We played Team Sonic Racing at E3

Nintendo has dominated the go-kart racing game for years, but it looks like SEGA is attempting to dethrone the beloved plumber with their own star, Sonic the Hedgehog. SEGA has previously published several race car games featuring the iconic hedgehog, but Team Sonic Racing may be the best one coming out with the most up-to-date details, including more characters, race style, and added ‘wisps’ to give you an advantage.

Developed by SUMO Digital, Team Sonic Racing combines arcade gaming with fast-paced competitive style racing and offers you to play by yourself or with friends in multiplayer mode. The game will offer online multiplayer and local co-op modes with 12 players per race, four player split screen, and various online and offline race modes, including Grand Prix Mode, Exhibition Mode, Time-Trial and Team Adventure Mode. Players can also race as a team and help each other during the race.

Gamers will be able to choose from 15 playable characters from the Sonic Universe; each with their own specialty – speed, technique, and power. There will also be 14 different wisps – offensive and defensive items to help you in the game. The game also offers performance and skin customization for your vehicle.

Nerd Reactor got to play a preview build of the game during E3. Instead of choosing among 15 characters, the game only offered six players – Team Sonic, which consisted of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, and Team Shadow, which had Shadow, Rogue, and E-123 Omega. I played two games – one as Sonic from Team Sonic and the other as Shadow from Team Shadow.

With Team Sonic, Sonic had the best Speed performance, so I played him for one of the races. Visually, Sonic’s car was pretty sweet. It was also really fast, even when I drove over the speed boosters. The track was very colorful and pretty to look at, but at times, it felt really cluttered. There were the famous gold rings for the characters to collect and items to collect – which were some of the wisp. I was able to distract several of my opponents by knocking them off course. For some items that I didn’t end up using, I was able to transfer it to my teammates and vice versa. This was useful since each item has a timer on it.

Unfortunately, the sound didn’t work during my gameplay, so I had to pay extra attention to the screen. There are supposed to be audio cues for items and conversations with their teammates. I received several speed boosts from my teammates as I was driving and getting used to the track. Fortunately, I did place 3rd during my race, but my individual score did not matter. The game tallies up your team’s placement and they are declared the winners. So, if you’re last place, it may drag your team down with you.

As for Shadow, his advantage was power. I chose to play him because I wanted to see the difference between teams and there was a HUGE difference between the two. Although in the cartoon, they are both speedy hedgehogs, Shadow was not as fast as Sonic. At times, I felt like the speed was dragging, even with the boosters and help from E-123 Omega. Although I don’t think it’s intentional, it feels like a disadvantage being on the villain side in terms of speed.

Overall, Team Sonic Racing was a fun game. It’s not comparable to Mario Kart YET, but it still has a lot to work on until release. The other nine players and added wisps could be what makes and breaks this game. I am excited about the multiplayer portion of it.

Team Sonic Racing will launch across Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch this winter.

Team Sonic Racing Official Synopsis:

Team Sonic Racing combines the best elements of arcade and fast-paced competitive style racing as you face-off with friends in intense multiplayer racing. Race together and work together as a team by sharing power-ups and speed boosts. Take control of your racing style – Choose from 3 distinct character types and unlock game-changing vehicle customization options to suit your racing style. Speed up. Gear Up – Team Racing at Sonic Speed!

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