Sonic’s Fan Made Salvation with
“Sonic Utopia Free Download”
I came into the world in 1991, the same year as the Blue Blur. I don’t want to insinuate that our lives have taken a parallel course, but the way he interweaves his presence is uncanny.
There are videos of a two year old me, in stripped blue pajamas, dancing around my baby brother with “The Fastest Thing Alive,” the theme song from Sonic SatAM, playing in the background.
This is the same year Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic’s brother from another species, was added to the Sonic Universe. During my awkward early teens, “Sonic ‘06” came out and crumbled the franchise under the weight of its inadequacy.
Since then Sonic and I have been stumbling through our early adulthoods unable to produce anything the public wants. Some fans felt it would be best for our hero to go back to his roots aesthetically, but with an open 3D world to explore.
“Sonic Utopia” is the grassroots salvation of the Sonic series.
Return to the Mobius of our Childhood
For those acquainted with the series canon, you can imagine Sonic Utopia as a remake of Sonic 3D Blast with the graphics of The Sonic Adventure series.
Only that may be misleading because everything in Utopia has been made from scratch; from the music to the gameplay engine.
Sonic Generations made clear that the varied depictions of sonic are due to his age and in Utopia the player controls the shorthaired young Sonic.
The player can explore the classic Green Hill Zone without the restriction of linear gameplay.
Even though the game breaks from the side-scrolling that is synonymous with early Sonic titles, it doesn’t lose any of the fluidity and ease in it’s transition to a 3D world.
Racing up walls and loops is as satisfying as any of your favorite versions of the Speed Demon.
The one level we have access to at this point in development is expansive and engaging.
There is no plot or story as of yet, so the player’s only purpose is to explore and rescue the little critters of the forest from Dr. Eggman’s robots.
The only issue I have with this indie fan-fiction of a game is the camera. Initially I was impressed with the way it follows our hero over the angled hills and inclines but it’s hard to maintain a working perspective when running around corkscrews or when you’re up against walls.
However, this seems like an easy fix for a team that has pulled Sonic’s name out of the mud.
I would have never expected a fan made game to so succinctly capture the essence of a major franchise, but Sonic Utopia captures the best aspects of the series, from a simpler time in its lineage, and reinvigorates it with modern vicissitudes that feel organic.
Taking the power of invention from the exploitative industrial companies and returning it to the people is a major motivation of the Sonic freedom fighters so it’s fitting that a scrappy band of programmers are the ones saving the franchise from the outside.
Since our favorite hedgehog has always benefitted from the help of his friends, the Sonic Team may just want to hire the minds behind Sonic Utopia Download.
Try out the demo for yourself by following the link at the bottom of this page.