We think it’s fair to say that the huge cloud of dust that followed the release of Sonic Frontiers has finally settled. Recording mixed reviews across the board, one issue that seemed to divide us all was the game’s focus on the “open zone” concept. . However, it seems that these zones were originally intended to be much more, well, open.
A fan has been digging through the Switch game files and has discovered original beta islands that seem to match the layout that would later be used in the smaller Frontiers zones. Posting their discoveries on the YouTube channel ĐeäThthis tour of the original Sonic island features a much more open world than what we ended up getting.
The larger island appears to combine the finished product’s Kronos, Rhea, and Ouranos islands into one larger area with free travel available between the three. Although some of the objects haven’t loaded in this particular example, the video captures the scope of what it once was: a Sonic game that’s much more focused on open-world exploration rather than island-hopping. .
You can see the complete tour of the island in the following video:
It’s worth noting that while the beta island was originally found in the Switch game files, the video above sees it ported to a PC and thus running at a higher frame rate and resolution.
Whether this sense of freedom would have been enough to change many people’s perspectives on the Switch version of the game is an answer we’ll never know. What is clear, though, is that the potential exists for a much larger open-world Sonic title and perhaps we’ll see more of this with whatever SEGA is cooking up for the next blue blur.