Sonic Frontiers Towards combat development of the age-old franchise in meaningful and unprecedented ways. Part of that process involved the introduction of the skill tree, the first of its kind in the franchise. Sonic has long had adventures that involve him unlocking new abilities, but by introducing a full skill tree in Frontiers, Sonic Team hopes to further elevate what they claim will be the longest mainline game in franchise history.
“Fighting enemies is a big part of Sonic Frontiers,” said Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Team’s creative officer. “Starting with Sonic at max level makes the fight simple and repetitive, so we’ve made players gradually unlock Sonic’s abilities through the skill tree. Players collect The points are needed to unlock skills by defeating enemies and exploring the island, so they can unlock more powerful skills by playing longer.”
Early in my time with Frontiers, enemies appeared near me. I take out these basic baddies easily, but skill shards will litter the ground after a series of homing attacks. I ran over to pick them up, contributing a meter. This initial encounter wasn’t enough to give me the first skill point, but subsequent battles pushed the meter up to capacity and I was rewarded with an upgrade. Unfortunately, I need to progress further in the game before I can unlock anything.
After my world’s first boss fight against a Ninja, a large portal opened and I gained access to a new area. After completing the base sequence, I opened another door and an in-game message said I could now unlock Sonic’s Cyloop ability. This first upgrade leaves a green trail behind Sonic when activated and produces various effects based on the situation. Regardless of the application, it looks like you need to draw a complete circle for any of these effects to work; drawing a circle in an empty field spawns circles while doing it around a bunch of torches will extinguish them simultaneously and help me solve a puzzle. Cyloops can also be used in combat, as an area effect attack when attracted around multiple enemies, a way to penetrate the armor of harder creatures, or even a way to cut off parts of bosses like Tower .
Cyloop seems like the cornerstone skill for Sonic in Frontiers, but it’s not the only upgrade he can access through his skill tree. After unlocking Cyloop, Sonic can unlock 11 additional skills as part of the main tree, plus three additional skills through the progression of the main story. The skills in the story development are behind the question mark, but I got a full view of the skill tree that the player can work through during the adventure.
The next levels to unlock include Sonic Boom (a move that shoots projectiles in the middle of combos), Speed Burst (which increases your power when you have max combos) and Air Tricks (ability to hover between the combos) air to earn skill points). Next, you can open Wild Crash (a move in which you run in a zig-zag towards an enemy to attack) and Stomp Attack. From there, you can unlock a number of different skills, including Auto-Combine, an ability that combat skills automatically activate during combos (if you unlock this skill and don’t If you like the autopilot nature, you can turn it on and off in the options menu). There’s also Quick Cyloop (the ability to have Sonic draw his own Cyloops automatically), Homing Shot (an attack in which Sonic launches a series of energy spheres at an enemy), Spin Slash (a move where Sonic surrounds enemies with multiple spinning attacks), and Loop Kick (a quick, circular kick that accelerates through the air). The final unlock in the main skill tree is Recovery Smash, where if you’re blown away by an attack and successfully execute some prompts before hitting the ground, you can immediately counterattack.
These skills not only give Sonic a sense of progress throughout his adventures, but also diversify the combat in meaningful ways to prevent monotony. However, part of the challenge Sonic Team faces is crafting skills that feel like they belong in Sonic’s battle arsenal. “There are a lot of games that have their own unique combat systems, but for this title we wanted to focus on what Sonic’s fighting style should be like, what kind of enemies should exist, what kind of enemies should exist, what kind of enemies should be, what kind of fighting style should be. skills that Sonic will have to defeat them, and so forth,” said director Morio Kishimoto. “We’re not making a Sonic game where fighting and fighting is the core fun element; instead, we’d like to present a game that has a fun fight that’s right for Sonic’s character. – that’s the basic idea.”
The skill tree is where Sonic learns his new moves, but it’s not the only way to level up Blue Blur. The mysterious Koco, small stone creatures that live on the island, can also upgrade certain elements of Sonic if you look for special types. If you find a Hermit Koco in an open area, you can trade the seeds you’ve collected to boost Sonic’s strength or defense; in my playthrough, I’ve loaded enough power to give Sonic more powerful attacks and combos. Meanwhile, if you encounter Elder Koco, you can return the lost Koco you find during your travels to increase Sonic’s maximum speed or ringing ability. Like with Hermit Koco, I decided to lump all my upgrades with Koco Elder into one bucket: speed. The increase in speed is not as noticeable as the increase in attack power, but everything helps when you are exploring such a large and open area.
We won’t know what impact all these new skills and upgrades will have or what hidden story development skills might be until launch. But on the surface, it looks like Sonic Team is on the right track with its battle set development approach throughout Sonic’s latest adventure. Sonic Frontiers launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC this holiday season.
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