Gaming

Sonic The Hedgehog 2022 is open world game called Sonic Rangers claims rumour


Sonic Rangers sounds like a name for an open world game (pic: Sega)

Sega’s teaser for the next Sonic The Hedgehog game has left a lot of questions, but they may already have been answered back in January.

Yesterday, Sega’s virtual Sonic Central event finally gave fans a proper glimpse at the next major Sonic The Hedgehog game. The only problem was that it was a brief pre-rendered teaser that offered no concrete details except for a 2022 release date, release platforms, and that Sonic is in it.

Naturally, this has left fans wanting more and, thanks to some datamining efforts, the game’s actual title may have already been discovered. Game modder PTKickass was able to analyse the 4K version of the teaser and, in its files, there are multiple references to something called Sonic Rangers.

It’s possible that this is a codename for the game, and it has changed during production. But, according to GameRevolution, a Sega press release sent out after Sonic Central also mentioned a Sonic Rangers, which was described as a new console experience alongside the Sonic Colours Ultimate remaster.

GameRevolution contacted the PR firm which sent the press release and they said that it’s either incorrect or Sonic Rangers is an old name for one of the other projects. Sega itself has yet to comment.

Fans are also speculating on the validity of an old 4chan leak from January about the game, which has been reposted on ResetEra. Being from 4chan is not a good sign but it also used the name Sonic Rangers, which seems to suggest that it is actually accurate.

According to the user, who claimed to have been focus testing the game, Sonic Rangers is a fully open world game, one which they have compared to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Ubisoft’s open world titles.

The world is described as being populated with puzzles and platforming challenges, as well as small enemies and bosses to fight. Defeating the bosses rewards you with orbs and by collecting enough of them Sonic can enter cyberspace, which has levels that are more akin to Sonic Unleased and Sonic Generations.

This is presumably a reference to the 2D/3D hybrid boost formula where the aim is to simply reach the goal ring at the end as quickly as possible. Completing these cyberspace levels fast enough is how you acquire Chaos Emeralds and collecting all seven is what lets you face the final boss.

The strange holographic-like effects used in the teaser certainly suggest some sort of computer world, so again there’s every sign the rumour is accurate.

The leak also mentions a new spin cycle attack, where Sonic runs a circle around enemies before automatically attacking them. In the teaser trailer, one of the main focuses is on Sonic performing such a move, making a big blue circle as he runs through the forest.

Could that be the word zap? (pic: Sega)

The similarities between the leak and the trailer certainly appear to be more than coincidences. What’s more, a second 4chan leak was uploaded right around the time Sonic Central began and its information was near exactly the same as the first one. Although there’s nothing to say it was the same user pretending to be two different people.

It might also only be a codename, as some fans have speculated that the title is actually Sonic Zap, given that the mysterious runic logo near the end looks like it resembles the word. This may also make sense if Sonic is zapping into cyberspace. Tyson Hesse, an artists for the series, even put out a tweet containing a GIF of Bart Simpson saying ‘zap,’ which has only further fuelled this theory.

For the time being, these leaks are really all fans have to go on, although it is E3 in a couple of weeks time and Sega implied that the Sonic Central livestream would be an ongoing series.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2022 will release in 2022 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.

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