With 2D retrovision Sonic The Hedgehog throwback due out next Tuesday August 27 (spoiler: we've completed it and it's awesome, join us for our review) it's time to remember that there's another Sonic game due out soon. Sonic Forces, while styled as a sequel to Sonic Generations may actually have more in common with Sonic Heroes, as SEGA unveil Tag Team Gameplay in a new video. The footage is quite short, and IGN have a longer look.
In case you didn't know, Sonic Heroes was the GameCube/Xbox/PS2/PC Sonic title where you played three characters at once and swapped between them to use their different skills - usually based around Speed/Strength/Flight, such as the default team of Sonic/Knuckles/Tails. The new Tag Team gameplay, which features Sonic and the new player-created custom Hero character, seems to play a lot like Sonic Heroes. The player can swap between characters to use their special abilities, and occasionally pull off a devastating special move too. Unfortunately the IGN footage shows that a terrible rock song plays when you do that, so you might want to turn the sound down when you do.
SEGA also showed off the new theme for the boss fight against Metal Sonic, which is based on the US version of Sonic CD's Stardust Speedway Bad Future, the level where Sonic raced against Metal Sonic. Minor spoilers: in Sonic Mania both Metal Sonic and Stardust Speedway appear, although the song used there is the European/Japanese version of this theme. Metal Sonic was actually the main villain of Sonic Heroes, incidentally.
Sonic Heroes was, in our opinion, unfairly maligned by the gaming community who saw the three-player Tag Team gameplay as another step away from the Sonic game people actually wanted, which wasn't helped by both the PS2 and Xbox versions being hideously buggy. With the smoother GameCube version and ignoring the Tag Team stuff it's actually the most traditional of all the 3D Sonic games, with 2 Act levels, a simple story that doesn't get in the way, and even excellent Special Stages to get Chaos Emeralds.
Sonic Forces has similarly been dismissed outright by many gamers, who saw Sonic Mania as the Sonic game they actually wanted and, as PC owners will see on Tuesday, is excellent. Sonic Team certainly have their work cut out for them, and we're not sure bringing back Sonic Heroes-style Tag Team gameplay was the best way to get fans back on their side. If the next trailer reveals that Sonic can turn into a big hairy monster who smashes things instead of running fast there could be trouble.