Sega Unleashes Sonic Unleashed

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Sonic has been struggling mightily since his prime 2D years, but he’s Sega’s baby and they sure aren’t going to let him continue to flounder without a fight. Following the thoroughly disappointing “next-gen” Sonic debut, Sega’s next attempt to “reinvent” the franchise will be Sonic Unleashed, which is coming out this holiday season for PS3, PS2, Xbox 360 and Wii. Powered by the three-years-in-the-making “Hedgehog Engine,” Sonic Unleashed certainly looks gorgeous, as you can see in the above screenshot and underneath trailer. As always, Sega is promising exciting new features and major improvements — read the full press release after the break for all the specifics — and they all sure sound great on paper, but the test will be how well it’s all executed. The Sonic Rush titles and Sonic and the Secret Rings have been solid recent efforts, so hopefully Unleashed will continue the slightly upward trend.

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SEGA ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF SONIC UNLEASHED

Latest Installment to Extend Sonic’s Signature Style… but with a Twist!

SAN FRANCISCO (April 3, 2008) – SEGA® of America and SEGA of Europe, Ltd. today announced that everyone’s favorite hedgehog is once again breaking new ground in the upcoming title, Sonic Unleashed™. The latest installment in the multi-million selling franchise starring the beloved blue hedgehog will take players on an unforgettable high-speed journey around the globe in a way never before experienced in the world of Sonic. Fans will be treated to an array of new, exciting and unique next generation features to heighten their experience. Sonic Unleashed is currently under development for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Wii™ home video game system from Nintendo and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

“It is an exciting time for the Sonic franchise as we look to reinvent our hero while staying true to the spirit of what made him an industry icon,” said Sean Ratcliffe, Vice President of Marketing at SEGA of America. “Sonic Unleashed will introduce a new, unexpected storyline along with innovative gameplay that compliments traditional skills and features, allowing players to experiment and engage in new ways.”

Having been broken apart by the evil Dr. Eggman, it’s up to Sonic to put the pieces of the world back together again by retrieving the power of the chaos emeralds! In doing so, Sonic will find himself in a race against time and faced with an unusual situation that will challenge him in ways never before seen. Both day and night play different, yet important, roles in Sonic’s newest quest… as the sun sets, a new adventure awakens. By completing a wide variety of action-packed stages, spanning the seven broken continents of the world, gamers will need to unleash Sonic’s amazing abilities to save the world, and himself!

Players will have an opportunity to engage in ways never before done with the Sonic franchise, so in addition to running at high speeds, which will be highlighted in four new speed mechanics, combat fighting now becomes possible. New combat, movement, functional abilities and platforming will be introduced to offer increased depth and variety.

Sonic Unleashed will offer a re-defined experience for fans and newcomers of the franchise alike by combing picturesque & detailed scenery, an expansive world with multiple paths to choose from and dynamic viewpoints for an immersive and renewed gaming atmosphere. Along with seamless 3D to classic 2D camera transitions, the game is built on a powerful, new proprietary “Hedgehog Engine,” which introduces impressive lighting abilities and new technology tailor made for Sonic’s new speed capabilities. Under development for approximately three years, the Hedgehog Engine will help to produce a visually rich next generation look and feel with elements of classic Sonic gameplay components.

Currently in development by Sonic Team, Sonic Unleashed is scheduled for release worldwide for holiday 2008. For more information on the game, please visit www.sega.com/sonicunleashed.

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