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Sonic Frontiers: Everything we know about the open-world platformer

Sonic Frontiers
(Image credit: Sega)

Sonic Frontiers whizzed onto our screens by way of a reveal trailer aired at the Game Awards 2021, giving us a glimpse at its “open-zone-inspired” world that’s due in 2022. 

Developed by Sonic Team, and led by game director Morio Kishimoto, Sonic Frontiers marks the first Sonic game since 2017’s Sonic Forces, and will boast a storyline penned by Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog series mastermind Ian Flynn. 

Here’s everything we know so far about Sonic Frontiers.

Sonic Frontiers release date

Sonic Frontiers is set for release in late 2022 for current and last-gen platforms – meaning we expect versions for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X, PS4 and Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Keen to strike a chord with old school Sonic players and newer audiences alike, Takashi Iizuka, the creative officer at Sonic Team USA, said: "Sonic Frontiers is a huge leap forward for the franchise, delivering an evolved gameplay experience that can be enjoyed by longtime Sonic fans and action-adventure enthusiasts alike."

Sonic Frontiers trailer 

The Sonic Frontiers trailer is a tease of what to expect from the blue hedgehog’s next adventure. Things kick off with Sonic belting it through a forest and being pursued by three robotic aircraft that appear to explode just as they catch up with him. The hedgehog is then thrust forward before slowing up as he approaches a knife-edge cliff face. As he turns around, he looks visibly shocked, gaping at the landscape before him. It’s then the camera goes free-form as it snakes around the sprawling “open-zone” world, filled with rolling hills, lush vistas, and towering waterfalls. Before the title screen reappears, we hear a machine of sorts re-calibrating, and again see the pink robotic glow of the aircraft featured earlier.

Sonic Frontiers story and gameplay 

Sonic Frontiers landscape screenshot

(Image credit: SEGA)

What exactly “open-zone” means in practice remains to be seen – the above trailer is without any in-game footage – but in Sonic Frontiers you can expect to guide the titular hedgehog around Starfall Islands in an effort to once more thwart Dr. Eggman. In this instance, that’ll involve zipping through a variety of lush-looking landscapes with the sort of velocity that we've long hoped to see the series grasp in the 3D-era.

Sonic Frontiers development 

Sonic Frontiers landscape screenshot

(Image credit: SEGA)

As we reported back in May, a new Sonic game has been planned for release in 2022 for some time – and it would appear that this is the game first teased in that Sonic Central Stream. Sonic Frontiers is being developed by Sonic Team, with development led by director Morio Kishimoto – who also directed Sonic Forces and Sonic Colors – and producer Sachiko Kawamura – who served as art director of Sonic Forces and Sonic Generations. Ian Flynn, who wrote Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series for over a decade, is set to pen an original storyline for the upcoming game.

Excited for all the new games coming in the next couple of years? Check out our list of new games for 2022 and beyond. 

Joe Donnelly

Joe is a Features Writer at GamesRadar+. With over five years of experience working in specialist print and online journalism, Joe has written for a number of gaming, sport and entertainment publications including PC Gamer, Edge, Play and FourFourTwo. He is well-versed in all things Grand Theft Auto and spends much of his spare time swapping real-world Glasgow for GTA Online’s Los Santos. Joe is also a mental health advocate and has written a book about video games, mental health and their complex intersections. He is a regular expert contributor on both subjects for BBC radio. Many moons ago, he was a fully-qualified plumber which basically makes him Super Mario.