The leaked title for the upcoming Sonic Rangers has given credibility to earlier leaks claiming it is an open world Breath of the Wild style game.
We previously reported on the new Sonic the Hedgehog game for 2022; teased during the Sonic Central livestream, and as part of the series’ 30th anniversary. While little was shown, we speculated wildly about the logo that was revealed. In less than 24 hours however, the answer was unceremoniously discovered.
Eurogamer reports that the press release they received mentioned “Announcing new console experiences, Sonic Colors: Ultimate and Sonic Rangers, further details on Netflix’s Sonic Prime, mobile news, musical events and much more!” This was seemingly done in error, as the online press release (and our own via email) did not contain mention of Sonic Rangers.
Sega later told Eurogramer (in the latter’s own words) “the original press release we received is an older version that was shared incorrectly, but there’s no further information on Sonic Rangers right now.”
A Reddit post on r/GamingLeaksAndRumours finds further evidence (gathered from Twitter). A leaked 4K version of the trailer allegedly contained data referencing Sonic Rangers, along a reference to “glitch-” no doubt a reference to the pixelated and digital effect left behind Sonic as he ran in the trailer. Again, our own press pack omitted this mention, with the trailer entitled “Sonic Team Teaser.”
Twitter users also highlighted two leaks on 4Chan; dated January 6th and mere moments prior to the beginning of the livestream; given new credibility thanks to the above information. The January post begins with the Sonic Rangers title; and that it will be an open world adventure game “which takes heavy inspiration from Breath of the Wild.”
The leaker claims they played two demos; one with 20 minutes of exploring, and another against a boss (possibly even the final boss). The open world is populated with small enemies, puzzles, and platforming challenges; and overcoming these grant you EXP to use in a skill tree.
This skill tree includes abilities such as “spincycle.” When holding down the appropriate button (in the leaker’s case, Y), Sonic begins to trace a line behind him, and if this draws a circle it will attack all enemies within. The second leaker claims this would be Sonic’s “signature move,” and was shown in the trailer. The lock on homing attack also returns.
Bosses are spread across the world, and beating them grants the player orbs. Enough of these orbs will let you enter a portal into cyberspace. The levels here are “Generations-style and the music goes HARD.” Beating these levels quickly grants Chaos Emeralds; suggesting they are akin to the special stages of past Sonic games.
The leaker also noted that Roger Craig Smith was voicing Sonic; with the post coming prior to him announcing he would no longer be voicing Sonic. Even if this was a placeholder, Craig Smith later announced he would be returning as the blue blur.
Comparisons to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continue. The leaker claims after gathering all the Chaos Emeralds, they could cut through thick fog in the overworld; letting them fight a “gigantic tree robot.”
They flew around as Super Sonic utilizing spincycle, other abilities, and “mainly mashing buttons.” The mechanic of a draining Ring total also returned, with a “ghost girl” refilling their total multiple times. This girl could be akin to Chip from Sonic Unleashed; a new friend Sonic makes that is involved with the plot.
Rather worryingly, the leaker describes exploration and combat as “super boring, very button mashy but whatever.” They also admitted that the game was early in development but nonetheless rough.
The May 27th 4chan post further testifies to open world gameplay with enemies and puzzles throughout, orbs and portals, EXP and skill trees, and the story revolving around a “human (?) ghost girl.” It is also worth noting the poster could have been imitating what they had read before.
The leaked claims the game will use “Ubisoft towers;” a mechanic in open-world Ubisoft and Assassin Creed games where players climb to the top of a tall building to add nearby points of interest to the player’s map.
These towers will also unlock more parts of the open world. The game will also have “annoying ass korok ripoffs.” The giant circle Sonic runs in the trailer is also the spincycle ability in action, his “signature move.”
While the second leaker also claimed the game had button mashing combat (along with easy boss battles), they also praised the cyberspace levels as the best part of the game. They compared them to “unleashed style levels” where players beat enemies akin to those from that game.
This likely references the Dark Gaia minions; who had dark bodies with neon-colored details. This would be an ideal fit for the stereotype of “cyberspace;” akin to Tron. The repeated reference to Unleashed style levels may mean combat more akin to that of the Werehog night stages.
The leaker concludes with “music in unleashed levels slapped, but open world graphics/music was underwhelming, we played on pretty good PCs.”
The game’s title of Sonic Rangers also brings up a notion of the plot. As Dr. Eggman has frequently shown disregard for nature (and the final boss having a tree motif) it could be that he is attempting to utilize a kind of “world tree” and the local rural area for his own malicious ends.
Sonic would be saving the area and this tree- much like a park or forest ranger- while this ghost girl has been disturbed by Eggman’s plans. The cyberspace element would still be unexplained however.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Sonic Rangers launches 2022 for Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.