Sonic Team producer talks Sonic Unleashed

It’s been no big secret that most of the modern Sonic games, especially the 3D ones have kind of put a damper on the legacy of SEGA’s mascot. It’s only good to learn then that Sonic Team producer Yoshihisa Hashimoto has went on the record to say that they’re trying to wipe-up the floor with every game that has ever been released in the series with Sonic Unleashed, including the Genesis titles.

In a recent chat with Play magazine, Hashimoto said he feels like this will be the game that fans of the speedy hedgehog have been waiting for: “Sonic will be reborn in the state he always should have existed in with a new control scheme, fresh new gameplay elements, all while simultaneously returning to Sonic’s roots.”

Sonic Team hopes to live up to Yoshihisa’s statement by giving Sonic Unleashed both the traditional 3D gameplay as well as side-scrolling in 3D environments. Transitions between the two are said to happen seamlessly.

Not all levels will focus on speed — there will be slower levels with a heavy emphasis on precision platforming, and there will be town-like hub areas which will require Sonic to speak to NPCs in order to progress the storyline. If that sounds like it could be a drag, then Hashimoto has you covered: “..we are not losing sight of the fact that this is an action game and the towns should not interfere with the tempo of the game, but rather add color and background to Sonic’s adventures.”

Sonic will also sport some new moves in Unleashed which can be found throughout various stages of the game, and in keeping up with the concept of not slowing down the action, cut scenes will use in-game and cinematic sequences.

While the PS3/360 versions are going to use a new engine that has been in development for the past 3 years, the Wii version will attempt to “replicate” the graphics of its next-gen brethren as closely as possible.

Sonic Unleashed will be available for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Anything even resembling a release date has not been given, but keep it locked here for more details as they’re made available.

[See also: Sonic Unleashed gallery]