Sonic x Shadow Generations Hands-On Preview

In a nutshell:

  • At Summer Game Fest, we had the opportunity to play Sonic x Shadow Generations.
  • The preview build we played featured four levels, with two Sonic levels and two Shadow levels.
  • Out of the two, Shadow’s levels stand out as he has more mechanics and exciting boss battles.

Announced early this year, Sonic x Shadow Generations finally receives a release date of October 2024 and over at Summer Game Fest, we had the opportunity to try out 30 minutes of the game and get a peek of what we can expect at the time of launch.

Sonic x Shadow Generations Apart

The first level of Green Hill Zone is the standard remaster of the classic level we all know and love from the Sonic games. It works similarly to all the classic games: collect enough rings, and the objective is to reach the end of the level. Along the way, you have obstacles and enemies to overcome. The R2 button allows you to spin dash and break through most obstacles.

The second level of Green Hill Zone switches between the classic side-scroller and the 3D perspective that gives Sonic x Shadow Generations its unique perspective. Unlike the first Green Hill Zone, which maintains its whole side-scroller perspective, switching between two perspectives gives a bit of a challenge instead of just running through the level and completing it, providing a good change of pace.

Sonic x Shadow Generations Sonic

While Sonic is used to getting the spotlight most times, Shadow’s levels provide more mechanics, as we’ll see later that his levels are a little longer and he can wield chaos energy.

2024 Is Shadow’s Year

Shadow’s levels are definitely the standout of our 30-minute Sonic x Shadow Generations experience. Fundamentally, his levels still work like Sonic’s where you still collect rings and complete the level by reaching the goal, but the challenge goes up a notch as he has more mechanics that allow for more gameplay options.

Sonic x Shadow Generations Shadow

Shadow’s levels occur more at night, and they’re much darker compared to Sonic’s bright Green Hill Zone. His story also seems to have a little bit more of an edge, as he is being chased by a starfish-like cosmic horror.

There are more 3D perspectives compared to Sonic’s levels, where you can lose a bit of momentum as the shifts occur quite often. It reminds me of the Casino level in Sonic 2, where there are many switches that you can jump on and get launched into different areas of the stage, which was pretty cool.

Sonic x Shadow Generations Traversal

Shadow can also wield Chaos Energy here in Sonic x Shadow Generations, which freezes time, giving you some advantage, especially in areas where there are too many obstacles and enemies.

You’ll see more of this mechanic when it’s time to fight the boss in the second level of Shadow. Just like in the first level, launching yourself into the boss will allow you to deal enough damage to the enemy with Shadow’s version of spin dash.

Sonic x Shadow Generations Boss

As you’re about to defeat the enemy, you’re able to wield the Chaos Spear, which allows you to deflect the enemy projectiles as they come at you with a barrage of energy bursts. Once you activate the Chaos Energy when the boss launches a massive attack, this leaves them open to a spin dash attack, thus defeating the boss.

Shadow is definitely the star of this demo, and his gameplay is much more action-packed and exciting than Sonic, but both hedgehogs definitely have their work cut out for them!

Sonic x Shadow Generations launches on October 25, 2024 on the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Our Summer Game Fest 2024 coverage is powered by Lenovo Philippines and Lenovo Legion.

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