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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The unclear story of the Sonic Frontiers story trailer

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Allegedly the highlight of gamescom 2022.

To be upfront, I didn't watch the to-consumer developer presentation stream portion of gamescom 2022, which is a large and annual videogame tradeshow in Germany that stylises itself with all-lowercase letters, which means I already have a bad impression of it. I was doing some more important and entertaining things with my time, and it was also hosted by horrible human being and hype-killer Geoff Keighley. According to two random GameFAQs users, the highlight of the presentation was this story trailer for Sonic Frontiers, which stood out among a whole bunch of boring and generic content (and Hideo Kojima apparently plugging a podcast he's doing—in unrelated news, Masahiro Sakurai now has a YouTube channel that I should write about separately). Let's watch this trailer, then:

I suppose my problem with this story trailer is that there isn't much story in it. “A mysterious stranger” for sure, that calls Sonic the Hedgehog someone who does reckless actions that endangers the world. Sonic taps a mysterious panel and warps away, and ends up seeing his friend Amy Rose (or someone who looks like Amy—Sonic had to ask if it was Amy, and he never got an answer from her, so maybe it's an impostor), who is trapped in a red crystal. There are lots of robots for Sonic to fight that seem pretty easy to dismantle, but when he tries to jump up and punch the mysterious stranger, it kinda just puts up a shield and warps away. And, um, that's the story. There are missing Chaos Emeralds and Cyber Space involved somehow, too, as well as a mysterious voice in Sonic's head that sounds different than the voice of the mysterious stranger that wants Sonic to shoo.

It's unclear if, as Sonic is being accused of being a reckless person, Sonic actually knows the nature of that red panel that he's touching. I mean, he looks pretty confident. Or maybe it's bluster and he is, in fact, actually reckless.

Sonic Frontiers story trailer reckless actions mysterious being smug facial expression eyes half closed
Sonic the Hedgehog doesn't seem to mind endangering the world. Just look at him.
That mysterious being (I'll call it cyber-Rosalina) can only see out of one eye anyway; they might not have the best judgment.

Sonic Frontiers is releasing November 8, 2022. That's a similar release timing of also open-world (or open borders) Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. (November 18, 2022.) Neither of those I'm interested in for gameplay reasons, though I wouldn't say the stories of these are riveting either. You'd think a story trailer would do that, but no. I see comments on the YouTube video gushing over the production quality of the cutscenes presented in the trailer, but that doesn't do anyone any good if what's being produced is nonsense.

Ludwig's never actually watched gamescom streams or content in his life, and he sees no reason to start. gamescom itself continues for several days, but as far as Ludwig knows, that's it for streamed game announcements. And if there are more, they probably won't be interesting.

Cyber-Rosalina is named Sage.


  1. Why are the humans/humanoids in sonic always so creepy? It's more intentional this time, with this being being (hehe) a villain. Still, this game has better not turn out like some of the previous 3D sonics. I actually might get this game, and i am by no means a Sonic fan.


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