This week's Your Nerd Side Show:
The head of Sonic Team states that future 2D Sonic The Hedgehog titles won’t feature pixel art.
The revelation came from Gamescom, where the Sonic Team lead discussed the franchise’s future with GamesRadar. At first, the conversation with producer Takashi Iizuki was solely about the franchise and how it was “vital” to the team to have successful 2D and 3D versions of the game out. The upcoming Sonic Superstars aims to fill the void in the 2D space, while last year’s Sonic Frontiers proved that open-world Sonic The Hedgehog titles could be successful. He noted that while it’s good that the franchise has solid entries in the TV and movie space, the true “pillars” of the series are in its 2D and 3D titles.
Sonic The Hedgehog's Visual Future
The conversation then shifted to how Sonic Team would try and advance the franchise over the next two decades. To that end, he revealed that Sonic Frontiers, with its "open zone concept," was something that the development team could build on for years to come. He highlighted that future titles would be "new gameplay experiences" for players to showcase how things continue to evolve. However, when going to the 2D space, he noted that the visuals of those titles would be a big change for the team.
Sonic Superstars is coming in October and features Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, and Tails in a 2D-style game but with crisp 3D visuals. Iizuke noted that the classic pixel art of the past is unlikely to continue as the 2D games progress. In his mind, the pixel art is "great," but he doesn't "think it's going to be a viable art style or presentation for our players." Going back to the notion of looking ahead, he said Sonic Team wants to keep "evolving the style" while also "creating new content" that they can be proud of down the line.
Given this, many will focus on the 2D space to see what Sonic Team brings to the table next after the release of Sonic Superstars. The game will take things back to their roots while "evolving" what came before. For example, the game will have a 4-person co-op for the first time. Second, you can play as Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, or Tails from the start, and each one will have unique abilities to access as you play. The game will also feature classic villains like Eggman while bringing back Fang the Hunter and introducing the mysterious Trip.
Sonic Superstars arrives on October 17th on PC and console.