Fans Accuse Sonic Frontiers of Ripping Off Old Sonic Games

Some have pointed out similarities between Sonic new and old.

Sonic Frontiers is playable at Gamescom in Cologne right now, and as footage of Sega’s take on an open-area Sonic surfaces from the event, some fans are pointing out some of the game’s level design looks pretty familiar.

Twitter user @mikesterp1 posted two videos on Twitter comparing off-screen Sonic Frontiers footage to clips from Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, and yeah, there’s some pretty glaring similarities between the levels being played. There are a few cuts in the footage to draw direct attention to similar enemy placement, platforms, loops, which is important to contextualize the entire thing, but there’s some merit to the criticism, and it’s not helped by the visually similar environment.

However, I do wonder how many platformers would hold up to similar scrutiny? I imagine that some of the standard Mario games probably have similar geometry and instances of enemy placement, as many folks were quick to point out in response. There are little nuances in the Sonic Frontiers clips that do make it more than just a simple reskin, but it makes you wonder if this is an issue not with directly referential level design, but rather that Sonic games just have a limited set of things they ask the player to do in standard run and jump levels. That’s something that could be hypothetically avoided by letting us play as other characters in Sonic games again.

More Sonic:

For whatever it’s worth, Sonic Frontiers is bringing in some shake-ups to the standard Sonic formula with its open areas and puzzle solving, but it does seem like the game is suffering from a larger identity crisis because of this. We’ll see how it all comes together when it launches on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch on November 8.