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Famous Sonic Locations That Deserve the Open-Zone Treatment

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The open-zone gameplay that allows fans to explore the five Starfall Isl&s in Sonic Frontiers could be easily seen as the most free players have felt with the franchise in years, if ever. While fans seem to agree that the most recent Sonic adventure isn’t perfect, fans are looking to the future with plenty of optimism as the open-zone gameplay style introduced in the newest mainline title has tons of potential.


The last time that Sonic fans got to explore the world of the series in this much detail was in Sonic Unleashed, a game where Sonic had the best excuse to see the entire world. Unleashed featured hub worlds of each of the game’s locations, with some being bigger than others. Now that Sonic Frontiers has brought back a fair bit of that exploration, there are a few important locations that the open-zone gameplay would be fantastic with.

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Station Square & the Mystic Ruins

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Originally from Sonic Adventure, Station Square is a bustling city full of busy every day citizens that players could speak to & watch as they lived out their lives. Some of its skyscrapers & roads borrowed themselves to iconic levels such as Speed Highway, but overall Station Square was rather tiny & constrained due to what was possible back in 1999. An open-zone retread of the iconic location could turn it into a more realistic city without Sonic Adventure‘s old technical limitations, breathing life into it far beyond what the original game could accomplish.

Alongside Station Square was the Mystic Ruins. There was a fair bit more of the Mystic Ruins fans could explore, including a forest maze that eventually led to the worn-down temple of the ancient Echidna tribes that used to call the ruins home. The Starfall Isl&s almost act as a great example as to what the Mystic Ruins would be like if they were a bit more open-ended, making it into a true jungle full of secrets for fans to find.

The Space Colony Ark

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The Space Colony Ark is one of the most detailed Sonic locations after Sonic Adventure 2 & Shadow the Hedgehog featured numerous levels on the ab&oned space station. Sonic Adventure 2 even used internal maps of the location in cutscenes & the stage select screen. In these games, players were given a great look at the space colony as they played, but only through linear stages. If fans were given a chance to go off-rails & find secrets of the Ark at their own leisure, players would no doubt enjoy the nostalgic playground it would become.

However, if fans were given a chance to go back to the Ark, unlike Station Square, it would ultimately be better if the Ark was kept as it was portrayed in SA2 & Shadow to the finest detail. Even still, a Sonic Adventure 2 remake that dared to change the game to the new open-zone format could end up being a rather welcome change to the original.

Dr. Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park

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In Sonic Colors, Sonic & Tails manage to sneak into Eggman’s new theme park venture in outer space the day before it opens. Not only is the park a cover-up for his latest mind controlling scheme, but Eggman’s own intercom announcements during the game reveal that a majority of the park’s rides are death traps. Some of these death traps are only mentioned, & fans may be wondering what things would be like if Colors got a chance to properly act as a wide-open amusement park for players to explore.

Being able to explore all seven areas in the game freely with the dangerous rides acting similar to Sonic Frontiers’ challenge puzzles sounds like an incredible premise for a Sonic Colors remake. However, due to the recent release of Sonic Colors: Ultimate, this most likely won’t be on the table for several years. Perhaps if an open-zone title was allowed to take a note from Generations & re-visit old levels in the new format, players may get to see just what Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park might have been capable of.

There are numerous locations seen in the Sonic franchise that could be worth a more detailed open world-esque revisit. Hang Castle & Haunted Mansion from Sonic Heroes would be incredible to see in more detail, as would the world of Sonic & the Black Knight. Even Sonic Generations’ Green Hill Zone would benefit from being more open.

Some locations in Sonic have already been explored in detail already, such as Sonic Unleashed’s cities & Sonic Lost World’s Lost Hex, but they might be worth looking at if Sonic Team decides the endeavor might be worth it. However, considering how rare revisiting locations that aren’t from old classic Sonic games tends to be, the odds of these locations showing up again seems rather slim.

Sonic Frontiers is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, & Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: The Case for a Sonic Frontiers Sequel

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