Yes, Sonic Frontiers is as bad as it looks, but I want more

This weekend at the Summer Game Fest Play Days event, the closest thing (opens in new tab) to an E3 convention that happened this year, there was one game that came up in conversation more than anything else at the show: Sonic Frontiers, Sega’s answer to the question “what the heck do we do with Sonic now?”

After walking away from the 30-minute Sonic demo playable at Play Days, most people I chatted with were in agreement with the internet’s strongly negative reaction to the recent gameplay reveal video (opens in new tab). “Sonic looks rough” is a sentence I heard a lot over the two days. Only one person I talked to had a legitimately good time with it, and even that came with heavy caveats. So by the time it was my turn to take a spin with the blue blur, I reckoned it was either going to be the worst Sonic I’ve ever played, or a misunderstood masterpiece.

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