If you or your kids think you know what this franchise is all about, get ready for a wake-up call! Sonic Frontiers is a huge step forward for the Sonic series, and the result is a gorgeous game with realistic environments and mechanics. Jumping between levels and open-world content helps the player refresh their focus, avoiding a situation where they become bored or "used to" content. Taking a moment in between these hyper-fast speed rounds to relax, explore the environment, and build your skill tree is a welcome dynamic that previous Sonic games lacked. Utilizing this time to improve your skillset (a required feature) will almost certainly make players more comfortable with moving forward into further gameplay, instead of becoming overwhelmed. In this way, Frontiers provides a fantastic balance of clear direction and player independence – there's no hand-holding here, but you won't find yourself needing it, either. There are few negatives to this game, but a noteworthy problem is a storyline that's lacking in detail and context. This is disappointing for an open-world game, and there are moments of confusion where the player may find themselves looking for more context.
But overall, Frontiers is a fantastic combination of the core Sonic attributes (grab the rings, bounce off of the bad guys) and a vast open world with tasks, rewards, and enemies galore. For fans of the Sonic franchise, this is most likely a welcome edition, although it is unlikely to fully replace the classic level-style that is well known and loved. Instead, Frontiers gives fans old and new a chance to see how flexible Sonic is as a character and a concept by soaring in basically any format: handheld, console, desktop, open-world, chapters, levels – you name it, and Sonic does it well.