Since its first announcement, Sonic Frontiers has been repeatedly compared to Breath of the Wild, partially due to the game allowing Sonic to roam freely through the world – a first for the series.
However, in an interview with Shacknews (and spotted by TheGamer), Iizuka has dismissed these comparisons, saying that the game “isn’t similar at all” to Zelda’s award-winning Switch title. While he accepts that both games have “the same element of freedom,” they nonetheless exist in entirely different genres.
“From the development [team’s] perspective, they’re going out and making an action game. So when they think about Breath of the Wild, they see Breath of the Wild definitely as a role-playing game, and it’s not similar at all to the action game that they’re making,” said Iizuka.
“There is the same element of freedom that has been applied to Breath of the Wild as a role-playing game, and they’re taking the linear high-speed action Sonic game and implementing freedom into there.
“But when we think about, ‘is it an open world game? Is it similar to Breath of the Wild?’, a lot of people on the team love the Zelda series, they love Breath of the Wild, they’ve played it, but to them, they don’t really see a similarity between the games.”
The comparisons are largely born out of the game’s open world, a label that Sonic Team also rejects, instead describing the game as a more linear ‘open Zone’ title, which Iizuka described as “linear platform action gameplay but in an open environment.”
“It’s a high speed platform action linear game taken to this open environment and turned into something new. We really feel we’re out there making something new and interesting.”