By now, we've all seen Sonic and co.'s nifty new redesigns. Sonic's bandaged feet and scarf combo; Tails' newfound tech prowess; the disarming buffness of Knuckles; Amy's giant Piko Piko Hammer. But how does Sonic Boom actually play? Judging from my hands-on time with the Wii U version, subtitled Rise of Lyric, it's off to an OK start. But for better or for worse, it feels like a game I might just be too old for--and if you're reading this, you might be too old for it, too. It's definitely got some cool ideas, but the gameplay is drop-dead simple for anyone who's played a 3D platformer in their lifetime.
The biggest change to the formula here is that Sonic's always running as part of four-animal crew, letting the player swap between the gang on a whim (provided the level doesn't make them split up). And oddly enough for a Sonic game, simplistic combat seems to be a huge focus this time around. Beating up robots with punches, kicks, and spins will actually build up a combo counter--and to make combat more forgiving, Sonic only loses a fraction of his rings when hit. Everyone in the Sonic Boom crew also has a neat neon energy whip, which can yank away enemy shields, lasso up small fries to hurl at larger baddies, or latch on to rails for a style of locomotion I'm going to call "swing-grinding."
The energy whip is crucial in boss fights against Dr. Robotnik, who seems a heck of a lot more buff now that his girth's been moved from his lower to his upper body. I used Sonic's whip to fling heat-seeking missiles back at a colossal Robotnik bot, facilitating a brutal four-on-one beatdown. That's what Eggman gets for trying to get in shape, I guess.
Check out the following screenshots for additional info!