While not a critical darling, Sonic Unleashed was a step in the right direction for the Sonic the Hedgehog series on 3D consoles. The 2008 game was praised for its bright and colorful visuals, improved controls, and fast-paced Sonic stages that switched perspective from 3D to 2D. However, the biggest complaint against Sonic Unleashed was Sega’s decision to turn their lovable mascot into a werewolf, or werehog, that featured outdated and slow-paced platforming levels with repetitive combat. If not for the werehog levels, Sonic Unleashed would have been better received. Now, thanks to the efforts of some loyal Sonic modders, players can do just that on the much beloved Sonic Generations for the PC.
Dubbed the Sonic Generations – Unleahsed Project, users who download the mod will be able to play all the fast daytime levels from Sonic Unleashed presented in the same fashion on Sonic Generations. In addition to the new levels, the Unleahsed Project also offers improvements from Sonic Unleashed like better control scheme, higher resolution graphics, and a much smoother framerate. Here’s the full listing of the mod’s features:
- Brand new White World Stage for level selection. Enjoy the new soundtrack arranged by Falk (which you can download here).
- Various High-Definition retextures by Lobotomy. Most of the horrible and stretched surfaces in the game got a new coat of paint to bring it up to standard (up to 16x more data than the original textures). A separate version with even better retextures will be released later by him for those with higher-end hardware, so be sure to subscribe to his channel to keep up with his progress.
- Few mods would tout lack of content as a feature, yet this one does. Sonic Unleashed was badly received due to the alternate gameplay style of the “Werehog” at nighttime, the mandatory RPG elements, and medal collection being necessary for story progression. This mod has none of that, and all collectibles are completely optional and not required to enjoy the core game.
- Being on the Sonic Generations engine alone is quite an improvement in most aspects such as control scheme, player speed, consistent camera control (no wildly changing FOVs or distances that would make a player nauseous and confused), support for various skills (such as Super Sonic), etc.
- Classic linear progression system for starting a new game. This new game won’t overwrite your current save file (as long as you don’t disable save redirection), so you can collect Red Rings and have new score and time records without conflicting with your original save.
- New Red Ring locations for each level. Score ranking tweaked and fixed from the very forgiving Sonic Generations’ ranking; S Ranks will require you to speedrun and optimize your route as much as possible. Getting an S Rank is actually a challenge!
- Alternate and experimental FxPipeline renderer included within the game. This very much WIP renderer provides support for special effects from Sonic Unleashed, such as directional shadows, directional light shafts, better motion blur, and much more! (Recommended to use)
- Classic Sonic Adventures integrated! Once you beat the main game, you can play as Classic Sonic in the Modern stages! This feature is not really play-tested and just meant as an additional bonus to play around with. (You don’t need to use a separate mod for this like CSA)
PC players looking to stretch out some more fun out of Sonic Generations until the next Sonic game arrives should give this mod a try. Those who don’t own the PC port should keep their eye out for it during Steam’s extravagant sales.