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Sonic Unleashed
Sonic unleashed box art
Developer(s) Sonic Team[1]
Dimps (PS2/Wii Day time level design)[2][3]
Publisher(s) Sega
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, Mobile phones
Release date(s) Template:Collapsible list
Genre(s) Platformer, action-adventure
Players Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone 10+
PEGI: 7+
OFLCA: General
CERO: All ages
Media DVD-SL (PS2), Wii Optical Disc (Wii), DVD-DL (Xbox 360), Blu-ray Disc (PS3)
Input Gamepad, Wii Remote, Nunchuk
Predecessor Sonic and the Secret Rings
Successor Sonic Colors
Sonic Unleashed at Nintendo.com


Sonic Unleashed is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The name was trademarked by Sega on March 12, 2008.[4] Screenshots of cut scenes and gameplay were posted ten days later[5] along with a video shortly after. The title was then officially confirmed on April 3,[6] with a small selection of screenshots and an updated video.

The gameplay style is markedly different when compared to recent games. It will focus on side-scrolling platforming levels, as well as behind-the-back, third-person stages. Gameplay will seamlessly transition between these two styles.[6]

The game's existence was first brought to light when Sega trademarked the Unleashed name, and shortly after, images and a gameplay video were leaked to the public in March 2008. Public anticipation for the game was high, owing to the video's demonstration of some two-dimensional gameplay, seen as a possible return to Sonic's platforming roots. However, critical reception for the game was mixed, with reviewers praising certain elements, such as the sense of speed in daylight stages and the graphics and audio that make up the environments, and criticizing others, such as the new Werehog game mechanic, as well as several gameplay and design concepts. Many reviewers felt that Unleashed was ultimately not the title that would be able to reinvigorate the series.[7][8][9][10] Sonic Unleashed was de-listed in 2010, following Sega's decision to remove all Sonic titles with average Metacritic scores from sale in stores.[11]

Story

Dr. Eggman is the primary antagonist for Sonic Unleashed. In this installment, he has called forth a slumbering beast from the center of the Earth[12], which causes such devastating tumors that the planet shatters into pieces; it is up to Sonic to return the seven broken continents back to normal by retrieving the Chaos Emeralds and activating their power.[6] The official press release alludes to a new twist to Sonic's abilities; unofficial screenshots, together with the official teaser trailer, indicate that Sonic's progress will be made even more difficult when an Sonic undergoes a drastic transformation into a werehog. [13]

Characters

While these characters were confirmed to appear in the game, Sonic is the only playable character (although the player does take control of Chip for brief sections during one boss battle).[14][15] However, optional mini-games were going to be available, during which time another character was planned to be used in order to complete them.[15] Tails also controls the Tornado plane in missions similar to that of Sonic Adventure, but can only be played in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Gameplay

Sonic Unleashed 3D Mode

Third-person gameplay in Sonic Unleashed.

Gameplay will primarily consist of two modes: a 3D sidescroller, with second-person gameplay (as found in the Sonic Rush and Sonic Rivals series), with seamless shifts to third-person. Concepts returning from past games include Sonic's trademark high-speed gameplay, as well as improved lock-on for automatically targeting and hitting enemies. Sliding across the ground also returns, but players will be able to perform new "side-step maneuvers", allowing Sonic to dodge obstacles to the left or right at high speed. Another new control mechanic, whose final implementation is still being decided upon by Sega, is "drift turns", whereby Sonic can slide around a corner.[18]

An on-screen energy meter can be filled by collecting rings, which is used to activate a temporary speed increase known as Sonic Boost, during which time the camera uses a fish-eye effect and motion blur; hitting enemies and obstacles will reduce the meter.[18]

Two stages and associated gameplay have been demonstrated to journalists, and shown to the public in screenshots; these two have been dubbed "Europe" and "Greece" by the publisher.[3] A day and night system for levels will also be introduced.[18]

The game will also have Town Stages, and players will be able to walk around the environment freely and speak to townspeople.[19]

