Sega has just lifted the veil on the Sonic Frontiers roadmap, and the game's impending updates include some big additions, like new playable characters and a new story.
Three major updates are planned for 2023, and they're all going to be free. Update 1 will feature some smaller additions, including a jukebox, photo mode, and new challenge modes that appear to be tied to the game's Cyber Space levels. Update 2 will include some sort of celebration for Sonic's birthday, an "open zone challenge," and new Koco.
New modes, new Koco, new...playable characters!? More Sonic Frontiers content coming your way next year! pic.twitter.com/MoZ8Gtj4RoNovember 30, 2022
Update 3 is the big one, including "new playable characters" and a "new story". The art attached to this bit shows Knuckles, Tails, and Amy in the background (likely the new playable characters) with Sage in the foreground (likely featuring in the new story). There haven't been any additional details beyond that just yet.
Fans are beyond excited to be able to play as characters besides Sonic himself. "More playable characters...in a mainline modern game...how long has it fucking been," Zombini6 says on Reddit (opens in new tab).
Or, as KingMario05 (opens in new tab) says, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! (deep breath to manage hype) FUCK YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
The response on Twitter has been so massive that the phrase "playable characters" is now trending (opens in new tab).
PLAYABLE CHARACTERS IN MAINLINE SONIC GAME AGAIN MY BELOVED😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/HgzNeoQv3LNovember 30, 2022
Say what you want about Sonic Frontiers, but DLC where you add 3 fan favorite characters as playable is simply how the fuck you do itNovember 30, 2022
Sonic Team confirms MULTIPLE PLAYABLE CHARACTERS IN A 3D SONIC GAME FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A DECADE OH MY GOD YES FINALLY THESE ALL SOUND INCREDIBLE THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU (2022) https://t.co/q60AYBTrGdNovember 30, 2022
We did not care very much for the new game, though you can read more about that in our 2/5 Sonic Frontiers review. Nonetheless, the divide between critics and the Sonic fandom is maybe the biggest in gaming, and the broad response to Frontiers has been positive enough that Sega is calling it the "cornerstone of future Sonic games".
If you're looking for the best open world games, you know where to click.