Sonic X Shadow Generations Impressions | Shadow Gets the Spotlight

Sonic X Shadow Generations is a promising new release for the series.

Following its release date announcement, we go to try out four levels of the upcoming Sonic X Shadow Generations. In case you missed it, this game is the latest in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and it’s kind of like two games in one. That’s because it’s one package that includes a remaster of Sonic Generations from 2011 along with Shadow Generations which has new story levels that happen in parallel but with Shadow as the playable character.

This is the first time in years that Shadow the Hedgehog is playable, and in a way, you can think of it as sort of a follow-up-slash-remake of Shadow’s 2005 game as it features remade levels from that game.

During a media preview event for the game, we got to try out two levels as Sonic and two as Shadow. Take note that as someone who didn’t grow up playing Sonic much, these impressions will be from the perspective of a more casual fan of the series.

Long-time Sonic fans should be delighted with the Sonic Generations half of the game as it’s a nice-looking remaster that doesn’t change much.

For added context, Sonic Generations itself is sort of a remake, or at least a Greatest Hits collection for the franchise given that its levels are based on levels from previous series entries.

As someone who didn’t really play the older Sonic games, I’m interested in experiencing Generations, especially as I didn’t play this game when it was initially launched in 2011.

Regarding how it feels to play, the two Sonic levels feel nice in the classic 2D mode. Meanwhile, modern 3D mode also feels quite fun to play. This combo of having two gameplay types should also make it appeal to newer Sonic fans as they will get to experience the franchise’s two distinct styles.

Of course, the highlight of this package is no doubt Shadow the Hedgehog. We only got to play two levels, and based on our experience, Shadow seems to play fairly similarly to this blue counterpart, though he does have access to Chaos Control. And yes, much like Sonic, the Shadow levels are playable in the classic 2D and modern 3D styles.

As such, gameplay in the Shadow levels feels just as satisfying as the Sonic levels, though the Chaos Control abilities make playing Shadow feel distinct and not just a clone of Sonic.

Thanks to Chaos Control, Shadow can stop time which freezes platforms and enemies to open up parts of a level. Take note that this isn’t free as you’ll need to charge the ability by attacking enemies.

This adds a fun twist to the formula which should make exploring the eye-catching levels more engaging. Plus, Shadow also has a helpful ability in boss fights. For instance, in the second level we played as Shadow, there was a boss that Shadow can attack using his Chaos Spear ability to destroy the boss’s projectile attack. The boss we fought wasn’t particularly difficult, though we’re hoping that later bosses will require more deliberate use of Shadow’s unique skills.

Essentially, we only got a taste of Shadow’s gameplay as two levels aren’t exactly enough to give a proper verdict. From what we’ve tried though, this is a promising release, and not just because of gameplay.

Shadow’s previous appearances have gotten mixed reactions, though this time, it seems that Shadow’s edginess may appeal better to long-time fans and new fans alike.

During a quick roundtable interview with the developers, it was mentioned that Shadow to Sonic is kind of like Venom to Spider-Man in this game. Of course, it’ll be easy to make Shadow too edgy, but based on our hands-on, it seems that the developers are striking a good balance.

On another note, we didn’t really get to explore the Shadow Generations hub world, but it was shown to feature an open design that’s inspired by Sonic Frontiers. Thanks to this, this hub should be rewarding to come back to and explore as Shadow gains more abilities as the game progresses.

Again, our time with the game wasn’t that long, but what we played made us interested in trying the game out. From someone who’s not a huge Sonic fan, this has the potential of being a good entry point to the series, especially if Shadow’s campaign lives up to the promise. Plus, the Sonic Generations remaster part should already make this a package that will pique the interests of long-time fans.

Sonic X Shadow Generations will be released on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S. Xbox One, Switch, and PC via the Steam and Epic Games Store on October 25, 2024