgehog Day and make a proper announcement later in the month.
One source has shared what they allege to be details about the new game. The game’s title doesn’t appear to be finalized yet, but its platforms are. It will be released on Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, PS Vita, PC, and “Next gen” consoles. This source says anything involving these new consoles is strictly confidential to people at the top of the company, so they unfortunately don’t have any information to share about those versions. As for the other versions, the source states the console, PC and PS Vita versions will be identical aside from the graphical differences, while the 3DS version will be another Sonic Rush styled game.
The source elaborates that the console version of this new game will be sticking with the recent formula seen in Sonic Unleashed (Daytime), Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations where gameplay switches between full 3D movement and 2D side-scrolling sections. Multiple routes through a stage will return, but this time you will have an incentive to play through them all. Each route in a stage will lead to one of two or three exits at the end that will each take you to a different stage. You will always end up at the same final stage, though. Our source says final stage count hasn’t been decided, but the developers are trying for at least 20 different stages, not including boss battles.
Character wise, our source says you will begin the game with Sonic and unlock other characters to play as by completing stages. It’s been made clear that this doesn’t mean 20+ characters are available, though. “For example, you might unlock Knuckles in any one of three stages. Sometimes, if you already have a character that would be unlocked first, a different one may be unlocked. Altogether we’re looking at about 10 different characters to play with, and no, Sonic isn’t getting any new friends. All of the playable characters will be existing Sonic characters.”
Our source goes on to explain that each character will have their own skills to help them progress in stages easier where others will have more difficulty or simply cannot ala Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the Sonic Advance series. One example described involves Sonic and Shadow not being able to make it up a wall, while Tails can easily fly up there or Knuckles can climb, allowing them access to an exit Sonic and Shadow can’t reach. Despite that, our source assures us that stages can be replayed with any character of your choice, though.
Moving on to the 3DS version, the source says it will be “similar in idea, but smaller in scope”. The developers are trying to fit all of the characters into the game, but it will feature far fewer stages. There will still be many paths through stages, but at this point, the source says it looks like every stage will only ever branch off into 2 stages.
Our source ends by telling us “All in all, the games look very promising at this point” and assures us that SEGA has their best developers working on the games and that they have been in the works since before Sonic Generations. The game should be out in stores this Fall/Autumn, or at the latest, Winter. Another source corroborates the Fall schedule and expects the game to be released around September.
We have verified our sources as best as we can, but until official confirmation is made by SEGA, we’re marking this rumour for now.