2017 is set to be a huge year for the Sonic franchise, with the release of two games that have been gaining a lot of expectation. While Sonic Mania is all set to entertain those after a retro Sonic fix, Sonic Forces is what Sega is banking on as another big budget Sonic entry. Now, Sega has confirmed that Sonic Forces is going to offer up a series first – the ability to create a custom-made protagonist.

This player-made character will act as the third playable option in Sonic Forces, alongside Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic. Dubbed the ‘Hero Character’ creation feature, the player-made protagonist can be based off one of seven templates, and can be personalised with various accessories, which will be unlocked over the course of playing the game.

These seven templates are each a different animal, and each template will have its own unique features to offer up a slightly different gameplay experience. For instance, bear characters can take on enemies with a homing attack, while rabbits have a longer period of invincibility after being hit. Meanwhile, dog characters will restart with five rings after the player dies. More information is available in the trailer below.

Apparently, the Hero Character will prove to be an integral part of the Sonic Forces plot, but will thankfully have plenty of tricks at their disposal. For starters, the player-created protagonist will be able to use a grappling hook to make their way around stages, but alongside this there will also be the option to use gadgets known as Wispons, which work in a similar way to the Colors Powers from Sonic Colors.

So far, fans of the Sonic series after more information on Sonic Forces have been given a few solid trailers from Sega. When the name of the game was announced, having previously been known as Project Sonic 2017, Sega did so alongside a first look at Modern Sonic’s gameplay. Recently, this has also been followed up by showing off a trailer of Classic Sonic’s Green Hill Zone.

So far, the Sonic fanbase has been cautiously optimistic about the new game, although it’s fair to say that there’s still a little bit of hesitancy given the patchy history of 3D Sonic games in particular. The success or failure of Sonic Forces is bound to be a huge factor in the future of Sonic as a whole, and further reiterates how 2017 is an important year for Sonic.

Sonic Forces will be released in holiday season 2017 for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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