Interview: Sonic X Shadow Generations game director and producer on what’s changed

We talk to the game's director and producer for what to expect at the full release.

Sonic X Shadow Generations is set to come out on October 25, 2024, and ahead of its release, we got to fly out to Japan to an exclusive media event to talk to games director Shigihara Katsuyuki and producer Nakamura Shun about what to expect. Here’s what they had to say.

The original game was released all the way back in 2011 for the WiiU and 3DS. At the time, the developers were keen on using the 3D capabilities of the systems as one of the main draws to play the game. Now that the Sonic franchise has been steadily getting back up to pace in terms of its popularity with new and old fans, the team saw it as an opportunity to bring the title back and see how it is reimagined on modern systems. It even comes packaged with all the previous DLCs.

Original members of the development team came back to give their own input on what they wanted to refine or fix from the original release. While you get to still see Sonic’s traditional fast-paced gameplay, you also get a darker, anti-hero style with Shadow. This contrast in character and tone allows for a more imaginative experience that enabled the studio to be more expressive with how they wanted to distinguish the gameplay experience.

One of the key things about the game is Shadow’s Doom powers. These are a series of anti-hero abilities that is new to the franchise. It allows you to traverse the world in more unique ways that Sonic can’t do.

What the insights are behind the creation of the Doom abilities?

“A number of these moves are already based on what Shadows is already able to do it past appearances. While we don’t want to say much about the full extent of what he does in this title, we do want to highlight what you got to see in the trailer which are the wings that he has. Let’s just say that you can expect much more animalistic designs in the full release of the game.”

How much of the new additions/changes are based on community feedback from the original release?

“One of the interesting things that like the powers themselves, they aren’t necessarily inspired by what’s been brought on by fans. Rather, what we internally focused on was what would make the most fun experience for the players. Talking about it would be include a couple of spoilers, but what I will say is we tested it on a very limited basis between a slight number of people until we came up with what would make the most fun game product.”

How did you ensure that Shadow feels distinct from Sonic from a gameplay perspective?

“The key to what makes Sonic, Sonic, is his high speed. Shadow in particular, is the full extent of his power. So, the Chaos sphere, the Chaos control, and finally the new Doom powers. In that sense, it is more action and move oriented.”

How does it feel for the team to revisit the game and bring it to modern systems?

“One of the things that was really interesting, actually, for us to approach was the conversion from HD to 4K. We were working with past generation hardware and now we’re bringing it to modern generation hardware. But it meant revisiting a lot of things. The UI. The 3D visuals. And it was really interesting for us to approach some of the new contents like the Chao rescue feature as well.”

It was also mentioned by Katsuyuki and Shun that the Sonic movies were a big factor in bringing Sonic X Shadow Generations back. Shadow was teased at the end of the second movie and so leading up to the third entry, Sonic Team figured it would be a perfect time for fans of both the games and the movies.