It’s not Sonic Mania 2, but Sega is making a new 2D game with 3D visuals, four playable characters, and a classic villain not seen in years.
If there was going to be a Sonic The Hedgehog announcement at Summer Game Fest, you’d think it would be an update on the next batch of Sonic Frontiers DLC or a reminder that Sonic Origins Plus is out this month.
Instead, Sega blew everyone away with a brand new 2D entry; one that returns to the classic era of the Sega Mega Drive games but with 3D visuals.
Titled Sonic Superstars, rather than be another pseudo throwback like Sonic Mania was, it looks to be a wholly original adventure with multiple playable characters and co-op gameplay.
The classic iterations of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy are all here and, for the first time in the series, up to four friends can play together.
Previous games have allowed for two player co-op so it’ll be interesting to see how Sonic Superstars handles having four players speed through stages at once.
The official website only mentions local co-op, though, which suggests that there’ll be no online functionality.
It also talks of new abilities Sonic and friends can perform as they acquire Chaos Emeralds, such as climbing waterfalls and creating copies of themselves which you can see them do in the trailer.
While series villain Dr Eggman doesn’t make an appearance, the presence of his robots guarantees his involvement. However, in a surprise for long-time Sonic fans, he’s working with Fang the Sniper, who’s largely been absent from the series since the 90s.
Sonic Superstars will mark his first proper in-game appearance since 1996, not counting his Sonic Mania cameo. Even then, that wasn’t really him but an illusion.
Sega has also teased a brand new villain for the game, with Naoto Ohshima returning to design them. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, Ohshima is credited as the character designer for both Sonic himself and Eggman.
The last Sonic game he worked on was 1998’s Sonic Adventure so diehard fans are thrilled to see him return to the series after so many years.
Sadly, despite his own love for Sonic, John Carpenter is not involved with Sonic Superstars, though he’s probably too busy with his Toxic Commando game anyway.
Sonic Superstars launches this autumn for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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