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July 15 2008
Sonic Unleashed - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
12/12/2008SegaSegaSonic Team
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Sonic's battle continues in near darkness!
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The game isn't all side-on.

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Sonic running up a giant dragon!?
Ahhh Sonic... While brilliant during the 16-bit era your magic has only been seen in short glimpses in recent years with only a few bright moments among a series of terrible releases, not least of which was Sonic the Hedgehog at the PS3's launch. Yet again though there is a glimmer of hope. A new series. A new direction. This November we will see if Sonic Team have finally given us a proper, entertaining 3D version of one of gamings biggest mascots. Prepare for Sonic Unleashed...

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Sonic with a 4-hit combo.
Sonic Unleashed is comprised of nine levels, each one of which is based on a real-world location. The opening level is set in a Greece-inspired world with large white buidlings, another is based on the deserts of Africa, another in China and andother in New York. Gameplay will remain largely 2D in a 3D rendered world, although at times the camera will pan behind Sonic depending on the situation. One new feature is the Speed Drift which allows Sonic to slide around corners at speed. Another new feature is the ability to Quick Step - basically a side step to the left or right to quickly avoid obsticles.

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Background visuals are fantastic.
One thing you may have noticed from these screenshots is the Ring Energy meter on the bottom left. This is filled by collecting rings and can be used to start a Sonic Boost which improves sonic abilities. To be honest we haven't seen this in action yet so can't really comment on what effect it will have (obviously we suspect a boost in speed, but rumour spoint to invincibility as well?)

Sega have confirmed that this will be a single player experience. There won't be any multi-player online or offline. We can confirm to that Tropies will be supported in the game - something which is mandatory from 2009, but will be included in this 2008 release.

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Sonic Unleashed certainly looks nice.
Sonic Unleashed will be running on Sega's own "Hedgehog Engine" with the game set to run at a solid 30fps. Interestingly development on the PS3 and XBox 360 versions is being handled by two seperate teams within Sonic Team while the PS2 and Wii versions are, in part at least, being handled by another company, Dimps.

With a release currently scheduled for December 12 2008 and at a slightly cheaper price of $AU79.95, Sega will be hoping that this game finally gets the critical and commercial success which so many people want to see. Time will tell if they have succeeded.