Metacritic Switch - 58/100
Metacritic Xbox One - 62/100
Polygon - 5/10
Famitsu - 35/40 (9, 9, 9, 8)
Sonic Forces creators' good intentions and interesting ideas don't amount to much in a game so clumsy and limited in design. It certainly doesn't help that Forces follows right on the heels of Sonic Mania, a game that not only demonstrated a more focused design sensibility but also did a far better job of realizing its creators' ambitions. Forces may have had a larger budget than Mania, but it feels like the poorer creation all around. Unless your dearest dream has always been to play a Sonic game as your own original fan art character, Sonic Forces doesn't have much to offer.
TSSZ News - 2/5
Destructoid - 5.5/10
Sonic Forces has a strong story and stronger fanservice at the expense of inconsistent and, at times, outright broken gameplay that yields only minimal dividends. Replayability exists, but only the most patient will pursue.
Metro - 4/10
While I see potential in Sonic Forces, the execution just isn't there, especially with the Switch edition. In the future I really hope Sega reinvents the wheel, taking a more Mario Odyssey adventure approach. The whole level-based 3D "thing" hasn't worked out so frequently that it's worth a shot.
Nintendo Life - 6/10
Whoever this shoddily made platformer is meant to please it won’t be those that like Sonic Mania, or any of the better 3D Sonic games.
GamesRadar - 2.5/5
To answer our initial question, Sonic Forces hasn’t managed to convince us that it is a must-play title in the series, but has at least alleviated some of our initial fears. A relatively short five-hour or so campaign, a lack of difficulty that ramps up unexpectedly on the final boss, and the non-coherent blend of 3D sequences, 2D sections and cutscenes make Sonic Forces a mixed experience, with positive moments undone by weaker areas.
Hardcore Gamer - 3.5/5
This is a short game of short levels, yet desperately short of real ideas. It sacrifices everything for speed, while failing to offer any challenge beyond some sudden, stupidly unfair sections right at the end. And while there’s some fun to be had in building and customising your avatar, thanks to an almost silly stream of new costumes and options at the end of every level, it’s not nearly enough to keep you coming back for more. You’ll have finished Sonic Forces in a day – and forgotten everything except the waste of money not long after.
What ends up holding Sonic Forces back is that it — ironically — moves too fast to leave any sort of lasting impact, speeding through both its plot and levels in short bursts instead of leaving more time for anything to soak in. Outside of its length issues, however, the gameplay is solid, the character customization is incredibly fun and the aesthetics are impressive as always. It kind of goes without saying that it doesn’t hold a candle to Sonic Mania, which is still a must-buy and the one to pick if you somehow have to choose between the two, but it’s still serviceable enough that fans may want to check it out. Here’s hoping things slow down a bit for the next game, though.
Though not without its moments, Forces is a depressing return to form for Sonic the Hedgehog after the joys of Mania.
Game Informer - 6.5/10
Sonic Forces is messy. The story is a jumble of references and nearly incoherent plot points while the level design is scattered and frequently undermined by conceptual flaws. Messy games just aren’t always the worst. This game plays out with so much infectious energy and excitement that it’s hard not to smile while playing it. It’s not very polished but Sonic Forces manages to find excitement in spite of rough edges. It’s a playable Saturday morning cartoon: silly, janky but for a brief period of time, a fun distraction.
Easy Allies - 2.5/5
Despite my multiple gripes with Sonic Forces, I still enjoyed the adventure. 3D Sonic games still aren't to where they should be after such a long time of iteration and experimentation, but through improved gameplay and level design, Sonic Forces continues the series' evolution in the right direction.
Push Square - 4/10
Sonic Forces doesn't ever reach the lowest lows the series has gone through in the past. Yet it also has almost nothing in it that leaves a lasting impression. It's the kind of game you can breeze through in an afternoon and then forget about immediately after. The customization in Forces is appreciated, but it’s nowhere near enough in a game that lacks great ideas.
EGM - 7/10
Sonic Forces is a disappointing step back for the franchise. Uninteresting level design and subpar gameplay on all three playable characters make for a game that can be frustrating to get through. The nonsense story is poorly written and makes more tonal shifts than Mariah Carey with an ice cube down her back. The game is perfectly fine for the younger audience it’s targeting, and we’re sure they’ll enjoy it for what it is, but in the wake of Sonic Mania’s tremendous success, the problems 3D Sonic has always faced are becoming much harder to ignore.
Windows Central - 8/10
Sonic Forces mashes together everything from Sonic’s history, from 2D/3D mechanics to over-the-top action spectacle pieces. The new customizable hero feature breathes fresh life into the franchise, but the 3D gameplay it uses overpowers the game’s attempt to combine what has made the different eras of Sonic work.
GameSpot - 5/10
Six years is a long time to wait for a proper sequel to Sonic Generations (we won't count the ill-advised Nintendo-exclusive games that came and went). Now Forces is here, and instead of nostalgia, it banks on the joy of customizing your own Sonic character and seeing him or her fight alongside Sonic himself. The famous weaknesses of the 3D Sonics are still present, but the sheer wealth and variety of stages and missions largely makes up for them in my eyes. Sonic Mania is undoubtedly a tighter, more exceptional experience; Sega should really allow that team to design the levels for the next 3D release! But if you missed the 3D Sonic experience and can tolerate some bland level design and roughness, Forces is certainly a worthwhile follow-up to Generations – especially for the reduced asking price.
IGN - 6.9/10
For years the Sonic series has come up short in its 3D games. It wasn't until Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations that the series was able to grasp a semblance of quality that could change the perception of the series as a whole for the better. Sonic Forces ultimately fails to advance the mechanics of previously successful 3D Sonic games, or present them in their best light. A mediocre platformer at best, Sonic Forces manages to do nothing more than reinforce long held stereotypes against Sega's beloved blue blur.
On top of the joy of creating and playing as your own character, there’s a lot of goofy charm that makes Sonic Forces hard to be too disappointed with. The graphics are colorful and engaging, and the music is a pumping backdrop for extreme team-ups, super-speed cinematics, and lots of ruminations on the power of friendship. There are some really fun levels in the mix, too, and surprisingly strong boss fights make for some unexpected highlights. But Sonic Forces doesn’t build on its handful of good ideas as much as it should, and it screeches to a halt just as it seems to hit its stride.