What I Want From Sonic Frontiers DLC

Sonic as a franchise has always been…strangely averse to DLC. In an era where a lot of single-player games can get loads of post-launch content, SEGA has remained rather stingy when it comes to Sonic. Maybe we get some level packs reusing in-game assets, or cosmetics, or if we’re really lucky, some new characters or a couple brand new levels, but we’ve never really gotten anything substantial, even when you’d think a game was built for it. I mean, who wouldn’t have wanted more classic levels re-imagined in Sonic Generations or Sonic Mania?

With Sonic Frontiers, that needs to change. Frontiers needs – nay, deserves – some proper, substantial downloadable content. Especially if we’re going to be waiting five years for the next one.

Of course, it’s one thing to just like the idea of DLC. But what should SEGA & Sonic Team actually do? I think there are some clear directions where Frontiers DLC could go:

Quality of Life Improvements

Depending on the nature of this, this probably shouldn’t be paid DLC, but there are definitely some smaller areas where Frontiers could improve. Like, how about a proper Boss Rush mode? There’s currently no way to replay the Titan bosses, which is a shame. A mode that lets you play all four back to back would solve this and introduce a new post-game challenge ala the game’s Arcade Mode. Heck, maybe go all in and also include the sub bosses in a separate part of that mode?

Speaking of Arcade Mode, I was a little surprised there was no way to go straight from one cyberspace stage to another in that. Adding a button to lets me move on to the next stage like Sonic 4 would be nice. Though a marathon mode that will grade me on how many red rings I collect, and how much time I take to get through each of the 30 cyberspace stages would be even better.

A cutscene viewer would also be nice, as would a way to look at the animated and comic tie-ins in-game. There are surely other QoL improvements people want to. Do it, SEGA!

Post-Game Content Mode

As things stand, Sonic Frontiers has no post-game content. While I don’t think the game needs it, as there is plenty to do in it already, I do think Frontiers is structured in a way that makes such a mode viable.

Imagine a brief cutscene where Sonic returns to the islands, and something happens that causes all of the artificial structures to change. The landscape is unchanged, but the platforming challenges all change, the puzzles are made more difficult, and enemies are replaced with substantially more powerful variants. As things stand, Sonic begins to overpower the game’s toughest enemies long before his stats are maxed out. A mode like this could give those people with overpowered Sonics something to do, and a reason to pursue maxed out stats. On top of that, this DLC would do all this while recycling existing assets and areas!

And heck…maybe this mode could even have some additional story content, that further elaborates on the lives of the Ancients!

More Cyberspace Stages (and Themes)

You know what would be cool? Having more than four cyberspace environments. You know what would be even cooler? New cyberspace stages built around some new themes, based either on original locations or locations that haven’t been realized in a boost stage before.

Of everything I suggest here, this seems like the most likely thing to happen, if only because Sonic has already gotten downloadable level packs, and cyberspace stages can be played outside of the open zone areas. But something like this would only be worthwhile if the assets are genuinely new, and not built in the four existing themes we already have.

Give me Studiopolis! Mystic Cave! Stardust Speedway! Or something completely original! Just please, something new! I will give you money for this, SEGA, I promise!

Brand New Story DLC – With a New Character

Alright, this is the big one, and the main reason I wanted to write this article: I want a brand new campaign, with a new island, new enemies, new final boss, new cyberspace stages, and most importantly… a new character. Truth is, there really isn’t much story to be mined from Sonic-centric DLC. So why not build a new, shorter campaign around another character? Like, say, Shadow the Hedgehog, or… maybe even Blaze the Cat?

Sonic Frontiers is already perfectly built for this kind of DLC. Each island is disconnected, so adding a new one wouldn’t be difficult structurally. And there is certainly some interesting story potential to be mined from other characters! Like, maybe Professor Gerald investigated one of the outlying islands Sonic never visited, which could give us more insights into Shadow’s past!

As it stands, Shadow as a character feels directionless in Sonic, with no clear motivations or interesting character traits beyond “stop Eggman” and “be edgy.” Some Shadow-centered DLC would give Flynn a chance to finally sort the character’s messy game canon out.

Though heck, even more interesting than Shadow DLC would be Blaze DLC. She is easily the most criminally under appreciated Sonic character from the new millennium. She’s already had a character arc that’s dying for a follow up, and getting some insight into the past of the Sol Emeralds is a story that’s just begging to be mined.

