If you’ve been following my games career over the past few years, you’ll know I’m not a massive fan of Sonic. I’ve always thought the games don’t really pose any challenge, feel like they’re playing themselves and just run far too quick to actually actively collect rings and avoid falling off ledges. Sonic Unleashed is Sega’s latest attempt to bring back the blue hedgehog’s glory days and this time they’ve turned him into a ‘Werehog’ when the sun goes down.
The game begins with a very impressive cutscene where Doctor Eggman splits open a planet to release the spirit inside. This has the effect of giving Sonic new powers at night. He’s now a bit of a bruiser with the ability to beat things up and use some weird rubbery arms.
So the game’s a mix of the usual 3D running and ring collecting for daytime Sonic, and a pretty mediocre beat ‘em up platformer when Sonic goes out and about at night. The speedy sections have that typical Sega feel about them, and move along at a blistering pace. Unfortunately it’s the same old problems I’m not fond of. Sonic’s movement is slippery and it’s impossible to collect rings accurately, and most of the time the game feels like it’s running on rails as you jump, whizz, slide and rush around the levels at a breakneck pace. I quite often launched myself to my doom without any warning. Luckily, checkpoints aren’t too far away from each other.
Sonic’s night time activities are even worse. There’s some dreadful, clunky platforming and some silly button mashing when fighting enemies. You can upgrade your characters as you collect orbs around the levels but it doesn’t really make much of a difference.
This, combined with a mediocre adventuring section between levels where you have to talk to people in the town until you find the right one to start the correct conversation tree makes for a game I won’t be playing again in my spare time. Once again, Sonic disappoints me. Maybe he should just go and hide in a pile of wood around bonfire night. Sonic Unleashed gets a pretty poor 4 out of 10.