The second is 3D beat-em-up style gameplay with platforming and puzzles thrown in. During night sections of the game, Sonic transforms to his alternate Werehog form, and gameplay shifts from fast-paced action to a slower, more platform-oriented style of gameplay.[16] The Werehog form allows Sonic a great deal of strength, and gameplay involves smashing enemies and destructible environments, whilst his stretchy arms will allow him to reach high platforms and perform special attacks. [16] The Ring Energy meter changes to two bars, Unleashed and Vitality; the Vitality Bar acts as a health bar and replenishes by collecting rings, whilst the Unleashed Bar activates with a button to increase attack strength, decrease vitality loss from enemy attacks, and enables special moves, and replenishes by defeating enemies and destroying objects.[16]

Levels

Nine levels exist in the game on seven continents, all of which are based on real-world locations.[15] Each stage is placed on a different continent on Earth. These locations include:

  • Apotos[20] (Windmill Isle/White Island): This level is the first level in the game and serves as the backdrop to most of the tutorials in the game. Its architecture is influenced by Greek Mediterranean architecture, like the real Greek island of Chora, Mykonos Greece. It also looks similar to the Greek city of Santorini.
  • Spagonia[20] (Rooftop Run Day/Rooftop Run Night): A level influenced by western European architecture, like the real Italian city of Siena.
  • Mazuri (Savannah Citadel/Clay Castle): The sandy, desert-like level inspired by Africa[15]. This is present in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 versions as a hub world, day, and night stages, on the Wii and PS2 version it is only playable for the boss Egg Beetle and as a map page.
  • Holoska (Cool Edge): An icy location, most likely based on Alaska (due to the name).
  • Chun-Nan (Dragon Road): A level inspired by China. It includes a run along what looks like the Great Wall[15].
  • Shamar (Arid Sands): A stage designed to resemble a Middle Eastern desert landscape, probably Petra, Jordan.
  • Empire City[15] (Skyscraper Scamper): A location based on New York City where Sonic is shown to run between skyscrapers.[21] This stage is only available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.
  • Adabat (Jungle Joyride): A level inspired by Angkor and Southeastern Asia themes. It contains many flowing rivers and high cliffs.
  • Eggmanland (Crimson Carnival): Eggman's empire, based on an island near the fifth continent. The stage is combination of an amusement park and a factory. It resembles a fusion of Circus Park, Lava Shelter, Hot Shelter, and Final Egg.

Levels have been designed so that the two aforementioned modes of 2D and 3D gameplay will be switched between roughly every fifteen to thirty seconds, whilst no stage will last for more than five minutes.[15] In addition, the game features a day-and-night system; some parts of the action stages have been specially built so that time will pass, and these can be played as either Sonic or his werehog form, while others are only built for one specific form, and during these areas, time will not pass. The player is easily able to advance time manually during the areas allowing either form, should they prefer one or the other.

The game also features town stages, or "hub-worlds", that are set in the same environments as the action stages,[15] and players also are able to walk around the environment freely and speak to townspeople, even gaining items from them.[14] However, this "overworld" can be completely ignored, should the player prefer to simply play through all the stages. Optional side-quests are also available from these stages, for instance, using Tails to fly the Tornado plane; side-quests will be the only time characters other than Sonic will be playable. Such side quests are only available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

Development

File:Unleashed2.jpg

The development of Sonic Unleashed was announced in April 2008. The game runs on Sega's "Hedgehog Engine", which has been in production for three years.[6] Unleashed was originally intended to be the third installment of the Sonic Adventure series[22] and subsequently, at an early development stage, had the working title Sonic World Adventure, complete with work-in-progress logo, before the Unleashed name was decided upon.[23] The game is currently being developed internally by Sonic Team Japan.[24] It will be a multiplatform release on the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 2. [6]

The Wii version of the game will be developed specifically to take advantage of its controller's capabilities, with notable differences in gameplay, and with different levels created specifically for this version.[25] Dimps will be involved with designing the daytime stages for this and the PS2 version.[3] The game will use the Wii Remote and/or Nunchuk option, will support the GameCube controller, and also the option of using the Classic Controller.

External links

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