Putting aside the story potential, this sort of DLC would also give Sonic Team a chance to build a new biome, and cyberspace stages based around games Blaze and Shadow were in. Not to mention, both Shadow and Blaze could have significantly different combat from Sonic, using their own unique fire and chaos-based abilities.

Look, SEGA: Sonic Frontiers is the best 3D Sonic has been in years. You guys are already doing some cosmetic DLC! Now is the time to finally give us a proper, sizable amount of DLC for a Sonic game. Frontiers has loads of potential for this sort of thing, please take advantage of it!

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Nuckles87

Nuckles87 has been an editor at Sonic Stadium since 2007, and has been covering events like E3, PAX, and SDCC since 2010. An avid retro gamer, he runs a monthly stream on Twitch where he explores obscure Sonic oddities, and how aspects of the franchise have evolved over the decades.

8 Comments

  1. I think there’s a good chance we see at least some DLC for Frontiers.

    They just took a strong step in the right direction for Sonic so I’m sure they want to give the next game a bit of a long dev cycle.

    To fill that time I think we will see some Frontiers DLC, a small scale 2D title and the 3rd movie, and the Knuckles series.

    That would be a pretty meaty amount of Sonic content going forward! I hope I’m right

  2. I what absolutely love a standalone blaze the cat DLC for this game; aside from the fact that it would give Flynn an excuse to write more about her character, blaze’s powers and abilities lend it to their own skill tree magnificently.., or give us a silver themed DLC

  3. Adding bosses and mini games to the “Arcade Mode” would go a long way. Along with recording best times, it would also be nice to if the game would record highest Ring, and give a cumulative time and Ring score across all levels, mini games and boss battles. I’d REALLY like to see leaderboards for the Arcade Mode, but it’s safe to say that ship has probably sailed. It would be nice if they’d at least add which Red Star Rings we’ve collected, as well as our best rank to the Arcade Mode menu.

    I’d like to see a “Guardian Rush,” where you’re pitted against every type of Guardian. Maybe it could take place in the training simulator, or perhaps there could be a different Guardian Rush for each island so as not to make such a challenge overly long. I’d also really love an encyclopedia of all of the different kinds of enemies that can be displayed in the pause menu, like the Fish-o-pedia when at a fishing spot.

    A movie gallery to watch all of the cutscenes would be great. It would be especially nice if they’d add options to control time of day and which Chaos Emeralds have been collected, since those variables to alter the cutscenes.

    As for adding totally new content, I’d love to see more story DLC. Maybe we could take control of Sonic’s friends, or even get an Eggman story that can show how he got that last Emerald for Sonic, as well as flesh out the post credits tease. Or, they could always deliver more missions and environments for Sonic. A new island with a new set of Cyber Space stages (preferably with new themes) would be terrific. It’d also be nice if they could add Super Sonic as a usable feature in the Open Zones. It’d be fun to fly around the islands at blazing speed.

    Speaking of Super Sonic, why does Sonic always relinquish his cosmetics when he goes Super? I understand certain cosmetics might raise an issue, mainly any headgear, but most of the cosmetic DLC is just hands/feet. It would be nice to see the Adventurer’s Gloves/Boots or Sonic Adventure 2 Shoes on Super Sonic..

  4. I really like the combat and I’d love to fight the Field Mini Bosses sequentially in a time attack. Kind of like those boss fights in Heroes where it was just enemies on enemies until you defeated the final wave.

  5. As much as I would very much like other playable characters (especially since Sonic’s new combat-focused gameplay leaves no room for Tails, Knuckles, and Amy), I’m against Gerald Robotnik visiting locations Sonic has been to before and after the Adventure series.

    Next, people will be telling me that the two worlds were always a thing since the dawn of time. It doesn’t add anything, just causes more stress and confusion. Humans may be part of Sonic’s world nowadays, but unless there’s a plot device that explains how they’re now part of Sonic’s despite never confirming this in previous CANON games, this is just a long attempt to bury ANY reference to Sonic X.

    Not my best worded comment, but we can do better than involving Gerald Robotnik in every new lore that pops up, especially regarding ancient locations closer to the traditional Sonic brand.

  6. Personally playing as Blaze and Shadow in this style of gameplay would be a dream come true for me!

    But maybe it’s a big ask for this game’s DLC, though I seriously hope they will be playable in the next game after Sonic Frontiers.

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