Sonic x Shadow Generations preview: the Ultimate Form of Generations

We got hands-on with Sonic x Shadow Generations at Summer Game Fest
Sonic x Shadow Generations
Sonic x Shadow Generations / Sega

You usually have to be deep in the weeds of the Sonic the Hedgehog lore to get all of the references, and that can be a dark place to inhabit. But you don’t need your own Sonic OC to understand why people love Shadow. As he often says, Shadow is “the Ultimate Life Form”. Created in a lab by Robotnik using the DNA from a tentacle cyclops called Black Doom. Shadow controls time with Chaos Control, skates on his hover shoes, and most notably, in the 2005 game Shadow the Hedgehog, carries an arsenal of guns. Shadow isn’t the character Sonic fans expected from the series. He’s dark, edgy; he’s the cooler Sonic.

Last year we had the chance to sit down with series producer Takashi Iizuka to talk about all things Sonic. Iizuka-san told GLHF that despite fans' love for Shadow, he would not appear in any ‘classic’ Sonic games. However, he did hint that Shadow would make a reappearance shortly, something we wrongly predicted would be as DLC for Sonic Frontiers. We now know that he was hinting at Sonic x Shadow Generations, a remaster of Sonic Generations with a whole new story for Shadow added in. Sonic Generations blends the line between classic and modern Sonic games, so I guess Iizuka-san didn’t mind the Ultimate Life Form making an appearance.

Sonic x Shadow Generations screenshot
Sonic x Shadow Generations / Sega

At Summer Game Fest 2024 we had the chance to play two levels from both Shadow Generations and Sonic Generations in a 30-minute preview session. The two games are completely separate from each other, as you close out one to access the other, but you can do this at any time. Sonic Generations is very similar to the original with a brand new coat of sparkly graphics, but we all know what we were there for. Shadow’s levels were a boss fight against Biolizard, and a modern freerunning level. While we didn’t see any classic 2D side-scrolling levels for Shadow, Sega told us that these will be in the game.

Shadow’s freerunning level was everything we wanted. Shadow is extremely extra, with flair to each of his movements, and unlike the almost silent Sonic, he is often spouting quips reminding us of his Ultimate Life Form status. Black Doom made an appearance, and while we didn’t really take it down, we managed to outsmart its deeds for the time being. Shadow requires more attention than Sonic’s levels. Shadow can use Chaos Control to slow down the action and dodge projectiles. It can also be used to access alternate routes that have more rings or faster shortcuts.

Sonic x Shadow Generations screenshot
Sonic x Shadow Generations / Sega

The freerunning level got me excited. This level clearly lived up to the Shadow hype, and the controls felt fast, fluid, and responsive. However, this contrasted with the boss fight against Biolizard, but this was to be expected given the modern series’ history with these battles. It’s a lot of waiting for the boss to be vulnerable before you have a short window with which to attack. Near the end of the fight Shadow could collect rings to fire off at Biolizard in the form of Chaos Spears. It’s not an assault rifle, but it’s likely the closest we’ll ever get to that joy again.

We didn’t get a look at the hub world, but Sega announced that it would be an open world like Sonic Frontiers rather than the side-scrolling hub from the original Sonic Generations. Sonic Generations hub world didn’t really need a rework, but it was definitely fun to speed through Frontiers’ open world. This was just a sneak peek at what Shadow Generations has to offer, but if the level of high-energy camp continues throughout Sonic could be back on top.


Published
Georgina Young

GEORGINA YOUNG

Georgina Young is a Gaming Writer for GLHF. They have been writing about video games for around 10 years and are seen as one of the leading experts on the PlayStation Vita. They are also a part of the Pokémon community, involved in speedrunning, challenge runs, and the competitive scene. Aside from English, they also speak and translate from Japanese, German and French. Their favorite games are Pokémon Heart Gold, Majora’s Mask, Shovel Knight, Virtue’s Last Reward and Streets of Rage. They often write about 2D platformers, JRPGs, visual novels, and Otome. In writing about the PlayStation Vita, they have contributed articles to books about the console including Vita Means Life, and A Handheld History. They have also written for the online publications IGN, TechRadar, Space.com, GamesRadar+, NME, Rock Paper Shotgun, GAMINGbible, Pocket Tactics, Metro, news.com.au and Gayming Magazine. They have written in print for Switch Player Magazine, and PLAY Magazine. Previously a News Writer at GamesRadar, NME and GAMINGbible, they currently write on behalf of GLHF for The Sun, USA Today FTW, and Sports Illustrated. You can find their previous work by visiting Georgina Young’s MuckRack profile. Email: georgina.young@glhf.gg