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How Did Sonic Frontiers Become My Most Anticipated Game Of 2022?

There are a lot of games coming out between now and the end of the year. A colossal, insurmountable amount, although if you want to attempt it our Features Editor Eric Switzer has put together a list of the 20 biggest games still to launch this year, as well as how much time you'll need to set aside for them. The short answer? Way too long. Games are too big and there are too many of them. After drifting along for most of the year, 2022's gaming calendar is about to burst into life. So why is Sonic Frontiers my most anticipated game?

Look, I promise this isn't a bit. I'm as surprised as you are. I don't care for Sonic all that much, neither of the movies did it for me, and the last time I really enjoyed a Sonic game was probably Adventure. Mania was decent, of course, but like I say, I don't care for Sonic, so a love letter to classic Sonic isn't exactly a GOTY contender for me. But a strange mix of hype, criticism, and other games fumbling has made Sonic shoot to the top of my list.

From the very first time we saw Sonic Frontiers, I have been a Blue Blur Believer. Even when it was empty and sluggish and not what people wanted despite demanding exactly that, I have defended it. I like the idea of just running around wherever, occasionally doing things but sometimes just running. Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer is in my all-time top five, so a platformer where you just run and then do stuff is ideal. As we've seen more from the game, more and more people have gotten on board, but I've been here since jump. Or rather, sprint.

Three different editors from TheGamer have had a hands on with Sonic at three different events too, all with varying levels of love for Sonic and the platform genre, all ending up positive on it. It's not going to move the needle of what gaming can do like Red Dead Redemption 2, but it'll be a good time. Frankly, games that have been a good time with no strings attached have been disappointingly few and far between in 2022, so sign me up for Sonic.

Even the criticisms haven't put me off. Those who have mocked the open world's banality have compared it to Dragon Age's wild fields – Dragon Age 2 sits alongside Spyro 2 in my all-time list. Even the bad things about Sonic seem made for me. Somehow, Sonic has made it through the rain. An impressive feat, given that water is his weakness. It could still fumble it all right at the end when I actually play the thing, but for now, I'm Team Sonic.

Sure, there are obvious competitors. God of War Ragnarok is the big one, and sure, it'll outsell it. More people will like it. I enjoyed the first game (well, the 2018 game, you know what I mean) enough, but I'm just not hyped for the new one. It'll be fine, I'll have a decent time with it, and it'll get 10/10s across the board – everybody wins. It's probably going to be good, but not good enough for me to care about it until it's in my hands.

Superhero games are my jam too, but both big entries in the genre run the risk of being major disappointments. Marvel's Midnight Suns has a 60-hour runtime, and that will only let you upgrade around three of the roster. Too long, no thanks. Gotham Knights, meanwhile, ignores the lessons the Arkham series taught the genre and instead is borrowing more from Marvel's Avengers' with its RPG-lite gear upgrades. Literally nobody wants that. The others I have my eye on are Bayonetta 3, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, and High on Life – three games that, again, could go badly wrong as they experiment with new ideas, rely on old ones, or are just plain annoying.

Even though Sonic is my most anticipated, I'm going into it with low expectations, so the disappointment doesn't matter. Conversely, because I'm expecting the other games to be good, I find myself unable to get excited for them out of a fear that they may let me down. That all works out to Sonic winning by default, which seems strangely fitting.

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