The last decade has been rough for Sonic. After a few poorly received games and a general lack of faith, we’ve started to see a few gems. Games like Sonic Colors restored some faith, but some news about Sonic Forces has been worrisome, namely the player created avatars.
The E3 demo had three different modes, which show the three types of gameplay you can expect from Sonic Forces.
Classic style plays like the pre-Dreamcast titles, focusing less on flashy moves and more on running fast and collecting coins. There was also two boss fights, though the first was a reference to the iconic Green Hill Zone boss, with the second being a flying machine that shot blocks at Sonic. The idea was to avoid sonic blocks and reflect the black ones back at Eggman. It was fun and felt more like a traditional boss, keeping true to the name.
The next mode plays like Sonic following Sonic Adventure. Areas were more 3D, Sonic could jump and fly towards enemies and it had a flashier tone. Anyone who enjoys the more recent games will likely enjoy it, where as purists should find it, if nothing else, tolerable.
The final mode showed off the player created characters. After selecting an ability, a choice that will change how you go about completing the level, it felt completely different from Sonic. While speed and platforming was a big part of the experience, there were different attacks. The power up I used allowed the character to jump higher and had a flamethrower. This quickly dispatched robots, allowing for a faster experience.
Overall, Sonic Forces might seem questionable, but the demo showed that it could work. The new characters have their own play style, justifying their experience.