The Sonic x Minecraft DLC that arrived today in celebration of the speedy hedgehog's 30th anniversary is much more than a bundle of anthropomorphic animal skins.
The new DLC, which was created by Minecraft Marketplace studio Gamemode One, lets you dash through procedurally generated maps inspired by Sonic favorites including Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone and more: the long level tracks use special new skins as well as items to recreate a surprising swathe of the Sonic experience, including collecting rings, bopping robots, leaping gaps, and boosting through loop-de-loops.
The DLC comes complete with playable versions of Sonic's friends, each of whom comes correct with their own special abilities: Knuckles glides, Amy smacks things with her giant mallet, Shadow, um, has a motorcycle, and so on. It looks like there are even adorable Chaos to befriend. I'm not gonna stand here and tell you that the best 3D Sonic game in years is Minecraft DLC, I'm just gonna say that there's a chance and we should consider it.
Even if you don't pick up the Sonic x Minecraft DLC, you'll be able to unlock a free Sonic the Hedgehog Character Creator item by joining in on a special server event hosted by The Hive. The two-week special event "starting soon" will also let you try out some new minigames to celebrate Sonic's big 3-0.
Meanwhile, Sega has big plans for Sonic experiences that are proper games for their own. The boss of Sonic Team is hoping that the next Sonic game will 'lay the foundation' for following titles, much the same way Sonic Adventure set a course for Sonic in the decades to follow. Speaking of which, a new trailer for Sonic Colors: Ultimate shows off how the remake of the 2010 adventure makes the most of the game's mixed formats when it launches in September.
Looking back to Sonic's 2D days, Sonic: Origins is a bundled-up remaster for the first three Sonic games as well as Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD, and more info on the collection is set to arrive later this year.
See what else is on the way with our guide to new games 2021.