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He’s blue, he’s spiky, and he’s in 3D again

Sonic die-hards are a lot like Liver­pool fans: al­ways hark­ing back to the old days, pray­ing that a new year will bring a re­turn to those glory days. “This time it’ll be dif­fer­ent,” they say. “This time Sega will get it right.”

So guess what hap­pened with the new Sonic Ma­nia? The ro­dent ac­tu­ally did it – the 2D plat­former is a ri­otous re­vival of his Mega Drive tri­umphs. We love it to bits, even if it is ba­si­cally those same old games with a fresh lick of paint and a cou­ple of new lev­els. But some­thing else is needed to ce­ment Sonic’s grand come­back: an added di­men­sion.

En­ter Sonic Forces, Sega’s umpteenth at­tempt to drag its mas­cot into 3D. Forces flits be­tween vin­tage side-scrolling and bom­bas­tic ac­tion at a rate of knots. One level saw us zoom through a fire-filled city in the midst of a ro­bot in­va­sion; an­other boss bat­tle pit­ted us against Dr Eg­gman (yep, him again) in a Green Hill Zone throw­back.

You needn’t take on th­ese stages as Sonic him­self, though. For the first time ever, Forces gives you the chance to cre­ate your own avatar to speed through the game with… and this we’re not so sure about. If the di­a­bol­i­cal Shadow the Hedge­hog taught us any­thing, it’s that there’s only one star of this fran­chise. Sorry, Tails.

Right now, we’re ten­ta­tively ex­cited about Sonic Forces. Af­ter decades of trial and er­ror, it looks as though Sega might just have fig­ured out how to get the best out of the spiky blue fella. And let’s face it, he’s got more chance of do­ing the dou­ble this year than Liver­pool.

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