Sonic the Hedgehog - hands on

The last few Sonic games have veered completely off course - they pack in too many characters to play, none of which are a great deal of fun. This new title trims back the exploration and large cast for a simple, fast-paced race through intricately detailed environments.

Well, unless you're playing as Silver the Hedgehog. The E3 demo offered a burning-city level showcasing this new, telekinetic powerhouse. Silver lacks Sonic's super speed, but by pressing R1, he emits a mindwave that picks up objects in the immediate area. Once they're dangling in the air, you can toss them at enemies or destructible structures lying about. You can even pull of a Matrix-worthy move by stopping bullets in midair and sending them back at the giant robots.

At various points throughout the level, there are glowing green areas that trigger extensive telekinesis moments. In one instance, Silver bent a steel girder down until it snapped back, launching him across a gaping fire hole. In the next green circle, he summoned a batch of debris, cars and all, from the pit and hovers across unscathed.

Silver handles totally different from Sonic, making his adventure more like a separate game than add-on filler. In fact, Silver's controls may actually be the better part of the game.