As beloved as the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise is, it appears as though being a mega-fan might be a frustrating experience. Although a bona fide gem in 2D, when the third dimension comes into play is when Sonic experiences some growing pains, even to this day. Fans are so upset with this, in fact, that we seem to be in a sort of golden age for fan-made games that try their darndest to imagine Sonic in a 3D and open world.
Less than two months ago, we wrote about Green Hill Paradise Act 2, a fan-created title that sought to bring the linear speed of the 2D games together with the exploration of more successful 3D games like the Mario releases. Given its scope and the fact that it’s a fan project, this effort seems to have largely succeeded in at least trying something that the diluted brand of Sonic (we mean, he’s a werewolf in one game) has not.
Now, there’s Sonic Utopia, and based on the gameplay trailer, it seems to have solved the problem of how to make extreme, Sonic-levels of speed work in an open world: make that open world huge. It still feels like there are perhaps a few too many tangents to explore, but that could also be a cognitive bias given our predisposition towards the ultra-linear levels of traditional Sonic games.
You can take our word for it, or you can give it a go yourself. The game is only in early demo form now, but definitely feel free to download it for yourself here.
Images: The Great Lange