What you can unlock in the Sonic Frontiers skill tree

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What you can unlock in the Sonic Frontiers skill tree

Sonic Frontiers seeks to advance the long-running franchise’s struggle in meaningful and unprecedented ways. Part of this process includes the introduction of a skill tree, the first of its kind within the franchise. Sonic has long had adventures that unlock new abilities, but by introducing a full skill tree to Frontiers, Sonic Team hopes to further enhance what is rumored to be the longest mainline game in franchise history.

“Combatting enemies is an important part of Sonic Frontiers,” said Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Team Creative Officer. “Starting with Sonic at full power would make combat easy and repetitive, so we made it so that the player gradually unlocks Sonic’s abilities through the skill tree. The player accumulates the points required to unlock abilities by defeating enemies and exploring the island, they can unlock more powerful abilities by playing longer.”

Sonic Frontiers

Early in my hands-on time with Frontiers, enemies spawn near me. I take down these simple baddies with ease, but skill pieces contaminate the ground after the barrage of homing attacks. I run over to pick them up and add a meter. That first encounter isn’t enough to give me my first skill point, but later fights will max out the meter and give me an upgrade point. Unfortunately, I have to progress further in the game before I can unlock anything.

After my first boss fight in the world against a ninja, a huge gate opens and I get access to a new area. After completing a basic platforming sequence, I open another door and an in-game message says I can now unlock Sonic’s Cyloop ability. This first upgrade leaves a blue trail behind Sonic when activated and creates different effects depending on the situation. Regardless of the application, it seems like you have to draw a complete circle for any of these effects to work. Drawing a circle in an empty space creates rings, while doing it around a series of torches, simultaneously extinguishing them and helping me solve a puzzle. The Cyloop can also be used in combat, either as an area attack when swung around multiple enemies to smash through the armor of tougher creatures, or even to smash away individual parts of bosses like the Tower.

Sonic Frontiers

Cyloop seems to be the foundational ability for Sonic in Frontiers, but it’s far from the only upgrade he can access through his skill tree. Once Cyloop is unlocked, Sonic can unlock 11 additional abilities as part of the main tree, as well as three additional abilities through main story progression. Story progression skills are behind question marks, but I’ve gotten a full view of the skill tree for players to work through as the adventure progresses.

The next level of unlocks includes Sonic Boom (a move that shoots projectile blades in the middle of a combo), Speed ​​Burst (increases your power when you have a max combo), and Air Tricks (the ability to point mid-air). to progress towards skill points ). Next you can open Wild Crash (a move where you run towards enemies in a zigzag pattern to attack them) and Stomp Attack. From there you can unlock several different abilities including Auto Combo, an ability where combat abilities activate automatically during combos (if you unlock this and don’t like the autopilot nature, you can toggle it on and off in the options menu). . There’s also Quick Cyloop (Sonic’s ability to auto-draw his cyloop circles), Homing Shot (an attack where Sonic fires a volley of energy balls at an enemy), Spin Slash (a move where Sonic shoots an enemy with a multi-hit surround spinning attack) and loop kick (a looping, rapidly accelerating kick in the air). The final unlock in the main skill tree is Recovery Smash, which allows you to instantly counterattack when knocked out by an attack and successfully complete certain prompts before hitting the ground.

These abilities are designed not only to give Sonic a sense of progression throughout his adventure, but also to diversify combat in a meaningful way to ward off monotony. However, part of the challenge Sonic Team faced was developing skills that feel like they belong in Sonic’s battle arsenal. “There are many games out there with their own unique combat systems, but for this title we wanted to focus on what a Sonic fighting style would be, what type of enemies there should be, what abilities Sonic would have to defeat them, and so on,” says director Morio Kishimoto. “We’re not making a Sonic game where combat and fighting is at the core of the fun; rather, we want to present a game that has fun combat that fits Sonic’s character – that is the basic idea.”

Sonic learns his new moves in the skill tree, but it’s not the only way to level up the Blue Blur. The mysterious Koco, small stone creatures that inhabit the islands, can also enhance certain elements of Sonic if you look for the special species. If you find a Hermit Koco in the open zone, you can trade seeds you’ve collected to boost Sonic’s strength or defense. In my playthrough, I charged up Power to give Sonic more powerful homing attacks and combos. Meanwhile, if you come across an Elder Koco, you can return the lost Koco you find on your travels to increase Sonic’s top speed or ring capacity. Similar to the Hermit Koco, I decided to bundle all of my upgrades in the Elder Koco into one bucket: speed. The increase in speed isn’t as noticeable as the increase in attack power, but every little bit helps when you’re exploring such a large, open area.

Sonic Frontiers

We won’t know until launch how powerful all of these new abilities and upgrades are, or what the hidden story progression abilities might be. But on the surface, it seems like Sonic Team is on the right track with their method of expanding their battle suite over the course of Sonic’s latest adventure. Sonic Frontiers launches this holiday season on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.


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