As previously reported, a new Sonic the Hedgehog game was teased for 2022, with only a brief shot of Sonic running and a cryptic logo shown. An early iteration of that press release mentioned “Sonic Rangers“ along with data from a leaked version of the trailer. Sega stated at the time the the older press release was shared in error, and there was no further information on Sonic Rangers.
This in turn re-contextualized claims made on 4Chan; one many months prior, and the other mere moments before the teaser trailer’s reveal. The anonymous leakers (allegedly having played a demo) claimed Sonic Rangers was an open world game akin to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It also features a skill tree, platforming and puzzle challenges, and gathering Chaos Emeralds to open up more parts of the map.
Now, Renka Schedule discovered the trademark of Sonic Frontiers via Chizai Watch, a website dedicated to monitoring new trademarks in Japan. It should be noted this may also be the game’s Japanese name. For example Sonic Unleashed was known as Sonic World Adventure in Japan.
This is also combined with an alleged 4Chan post from October 17th (as discovered on Reddit and reported by VGC), claiming the game’s name had been changed to Frontiers. Once again, the open world Breath of the Wild comparisons were made, along with comparisons to Sonic Generations.
The subReddit also shared other 4Chan posts– one predating other leaks. It should be noted the anonymous post made after the original leak proved true could be lying or speculating based off that information. Not to mention the screenshots could have been edited.
Even so, what is proposed is not radical when the initial leaks are considered. The first post (dated May 11th- before the official reveal but after the January 6th post) claims game stages are long, with the second having a more scary tone (night time rain and thunder). Sonic enters some form of “combat mode” when he looks at foes.
The “ghost girl” from prior leaks is supposedly from cyberspace (an area Sonic enters at times), and it can help Sonic with emergency rings, combat, and grant an “absurd” boost of speed. It even cries when Sonic is defeated.
The open world is divided into seven areas (or worlds), and players can freely explore. They can also find colored rings (fluctuating through a spectrum akin to Hyper Sonic) that can be exchanged for cosmetics and special abilities. Speaking of Hyper Sonic, the game’s plot revolves around the Super Emeralds, last seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.
While in that game they were a powered-up version of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic Frontiers will supposedly feature a villain trying to obtain them; all while Sonic mistakenly gathers the Chaos Emeralds. Concept art also suggested Hyper Sonic would be in the game. Gaining each of the Chaos Emeralds also grants an elemental power; red granting fire and so forth.
At that stage of development (again, pre-dating even a teaser reveal), the game had issues with frame-rate drops in the cyberspace area, and wide open areas with nothing to do. However, many stages were incomplete, as expected for a work in progress. The game was also being played on Xbox One, while the official teaser stated the game was for Xbox Series X|S among others.
The poster also claims there is somewhat of a romantic mood between Sonic and the ghost girl, and that the girl is even “very sexualized and attractive.” The second post (dated November 6th) claims the Ghost Girl knows more than she lets on, but is keeping it a secret and is not revealing why she is so invested in not seeing Sonic hurt.
While she is to embarrassed to reveal how she feels, she wants to be freed from cyberspace and that the villain (who can turn invisible) can turn her into a real female hedgehog; rather than a human or humanoid as a ghost. After the infamous kiss scene in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), we have to wonder if these elements will remain, or if it is genuine at all.
Sonic Rangers launches 2022 for Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.