Sega has announced via their newsletter that the first Sonic Frontiers free update part of their previously revealed roadmap will launch this week on March 22, 2023, at 5 PM PDT/ 8 PM EDT. Called the “Sights, Sounds, and Speed” update, players can look forward to a Photo Mode, a Jukebox Mode, and Challenge Modes.
The Jukebox Mode will include 13 tracks by default, with players needing to find “Sound Memories” scattered around the islands for an additional 40 songs. As for the Challenge Modes, a Battle Rush mode will be implemented, letting players battle multiple bosses one after another within a time limit. Cyber Space will also receive a Time Attack mode.
According to Famitsu, an “Extreme Difficulty” mode will also be added with this update.
PlayStation Blog listed some of the songs fans can look forward to:
- Sega Sound Team, Tomoya Ohtani, Merry Kirk-Holmes – I’m Here (Sonic Frontiers)
- Crush 40 – Live & Learn (Sonic Adventure 2)
- Crush 40 – Open Your Heart (Sonic Adventure)
Moreover, Sonic Team Lead Programmer Hiroki Tokunaga provided the following statement:
“Sonic Team created and implemented a brand-new texture streaming system in the Open-Zone areas so players can run around the vast, diverse environments at incredibly high speeds. On PS5, the SSD could support high-speed streaming, so we were able to make the most out of the texture streaming feature and keep up with Sonic’s speed.
It was also crucial for the team to reduce wait times during scene transitions between the Open-Zone areas, Cyber Space, and other areas so fans can spend more time exploring and immersing themselves in the game. A lot of load processing happens during these transitions, which is why we deployed compressed files, organized the resources, and coordinated everything to maximize the file input and output. The PS5’s fast SSD enabled us to significantly reduce wait times for smooth transitions between scenes in the game.“
Two other free updates are planned throughout this year, with the last adding new playable characters and story content.
The following Battle Rush screenshots were shared:
The following Cyber Space Challenge screenshots were shared:
The following Jukebox screenshots were shared:
The following Photo Mode screenshots were shared:
Immense thanks to the Sonic community for catching this news drop, including Tails Channel.
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Throughout Sonic Frontiers, Sonic finds himself stranded on the Starfall Islands after being separated from his friends, Tails, and Amy. A mysterious AI-like voice then begins guiding him to find the Chaos Emeralds and defeat the island’s Titans, which will supposedly save his friends. However, a new character, Sage, is impeding Sonic on his quest to do so.
Sonic Frontiers features an “open-zone” gameplay style, where players will freely explore five distinct islands housing unique biomes, puzzles, enemies, and more. Combat is a direct focus this time, with several enemy types to best and a skill tree to peruse. Moreover, the Cyber space levels provide some familiar speed-centric linearity veteran fans can embrace.
Sonic Frontiers is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
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