At South by Southwest, an annual film festival held in Austin, Texas, Sega announced that their upcoming title Sonic Mania is delayed to summer of this year while revealing its latest trailer. The company also previewed a bit of gameplay for another title, Project Sonic 2017, also officially announcing the game’s title, Sonic Forces.
Sonic Mania’s latest trailer showed off for the first time that Flying Battery Zone, a stage originally made for Sonic and Knuckles would be returning in Sonic Mania, revamped to feature new surprises as with all returning stages for the upcoming title. Sonic Forces, formerly known as Project Sonic 2017 will be the hedgehog’s first 3D outing on consoles since the release of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on the Wii U in 2014.
No major details have been released on Sonic Forces as of yet. A brief amount of footage of the upcoming game was shown at the event with off-camera footage leaking shortly afterwards. The game follows Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations style of 3rd person platforming. Despite the classic version of Sonic the hedgehog appearing in the game’s announcement trailer, Sega has already confirmed that Sonic Forces is not a sequel to Sonic Generations, the title that marked his debut.
Sonic Mania was announced on July 22 of 2016, acting as a celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary. The game is being created with intention of emulating the 2D gameplay and visuals of the early Sega Genesis titles with the visuals being slightly updated for modern consoles. Sonic mania remixes popular stages from Sonic’s early titles as well as featuring the return of older items and playable characters while adding in new content in the form of stages and abilities. The game is being developed by Christian Whitehead and Headcannon, independent developers known for their love of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as well as being the one’s responsible for the well-received ports of the early Genesis titles to multiple platforms. The game is considered to be a passion project by the developers and longtime fans of the series are sure to spot multiple subtle and not so subtle references to the video game icon’s past. While the game was originally announced to release in spring of 2017, it will now release in summer with no exact date given. There was also no reason given behind this delay.