New Sonic Frontiers Footage in Nintendo Partner Showcase

Somewhere among the many farming games, the 3000 hours of Persona games, and revisionist history PAC-MAN, we got a few more details on Sonic Frontiers:

Today’s Nintendo Partner Showcase featured about 20 seconds of new Sonic Frontiers footage, and our first look at the game’s linear Cyber Space stages, a new character, and its general Switch performance.

Image from official press release

While all of Sonic’s combat tricks here had been revealed in previous videos, the absolute highlight was two of the game’s Cyber Space stages, including a wild spaghetti-tangle of highways with glitched-out road signs, and the familiar Green Hill landscape (yes, internet, we all know you have strong opinions about where Green Hill is and isn’t used, you don’t need to remind us).

Image from official press release

Sonic enters the stages via stone portals, and as the Summer Game Fest impressions state, they’re in the format of forward-running boost-style platforming. In the Green Hill section, Sonic isn’t beholden to his open world combat mechanics. One hit is enough to dispatch each of the Motobugs. The stages shown take place on an abstract geometric backdrop while wavy and twisted trails decorate the sky. The foreground is stylized with chromatic aberration in Green Hill and vertical scanlines in the highway environment. Upon leaving the level, Sonic is awarded a key.

Image taken from YouTube video

We’ve also got our first… vaguely-story-related cutscene, introducing “Sage,” a strange girl associated with Starfall Islands’ overarching mystery. At the end of the footage, she’s seen emanating a red “cyber” glow and hovering just above a geometric metal Palkia.

Image taken from YouTube video

“Kronos Island,” according to the official press release, is the first island of the game, and likely the one we’ve seen exclusively in the promotional footage thus far. Sonic arrives there upon escaping a cyberspace portal that engulfed him and his friends.

Image from official press release

For those looking to get a glimpse of the game actually running on Switch (or within general Switch parameters), the compromises are in line with other open world games on the platform. Landscape fidelity drops at a bit closer distance, the visual effects are a little less flashy, and textures can be blurry up close. If Switch is your primary platform, these are the sacrifices that you’ve come to expect. The footage shown ran at 30fps in spite of the 60fps feed, but for better or worse, the same could be said about the majority of other titles in the Showcase. I’m hesitant to judge certain aspects of the visuals too harshly, since YouTube compression tends to add artifacting and blur, but if graphics are your priority over portability, just expect to go for the PS5, Series X, or PC versions regardless.

Image taken from YouTube video

We have a number of screenshots throughout the article, differentiated between official press release shots, and those taken from the YouTube video. The press release shots were provided in 4K, so it’s safe to assume they’re not from the Switch version.

Recent hands-on impressions vary wildly, from the absolutely positive to the utterly dire, and everything in between. Suffice to say this new footage will be controversial (as was the previous footage, and the footage before that), but we’ll all be able to check the game out for ourselves when it launches this Winter.

Published by

GX

A podcaster since 2008, GX originally founded The Spindash podcast, until joining Sonic Stadium's monthly Sonic Talk. He currently co-hosts the show and runs weekly streams on Stadium's Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/sonicstadium

7 Comments

  1. Not surprised seeing Green Hill back.
    Overall the game is finaly looking a bit more interesting now.

  2. I know I’m wrong but I sincerely hope Green Hill in Prime is just a quick cameo and not the base for every episode.

  3. For god’s sake Sega, I know the assets are right there but you need to leave Generations behind. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say only Green Hill and Sky Sanctuary are reused and that the crazy road area isn’t actually Speed Highway, but if I see Seaside Hill or Planet Wisp show up in cyberspace I’m going to lose my mind.

    I don’t even care if these levels are entirely throwbacks, just don’t give me the ones from Generations again. Give me a Sandopolis or Press Garden or Crazy Gadget or something. Heck, redo Mania in 3D for all I care, just don’t make me play Rooftop Run again.

  4. I’ve of the team that the roads are Altitude Limit from Rush, especially as abstract as they are.

  5. Every game is just Green Hill zone now isnt it?
    It was a nice cameo in sonic adventure 2, and a nice throwback in generations. But now every single sonic game starts with the green hill zone. Its not nostalgic anymore. its just lazy. Green Hill means nothing to me anymore.

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