Sonic Frontiers’ Open Zone sounds like any open world game

Sonic glares at something off-screen while running through a lush forest.

screenshot: Sega

Morio Kishimoto, longtime Sonic Team developer and director of Sonic Frontiersrecently did his best to clarify what Sega means when it bumps the game “Open Zone” mechanics.. But his explanation seems to confirm that the phrase is more of a made-up marketing term than any sort of reference to it limits differs significantly from other sandbox games.

“Our open zone is a world map, only we made it fully playable,” Kishimoto said IGN. “A playable world map with stage-like elements is something that hasn’t really been done before, so we had to come up with a new name. What is often defined as a world in other level-based platformers is referred to as a zone in Sonic games, so we took that and combined it with open, which refers to an explorable field.”

With all due respect Kishimoto, you literally just described an open world.

If anything, what Sonic Frontiers Apparently it’s about sounds as a direct connection with the design Bowser’s wraththe excellent extension bundled with Super Mario 3D world on switch. Even though Bowser’s wrath scattered traditional Mario Levels on a large map, it was still a seamless open world game at its core. And it seems, at least to me, like Sonic Frontiers tries exactly the same.

“The Open Zone is centrally located in Sonic Frontiers‘ Gameplay, and the levels of the game exist as elements in that area,” Kishimoto said. “From grindrails to platform objects, loops and so on, the Open Zone is packed with sporting action that we love sound games.”

I have no problem with people describing their games in whatever way they feel is most appropriate, just to be clear. Language, especially language related to game design, is constantly evolving. Most “roguelikes” these days have very little in common with 1980s villain, but I immediately understand what someone is getting at when they use the term, even though it differs somewhat from its original meaning. The same applies to terms like “Metroidvania” and “immersive sim”.

I think it’s just Kishimoto’s insistence on it Sonic Frontiers is a whole different thing that strikes me as odd.

“That [world map] System has since been used by countless platformers [Super Mario Bros. 3], even to this day,” said Kishimoto. “A real evolution of this structure is what we see as essential Sonic Frontiers‘ set up. We wanted to provide a next-gen level-based platforming experience. But how do we develop a level based platformer like sound into this new open zone? That’s what Sonic Frontiers everything is about.”

Of course, nobody asked Kishimoto to explain all this jargon or even nail down what really defines Sonic limit‘s “Open Zone” apart from an “Open World” game during this recent media blitz. kotaku contacted Sega for more information, but didn’t immediately hear a response.

Sonic Frontiers The launch is planned for late 2022 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC. It looks bland and apparently the gameplay does not inspire trust either, but Sega is obliged not to delay its publication Despite the mostly negative feedback. Sonic Frontiers’ Open Zone sounds like any open world game

Curtis Crabtree

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