Sonic Unleashed

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2008-12-25


Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: Sega
Release Date: December 9, 2008 Also On: PS2, PS3, Wii & Xbox 360

Sega must really hate Sonic. Every time they come up with a decent formula for a Sonic game they somehow manage to screw it up. So is the story of Sonic Unleashed. What looked to be a promising game is destined to be remembered as the Sonic game that could have been. If you were looking for a revitalized next-generation Sonic game you better look elsewhere.

You see, Sonic Unleashed has these fast-paced platforming levels that look and feel like classic Sonic games. They throw you into the action at high speeds, throw various obstacles at you and even provide several paths to the same goal. This is all fine and good. In fact, if they had just left it with these rail-based platforming levels, it would have been a good game.

Of course Sega always manages to tamper with a working formula. The game is broken up into three parts: the previously mentioned fast-paced “day” levels, a slow-paced beat-em-up “night” level and the adventure element that has been present since the Dreamcast. This would have been tolerable if they day and night levels were equal in length, but they're not. A day level will last you five minutes at most, while a night level will consume a good thirty minutes of your time.

The whole gimmick in Sonic Unleashed is that Sonic turns into a werewolf at night (or as he is called in the game, a Werehog). Basically these levels involve a lot of punching, collecting of items and climbing around walls. Oh yeah and Sonic has these ridiculously disproportionate arms that stretch to punch and grab things when he is a Werehog. It's an unnecessary addition to the game, about as welcome as equipping Shadow the Hedgehog with guns.

If you thought that the Werehog aspect of Sonic Unleashed was ridiculous, just wait until you will be asked to perform an exorcism. I'm not kidding. You are given a camera to use in an exorcism that removes Dark Gaia from townsfolk in the open world adventure scenes. You then have to kill off a certain number of bad guys in a given time limit to complete the exorcism. We're definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

One of the more annoying things about Sonic Unleashed is that the transition from night to day is not smooth in the least. A relatively long load screen pops up every time you switch or change levels. There is also a great deal of lag present when fighting during the Werehog levels. As with most 3D Sonic games, the camera proves to be problematic and the controls are not nearly as responsive as you would expect them to be.

If you like classic Sonic the Hedgehog platforming then this is probably not the game for you. Sonic Unleashed had a lot of squandered potential. It was a chance to reset the franchise but instead the developers decided to screw around with the formula yet again. Why can't we just have a straight up Sonic game without all of the gimmicks? The day time platforming levels are fast paced and fun. Let's just leave it at that next time, Sega.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 6
Written by Kyle Write a User Review

Reviewed by Kyle Bell