Sonic Lost World offers new gameplay structure

Some levels slower with more platforming, others faster.

Sonic Lost World follows Sonic the Hedgehog as he chases longtime foe Dr. Eggman and comes across a mysterious floating island called “Lost Hex,” a new IGN preview reveals. There, he counters the “Deadly Six,” new foes who promise to add “a sense of danger and humor” to the Lost World story.

As depicted in today’s trailer, the game will offer a series of abstract levels that combine 3D and 2D mechanics. Players will twist, turn, and jump along floating constructs suspended in mid-air, and a new parkour-system will allow Sonic to accommodate basic obstacles while he’s running.

The development team’s biggest challenge in creating a new Sonic was maintaining the series’ key sense of speed while still finding the right controls. So now Sonic will walk when you move the analog stick, and won’t start running unless you press down one of the triggers. Hold down the second trigger and Sonic will roll into a ball at full momentum.

With this new structure, the development team hopes that players can navigate the game’s wide range of level designs, exploring and running as necessary. That said, levels are now tailored to different gameplay styles. Some will focus on slower speeds with more platforming, while others will focus on running as fast as possible.

Example: Desert Ruins 1 consists of cakes, cookies, donuts, and all manners of candy. But Desert Ruins 2 offers an entirely different theme and gameplay style: the ‘tunnel racing’ concept from previous games.

The Wii U GamePad is used to activate various Whisp-based “Color Powers,” which feature touch-based controls and are used largely to gain access to side paths and areas. A ‘Support Mode’ is also being developed, where one player uses the Wii U GamePad to assist a second player controlling Sonic with the Wiimote and Nunchuck.

Sonic is the only playable character in Lost World, though friends like Tails, Knuckles, and Amy will also make an appearance. Throughout the game, Sonic will save animals, which are tracked both by level and cumulatively, and factor’s into unlockable content. Red Star Rings can also be collected for unlockable content, and Gold Cannons will provide access to hidden paths.

Sonic Lost World is due out for Wii U and 3DS later this year. While details on the 3DS version are slim, we do know that it will make use of full 3D levels. But whether they’re smaller or completely different is unknown.

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