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games / Columns

E3 2018: Team Sonic Racing Gameplay Preview

June 29, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Team Sonic Racing

SEGA recently unveiled the next installment of the Sonic the Hedgehog gaming franchise, Team Sonic Racing. During this year’s E3, 411mania was able to get some hands-on time with the new racing title. Team Sonic Racing is a new fast-paced competitive racing style game that has a new team gameplay twist.

Like the title says, this is a team racing game. Players get their main racer and two teammates per race. Basically, this is very reminiscent of cart racers, and it looks like something Mario Kart fans will really enjoy. Players can ride behind their teammates to get a boost, and they can also switch power-ups between them to take out, block or slow down other racers.

Many of the Sonic cast you are familiar with are playable here. The demo included playable versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Knuckles, Rouge the Bat, Shadow the Hedgehog and some various robots. Gamers can play on their own or online with up to 12 drivers in single and multiplayer game modes, such as Grand Prix, Time Trial, Team Adventure and more. The E3 demo build featured a three-lap race. The final game is set to include 15 playable characters and three distinct character types, such as Speed, Technique, and Power.

The gameplay is highly reminiscent of the Mario Kart series, but with more of a Sonic twist. Players can collect rings across the race course. The offensive and defensive power-ups players can pick up across the track are called Wisps. There are 14 in total. the driving mechanics and controls were actually pretty good for a racing game. They didn’t seem to require a huge learning curve. However, AI for the other racers is pretty competent. After a certain amount of time, players can unleash a Team Ultimate.

Per SEGA, the game will have local co-op and four-player split screen. The demo didn’t showcase it, but there’s also going to be a vehicle performance and skin customization system. Additionally, there’s supposed to be a unique story experience for the game called Adventure Mode. A story mode for a racing game is sort of unique, but maybe it will make sense since it’s the Sonic Universe.

Overall, Team Sonic Racing was a fun and amusing demo experience for E3. Team Sonic Racing is set for a physical and digital release later this winter. The game is being developed for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch. The game will be available as a digital-only release on Windows PC.