Everyone's favorite hedgehog and his iconic furry friends are soon to be returning in another kart racer. Earlier in March SEGA teased a Sonic-related racing game with a short trailer titled TOP SECRET. It wasn't hard to put the pieces together to figure out what this project was, and SEGA officially unveiled it at the end of May.
What is Team Sonic Racing?
Following in the footsteps of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, developer Sumo Digital is back at it with Team Sonic Racing. While Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing are some of the popular forefathers in the genre, Sonic certainly holds its own. Featuring wacky vehicles and even crazier race tracks, kart racing swaps hyper-realism for cartoonish fun. You won't be rolling through mud in next year's model cars from Ford of Ferrari. You'll be gliding by in your own Sonic-themed vehicle equipped with a load of power-ups and weapons that can be picked up along the track to take out your opponents.
Sonic and Friends
Team Sonic Racing is set to contain 15 playable characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Rouge the Bat
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- E-123 Omega
- Big the Cat
- Amy Rose
- Chao (with various types)
- Vector the Crocodile
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Blaze the Cat
- Dr. Eggman
- Metal Sonic
You'll be getting some of your favorite childhood heroes and villains from the series.
What stands out in this release compared to its predecessors is that Team Sonic Racing unfortunately won't include any playable characters outside of the Sonic the Hedgehog property, at least at launch. Previous games featured non-Sonic characters from other notable SEGA franchises like Crazy Tazi and Jet Set Radio.
According to Producer Takashi Iizuka, the team wanted to "bring to the Sonic fans a pure, Sonic universe racing game," explaining the absence of other series. Though this doesn't exactly rule out the possibility that non-Sonic characters may join the game post-launch at a later date, for now, it's strictly a Sonic game.
There's no "I" in team
The "team" in Team Sonic Racing's name serves quite an important denotation. While traditionally a racing game is merely about being the fastest player on the track, Team Sonic Racing focuses on teamwork. That's not to say winning doesn't matter, it just isn't the most crucial part.
Each race will contain four teams comprised of three players, making a total of 12 racers on the track at a time. You, along with the other characters on your team, must work together to obtain the most points. This can be done by simply helping team members who aren't performing well by sharing power-ups. Golden rings, a staple of Sonic games, can also be collected to earn points. And of course, points will be allocated to players depending on their position in the race.
This game is very much focused on working together, and that's going to be very interesting.
Once you fill up an Ultimate Meter with your points you can unleash a large speed boost for your entire team that allows you to mow down your rivals and spin them off course. This is an added incentive to work together and promote cooperation. If you prefer to be a lone wolf, you can still go it solo while your teammates are replaced with AI. Maybe that'll even mean less frustration on your behalf.
Through power-ups in the form of Wisps you can gain the upper hand quickly or just as easily find yourself at the rear of the pack. One Wisp might grant you a rocket to use against an opponent while another might drop bombs onto the race track or boost your speed.
Every character will fall into one of three categories: Speed, Technique, or Power. These will dictate certain skills that they can perform. For example, a Technique-based character can drive off course over rough terrain without slowing down. A Speed-based character, as you can guess from the name, will have a higher top speed. Power-based characters will have access to more offensive Wisps.
In addition to unique character traits, you'll be able to customize their vehicles to give them an extra advantage based on whatever playstyle you prefer. You'll have a choice of nine parts per character, which will alter the performance of their vehicles. Should you want tighter control or only care about speed, you can equip gear to make that happen.
Between local 4-player split-screen co-op and online multiplayer, you can dive into Grand Prix, Time Trial, and Exhibition modes.
Details are scarce in regards to the game's story mode, but Sumo Digital will be including another mode called Team Adventure that will explain why the characters are racing instead of just letting players accept that sometimes a game doesn't always need narrative justifications for its mechanics.
There will 21 tracks based on locations in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and some of those that have been been revealed so far include a Planet Wisp circuit and a Rooftop Run Spagonia-themed circuit from Sonic Unleashed. SEGA has also revealed the following tracks. a few of which were accompanied by their own theme songs:
- Haunted Castle
- Bingo Party
- Frozen Junkyard
- Ocean View
- Sand Road
- Whale Lagoon
- Market Street
- Boo's House
- Doctor's Mine
- Hidden Volcano
- Ice Mountain
- Mother's Canyon
When can you play it?
Team Sonic Racing is set to launch on May 21, 2019.
It is set to release at physical retail and digitally for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. It will also receive a digital-only release on PC. So whether you prefer relaxing on your couch or gaming on-the-go, you'll be able to enjoy Team Sonic Racing wherever and whenever you like.
You can currently pre-order the Standard Edition of Team Sonic Racing for $39.99.
Updated April 2019: We've added its release date along with information regarding new tracks.
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