Gamespot’s at E3. We aren’t. SAD FACE. But luckily Gamespot’s able to pick up the slack that we can’t otherwise manage, and have grabbed a SEGA Brand Manager guy to help showcase some real in-game demos of Sonic Unleashed. What’s interesting to note here is that the 3D segments, contrary to popular belief, are not on rails, and many are fully 3D analog-stick playable. We saw some areas in the China stage that looked more like a SatSR-style “shift left, shift right” style of 3D play, but generally we’re looking at some good old 3D movement here.
The guy demoing the game’s not too hot, and there was one section where Sonic glitched and failed an automatic spring-to-grind section, but the rest looks solid. We’re told that there will be equal nighttime versions of every stage, and Sonic segments will be much longer than the Werewolf ones to compensate for the speed at which you blitz through them. The nighttime alter ego is officially labelled as ‘Sonic the Werehog’, and the fighting aspect does look pretty cool.
Truth be told, this demo lays some concerns to rest, particularly with the Werehog. Sure, we could have done without any brawling segments at all and just had Sonic run from left to right and up a Z-axis, but the nighttime sections do look like they’re going to hold some enjoyable, classic platforming action. There are two attack buttons and a grab move in addition to your jump (which also has a double jump for additional height), and while Werehog isn’t as agile as traditional Sonic, he can use his massive arms to grab ledges and pull himself up. We still don’t like carrying pots around but grabbing enemies doesn’t seem compulsory at least. In fact, the whole thing reminds us that we want a new Streets of Rage game; this mechanic would be perfect for it.
SEGA pretty much confirmed that alternative characters may be playable (using the classic PR “We’re not ready to announce anything yet”) besides Sonic, which sounds like a bowl of fail. Let this be a game about Sonic for once and not his over-publicised friends. Sonic Unleashed will also have an online component, although quite what this is has yet to be revealed. Check the video if you have half an hour, it’s a good watch.
Sonic Unleashed E3 2008 Stage Show Demo – Gamespot (via SSMB)