Everyone Wishes Sonic Frontiers Looked More Like This Speedy Indie Game

Everyone Wishes Sonic Frontiers Looked More Like This Speedy Indie Game
Gif: Landfall Games

When developer Wilhelm Nylund shared a video of the upcoming Haste: Broken Worlds on Twitter earlier this week, it almost immediately blew up. The preview has since garnered almost 1 million views as well as thousands of retweets and likes. Much of the ongoing conversation, however, involves wishing Haste’s speed and momentum could be replicated in a much larger game: Sonic Frontiers.

“Better Sonic than Sonic,” said Samuel Molina, a Spanish designer currently working on Star Citizen at Cloud Imperium Games.

“[W]ild that indie devs make a better [Sonic] game than the company that’s been making [Sonic] for 31 years,” another Twitter user said, “but also not very surprising.”

“You’ve dropped the perfect video for Sonic fans to be annoying over,” said a third.

Haste is currently in development at Landfall Games, the Swedish company behind hits like Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and Clustertruck. Nylund, the studio’s CEO and designer, told Kotaku that Haste is a racing game wherein a large group of players is whittled down through multiple rounds, almost like a battle royale. The video uploaded early Wednesday morning shows off the first of several playable characters intended for launch.

Although Haste apparently takes more inspiration from momentum-based games — think Tribes, Tiny Wings, and Counter-Strike surfing maps — Nylund understands why Sonic came up so often in response to his video. Sega built the blue blur’s initial reputation on being faster than his competitors (i.e. Nintendo and its relatively plodding Mario games), so it only makes sense that Haste, which on its surface is all about speed, would resonate with Sonic fans.

“I can definitely see why people are making the comparison,” Nylund told Kotaku via direct message. “The Sonic franchise seems to be the first thing that comes to mind when the concept of running incredibly fast comes up.”

As fun as Haste looks, this response also involves the overall disappointment in what we’ve seen of Sonic Frontiers so far. Early footage revealed a bland “open zone” game that looked more like an Unreal engine asset flip than a next-gen entry in the typically vibrant Sonic franchise, and subsequent showings haven’t eased overall indifference. With another potential letdown on the way, it’s only natural fans might be desperate for anything that seems to embody Sonic’s “gotta go fast” potential.

“I see those comments as a massive compliment!” Nylund said. “It is incredibly cool to know that we’ve made something that seems to deliver on the fantasy of speed so strongly to people.”

Haste: Broken Worlds recently entered full-steam development, but Landfall Games is accepting sign-ups for a future multiplayer alpha if you’re interested in trying it out sometime soon.

Comments

  • I don’t. If this were a Sonic game it would be bland also. Haste looks fun in its own right, but Sonic is a different game.

    They can make Frontiers work. It just needs to be filled with stuff, like enemies and quests. And to do something about the pop-in and floating objects.

    • That’s some serious copium you’re on. Take the above gif and replace the character with sonic, throw in some rings, quests, enemies and so on and you have something that looks miles better (and cohesive) than whatever the hell Frontiers is.

  • What Ian doesn’t understand is that Sonic fans are like Qanon fans – they don’t want something that plays like Sonic, they want Sonic specifically.

    There have been a dime a dozen non-Sonic indies that have replicated the gameplay, even get positive journoscum coverage like “SeGa HiRe ThIs MaN!!!!!”, only to see mediocre success in after the press blitz. The developers of Sonic Mania tried to crowdfund their own indie project – Sonic fans would obviously support the people who made them their second coming of Christ, right?

    It flopped.

    That, and this is the type of gameplay that rabid sonic ‘fans’ have been openly demanding SEGA move away from since 2014. Running fast is one thing, running fast and simultaneously undertaking complex platforming is another.

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