Sonic Frontiers was a standout in The Game Awards late last year, giving an enticing look at a large-scale Sonic adventure that's due to arrive this year. The game is still mostly a mystery, but Games Radar has nonetheless shared some interesting thoughts from a key leader on the project.

Sonic Team's Creative Officer Takashi Iizuka has been careful to avoid describing the game as 'open world' however, with the term 'open-zone' suggesting multiple separate biomes and stages.

With Sonic Forces, the team set out to create a compilation of high-speed Sonic action games that flipped the usual Sonic storyline on its head, taking place in a world where the evil Dr. Eggman had prevailed. Within this new storyline and world, we created new Sonic environments and characters like the villain Infinite. With Sonic Frontiers, we are challenging ourselves to deliver an all-new style of Sonic action adventure. We're once again expanding the Sonic Universe, bringing in new environments and additional features, to create a totally new type of open-zone experience.

...We focused on bringing Sonic to the next level and ensuring that he's fully represented as the character that fans know and love while still making his new form exciting.

Increased exploration will combine with updated combat and speedy manoeuvres, of course. It's also mentioned in the interview that SEGA believes newer hardware like PS5 and Xbox Series X|S will bring a "high-fidelity, high-speed" experience. Hopefully older systems like the Switch will get solid optimisation, though we should expect the usual concessions to the visuals and framerate.

It'll be interesting to see more details on Sonic Frontiers as the year progresses; SEGA looks to be planning a big promotional push for the IP in 2022.