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Sonic Frontiers: Everything you need to know

Sonic Frontiers: Sonic sliding on rails.
(Image credit: Sega)

The last time that Sonic had a brand new solo adventure release was in 2017 with Sonic Forces. Thankfully, Sonic Frontiers is here to provide a new world with exciting new experiences on offer. Don't worry, there's still plenty of the classic Sonic charm thrown in to make this both a familiar game as well as a novel one. 

What is Sonic Frontiers about?

Sonic Frontiers starts with Dr. Eggman messing around with ancient technology that brings Sonic, Tails, and Amy into a wormhole. Upon waking, Sonic discovers that he is separated from the others and he must recover the missing Chaos Emeralds to rescue everyone. 

The blue blur soon learns he is on the mysterious Starfall Islands, a gorgeous location with realistic visuals complete with waterfalls, forests, beaches, and giant ruins. There are wide open spaces for the hedgehog to run through, but he also encounters enormous machines and a mysterious girl named Sage that warns him of oncoming dangers.

Sonic Frontiers: Sonic heading into Green Hill Zone-themed location.

(Image credit: Sega)

Since the island hosts hordes of robotic creatures and portals, it is up to Sonic to dive into unexplored areas and beat back these oncoming foes. Some of these locations are themed after classic courses like Green Hill Zone from the very first Sonic game on Sega Genesis.

As Sonic Team head, Takashi Lizuka explained in a Q&A session, SEGA intends Sonic Frontiers to be a big game that influences Sonic games for the next several years, similarly to how Sonic Adventure did. "Sonic Adventure laid the foundation for 20 years of Sonic titles after its release, so in the same way I really hope that this new title, releasing in 2022, lays the foundation for the following future Sonic titles — that is the idea behind the challenge for the team."

Sonic Frontiers: Robots approaching Sonic.

(Image credit: Sega)

There are a lot of hopes and dreams riding on Sonic Frontiers. We'll have to see if the game holds up to the hype that the devs are striving for. Fan sentiment around the game hasn't been very positive so far, but SEGA devs have stated that they have no intention of delaying the game. So no Ugly Sonic treatment this time. 

What Sonic characters are in it? Amy, Tails, Knuckles?

(Image credit: Sega)

Yes, Sonic's most notable characters are in it. We currently know for sure that Tails, Amy, Dr. Eggman, and Big the Cat are definitely making an appearance. It's also been revealed that Knuckles will be in the prologue video that releases before the game does. However, it's unclear if the red echidna is also in the main game. 

We first learned about Amy's involvement with the game with the Sonic 30th Anniversary Stream, which showed our blue hero running through trees and onto a giant cliff. However, the Xbox YouTube Channel's video for Sonic Frontiers was the only one that included captions and they were more telling than you might think. 

Sonic Frontiers: Amy floating in ball.

(Image credit: Sega)

If you watch without captions you'll hear someone who the internet has dubbed as "Ghost Girl" say the hedgehog's name and direct him down a different path. You might have assumed it was Tails, but that's not true according to captions. No, it turns out Amy is the one who says, "Sonic! Over here!" and later says, "Don't! It's too dangerous!"

Additionally, during a Sonic Official Livestream hosted by Justin Thormann, he confirmed the entire voice cast would be returning in Sonic Frontiers.

"One big thing I should mention, the entire voice cast is returning for this. We've got Roger as Sonic, we've got Colleen returning as Tails, everybody's come back. Cindy is Amy — Amy's voice is actually what you heard in the trailer. I know some people online were a little confused about that, but it's confirmed from me — that's Amy. So all of the gang is back, they sound amazing — everybody is bringing their 'A game' on this one," Thormann said.

It's not surprising that Tails will be there, but it's still unclear who else exactly will make an appearance in the game. I won't be surprised at all if at least Knuckles has a major part to play since his people were in charge of protecting the Chaos Emeralds, and by extension, the Master Emerald. 

Is Sonic Frontiers coming to Switch via Cloud Streaming or locally?

(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

As you can see from images and the trailer, it's looking like this game has some pretty intense visuals, which the Nintendo Switch does not support. So the Switch version will either have significantly lower graphics or it will come to the hybrid console via Nintendo Switch Cloud streaming to maintain the integrity of the imagery. If it comes to the Switch for local download and cartridge then it will likely be a larger game that requires plenty of space, so you might want to invest in a best microSD card.

It's unclear which one it will be at present, but if I was to bet on it, I'd say it will come to Cloud streaming. It's easier to do that than to make a completely different version with downgraded visuals. I'll keep my ear to the ground and will update when more information is available.

Is Ian Flynn involved?

Sonic Frontiers: Sonic approaching trapped Amy.

(Image credit: Sega)

Yes, longtime Sonic the Hedgehog comic writer, Ian Flynn, is one of the writers behind the game. So if you're a fan of the comics, you might just find yourself liking this Sonic game a whole lot.

Is this an open-world Sonic game?

Sonic Frontiers Tower (Image credit: Sega)

It sure is, though SEGA's official website for the game refers to it as having "open-zone freedom." Players speed through the five Starfall Islands fighting enemies and discovering new locations. Each area has its own puzzle-like areas to scale and poke around. 

Is Doctor Eggman in it?

(Image credit: Sega)

Yes, from what we've gathered, it sounds like Dr. Eggman is what kicks off this whole adventure at the Starfall Islands. This archipelago is also home to several robots that are out to get Sonic, so it stands to reason that Eggman is their creator. 

Teasers have also shown a small girl named Sage who seems very apathetic. In the video, she warns Sonic to leave the Starfall Islands while red lines of code seem to trail over her floating body. It's unclear if she is one of the main antagonists or if she plays another role. 

Sonic Frontiers Release date

Sonic Frontiers Beach Cliffs (Image credit: Sega)

Sonic's latest adventure is set to release on November 8, 2022 and will come to Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. It's currently available for preorder at major retailers. 

Open-world Sonic

Sonic is up against some monumental foes in his latest open-world adventure. There's a set of islands to explore and plenty of bad guys to defeat as he speeds around undiscovered locations. Players will be on a mission to collect the missing Chaos Emeralds as they dash around the Starfall islands exploring massive ruins and defeating enormous robots. 

Sega means for this to be the pinnacle game that influences future Sonic games for the next couple of decades similarly to how Sonic Adventure has left a lasting impact on the franchise. We'll have to see if Sega is able to come through and create the masterpiece it is striving to make with Frontiers. 

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Sonic Frontiers

Sonic finds himself on the Starfall islands separated from his friends. He must go on a journey to explore massive ruins, collect the Chaos Emeralds, fight robots, and save everyone. 

Preorder from: Amazon (opens in new tab) | Best Buy (opens in new tab) | Walmart (opens in new tab)

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.