Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II gets a new engine. A first trailer unveils the revamped game.
New graphics engine coming
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I turned out to be a rather mixed affair, with the majority of critics complaining about the lack of consistency in the way Sonic moved and acted. Specifically, the lack of momentum, and the ability to ‘uncurl.’ Regarding the physics engine, among other improvements, Sonic 4 Brand Manager Ken Balough has talked for the first time about the coming changes
In an interview with Gamespot.com, who reviewed Episode I, describing Sonic as ‘deserving better,’ Balough states that the development team have “listened” to fans’ requests. In particular he describes uncurling as not existing in Episode II, and Sonic does not stick to walls. Balough also says that Episode II will feature a “brand new” graphics engine, to go alongside earlier comments that level design will introduces “new zones” with elements that have not been seen. Whether the new graphics engine is the Retro Engine featured in last year’s rerelease of Sonic CD has been unconfirmed, though its developer – Christian Whitehead – dampened expectations recently on Twitter by saying that he is “not working on Sonic 4… yet.”
During the Gamespot interview, the debut trailer for Episode II was also revealed. In it, hints towards arch rival Metal Sonic – as teased at the end of Episode I – along with Tails featured. Whether Tails is a playable character as in the Sonic CD rerelease, or follows Sonic like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, is unconfirmed.
Still a work in progress
Following the callbacks towards Sonic 2, the first official look at the logo for Episode II – showing Tails and Sonic – was revealed. The logo, and possible game footage, had originally been teased to appear during the Consumer Electronics Show this week. It had been suggested through the official SEGA forums that the game would be shown during NVIDIA’s press conference on the first day of the trade show in Las Vegas, on Monday: Ken Balough had suggested that the conference may have been worth “checking out.” However, posts by SEGA’s community team after the conference, on the official SEGA forums, mentioned that there had been a “last minute switch up” during the conference and apologised.
A delay for Wii fans
Apart from the trailer confirming that the title will not release on the Wii this time around, possibly due to a bigger budget – a result from the first episode selling “clearly over” a million units – increasing the file size beyond the limits of WiiWare, no information on a specific release date has been announced apart from a release in “2012.” Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II will be releasing on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, along with Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 devices.