Mario and Sonic in Unreal Engine 4 is both beautiful and unsettling

"You're too slow!" Sonic the Hedgehog screams to no one in particular, his only surroundings a vast, rolling countryside devoid of anything but grass, small shrubs and the occasional deer. He sprints, his red sneakers carrying him as quickly as they can up hills, down ravines, and across the plains. This is Sonic inserted into the Unreal Engine 4 "Kite" demo, yes, but it is something else, too: this is Sonic caught between worlds, where he is neither condemned nor saved, living nor dead. This is Sonic in Purgatory.

There are no robotic minions to fight in this video from modder CryZENx, no rings to collect, no loop-de-loops to defy gravity with. Even Sonic's eternal rival Mario cannot escape. He too has been drawn into this world of objective-less serenity. Without Dr. Robotnik, without Bowser, these heroes are no one. They are forever lost. Forever waiting for Godot (& Knuckles).

"Gotta go fast!" Sonic cries. But where, Sonic? But where?

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Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.