Big Red Button Entertainment, Sanzaru Games
Wii U, 3DS
Release Date:JP: August 19th 2014, NA: September 17th 2014, EU: October 15, 2014
Sonic Boom is an upcoming action adventure platforming video game that is currently in development under Big Red Button Entertainment (who will be working on the Wii U version) and Sanzaru Games (Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and Secret Agent Clank, Sanzaru Games will be handling the 3DS version of the game), both studios will be working closely with Sega Corporation’s subsidiary, Sonic Team.
The game is one of few titles to be running on Cry Engine 3 on Wii U and is currently set to be published by Sega. Sonic Boom is slated to release during the Fall of 2014 and will bring a close to the Sonic exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, making this the third game to be released under the deal.
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On May 17th of 2013, Sega and Nintendo entered into an exclusive partnership regarding Sonic the Hedgehog. The Nintendo exclusivity deal would ensure that the next three Sonic titles to be developed and published by Sega would be exclusive for Nintendo systems, starting with Sonic: Lost World and Mario, Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and finally Sonic Boom. Stephen Frost, Sega of America Producer said that the decision to choose Big Red Button was rooted in the studios development history, specifically that of their leader Bob Rafei who has previously worked on games like Jak and Daxter.
Sonic Boom marks a turning point in the Sonic franchise as it will be a spin off series from the mainline Sonic The Hedgehog franchise that Sega relies so heavily upon. The title is set to launch alongside a TV series tied to the game wherein Sonic Boom (the game) will fulfill the role of prequel content. In a statement that some considered controversial, the game has been designed to appeal to a “Western audience” in both visual design and appeal. Takashi Iizuka (a veteran sonic game designer) revealed that they wanted to make sure they had Western game developers on board and make it a part of television that appeals to the west.
It was later elaborated upon by Sega of Americas Marketing Director Marchello Churchill that although the newly designed franchise was geared towards a Western Audience, it would not “replace modern Sonic” with assurance that the game is very different, both in tone and art direction. This Western slant on the game has angered Japanese fan base who have been told that the game will not be released in their country and that the game will remain a separate entity from the main series, drawing ire from the Sonic community.
With the game set to feature a new gameplay mechanic named “Enerbeam”, the game is set to focused on combat and exploration. This new twist on the Sonic universe sees both Big Red Button and Sanzaru games working alongside Sonic Team to ensure a more solid experience across both platforms, with both versions of the games being different, both in landscape, environments and enemies encountered.
With the developers having stated that the game is not just about speed, Sonic Boom is set to have a strong action adventure focus with the gameplay being more centered around exploring the game world and engaging in combat in stark contrast to the adrenaline styled fast moving games that have come before it. Players will still have access to the main line established cast of characters (Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic the Hedgehog, Amy Rose and Miles Tails Powers) and they will all retain their established strengths and signature abilities such as Knuckles awesome strength that lets him burrow into the ground, fight and climb or Sonics signature Homing Attack.
A new gameplay feature is the EnerBeam (a particularly unimpressive name: EnerBeam – Energy Beam) which is a whip like energy beam which will allow them to attach to moving rails, remove enemies shields and aid them in solving puzzles in the environment. As the game progresses, the player will switch between the 4 characters and make use of their abilities to overcome the game’s obstacles. Sonic Boom will also support local multiplayer for two players, while online multiplayer will be able to support four player games.
According to Stephen Frost, the level design of the Wii U versions of the game and 3DS versions of the game will be different from one another.
Below is a list of the currently known characters set to appear in Sonic Boom:
Sonic the Hedgehog – The Blue Blur that made Sega famous returns as the main character in this spin of franchise. Bringing his signature homing attacks and speed to the game, he should make for an interesting combatant in the games more combat focused portions. This being coupled with the new EnerBeam may well influence the games exploration mechanics as well.
Amy Rose – Amy the Archaeologist brings her knowledge of ancient areas to the team, alongside her highly skilled acrobatic abilities she can fall from great heights and land safely where others could not. Alongside her acrobatic skills she has the Piko Piko Hammer, a large pink and yellow mallet which she can use to swing at foes.
Knuckles the Echidna – Knuckles has long been known for his ferocious strength and punching power, as such he returns in Sonic Boom as the Tank, or Bruiser of the team. He wields a pair of silver knuckle dusters and wears sports tape similar to that of Muay Thai boxers.
Miles Tails Powers – Miles is the brains of the team, make no mistake. His ability to create gadgets and use them to aid Sonic has never been underestimated. His twin tails that allow him some flight abilities will prove useful when combined with the EnerBeam for exploration.
Burn Bot – The Burn Bot is one of the creations spawned from the mind of the series antagonist. Contrary to what it’s name would suggest, the Burn Bot makes use of large claw like appendages to do battle, and not fire.
Doctor Eggman (Dr. Robotnik) – Doctor Eggman returns as the villain who will oppose Sonic and his team in Sonic Boom, this time taking on a much more militaristic appearance in stark contrast to his previously fat bodied, thin legged appearance.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.