Throughout the reveals of Sonic Frontiers, one of the things that has stood out about the game is that it appears to be open world. At the very least, everything we’ve seen so far seemed to imply that Sonic will be wandering around a vast space, fighting enemies, exploring, and taking on various challenges as players discover them. However, the idea that it’s entirely open world is unintentional according to Sega. Apparently, Sonic Frontiers is not actually an open world game, but rather what Sega Creative Officer Takashi Izuka calls an “open zone” game.
Izuka recently sat down with Shacknews in a video interview about Sonic Frontiers and shared this correction about the game’s supposed “open world” exploration. According to Izuka, players will explore different smaller, yet still massive areas as opposed to a vast and continuous open world.
“A lot of people think this is an open world game, but it’s actually not,” Izuka told us. “We’re planning on making an ‘open zone’ game, and this open zone game is an expansive 3D environment where you can run around and do all the 3D action-platforming that Sonic is known for. But it’s not an open world game, it’s going to be something different and new.”
It’s an interesting distinction to be sure. Everything up to this point has seemed to imply that Sonic will be exploring a single vast and continuous space. It’s possible that the experience that Izuka is clarifying could be more similar to adventure zones in previous games like Sonic Adventure. Interestingly, however, is that Izuka also stresses that this is something the Sonic Team hasn’t done before. It’s something all-new. So it could be very different from anything Sonic fans have seen before or should expect.
We may have missed the mark on open world, but we still had a chance to get a glimpse of what Sonic Frontiers had for us. Be sure to check out our full preview, as well as where Sonic Frontiers falls in the franchise timeline, and stay tuned for more coverage leading up to the game’s release this 2022 holiday season.