Sonic Frontiers' Cyber Space Levels Are Lovely Linear Stages

As part of the recent Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase this week, Sega showed off some new footage of Sonic Frontiers. The title, which is set to release in Holiday 2022 for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, is notable for its large open areas featuring platforming and various enemies. But the footage specifically showcases new Cyber Space areas for the first time -- which was the best part of my brief time with it at Summer Game Fest earlier this month.

While I was able to play around 45 minutes of Sonic Frontiers at Summer Game Fest earlier this month, the Cyber Space areas specifically were under embargo until this week. Because of that, my hands-on impression ultimately described Sonic Frontiers as playing as rough as it looks. But if there is a glimmer of what Sonic Frontiers could be, it's in the Cyber Space levels. You can check out what the looks like in action in the Sonic Frontiers trailer embedded below:

Basically, the Cyber Space areas are more akin to traditional Sonic levels with linear, fast-paced running and platforming. Earning Portal Gears through beating bosses unlocks the special Cyber Space levels at various pillars, and completing them offers up Vault Keys in order to further progress toward finding the Chaos Emeralds. How all of that actually works in practice after getting the Vault Keys is unclear as that's where my time with the title actually concluded.

Given that I played for less than an hour and we've seen maybe that much, if that, of footage otherwise from Sonic Frontiers, it's hard to judge how it will all blend together in the final product. While the calling card of Sonic Frontiers, its open-world areas, didn't impress, peppering more Cyber Space areas throughout would serve as a welcome reprieve -- and it's always possible that the first area in the Starfall Islands isn't going to make the best impression of what the game is actually like in total. There's plenty more we haven't seen of Sonic Frontiers, and I'd love nothing more than for my initial reaction to it to be proven wrong.

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(Photo: SEGA)

"Sonic's new journey begins when him and his friends – Amy and Tails – head to the Starfall Islands in search of Chaos Emeralds," a description of Sonic Frontiers from Sega reads in part. "As they approach the islands, sudden trouble hits their plane, and they are sucked into a dimensional portal. Sonic then finds himself separated from his friends and awakens in a strange, digital world – Cyber Space. He miraculously escapes Cyber Space and arrives on Kronos Island, one of the Starfall Islands, full of ancient ruins where strange enemies roam. It is then up to Sonic to explore the Starfall Islands, find his lost friends and uncover the mysteries around him."

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As noted above, Sonic Frontiers is set to release for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in Holiday 2022. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog video game right here.

What do you think about what's been shown of Sonic Frontiers so far? Does the new footage make you any more interested in it? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming!