Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 24
  2. Negative: 8 out of 24
  1. To be quite frank, Sonic Unleashed is half great game, and half unnecessarily unleashed. The Sonic levels are extremely fun and bring back the memories of yesteryear, and the night-time levels will leave players wondering why Sonic Team continues to torture their fans by continuing to add pointless things to prolong good gameplay.
  2. As a reviewer, I pray for the day where I can test out a perfect sonic game. Until then though, Unleashed is a decent effort worth the attention of the Hedgehog’s fans.
  3. Despite the game’s clumsy story progression and repetitive werehog combat, it manages to be the best Sonic game released in recent memory. This is thanks mostly to the excellent hedgehog levels that evoke memories of classic Sonic titles while still managing to feel fresh and new.
  4. It is not the most awaited experience for a tri-dimensional Sonic but this chapter will leave the fans pretty satisfied and convinced that the formula for a more organic and complete game is one or two blocks away.
  5. As it stands, Sonic Unleashed is not the drastic reboot they claimed it would be. The problem the game faces once again is focus.
  6. Ignore his Werehog alter-ego and you'll pleasantly discover that Sonic The Hedgehog is almost back on top form.
  7. If Sonic Unleashed is a good game or not has to be decided by you. If you are patient, you can have lots of fun with this title. If you tend to be a bit choleric or just want to relax while playing there is no necessity to buy it.
  8. 60
    Even with no expectations going in, we can't imagine many in our ADHD generation holding patience enough to wade through 20-to-30 minute intervals of repetitive room clearing again and again just to find enough Sun tokens to unlock the next decent racing portion. It just isn't enough fun to warrant the effort.
  9. As much as I disliked lumbering through levels as Sonic’s hulky Werehog, I disliked hunting through the hub worlds looking for coins even more. Sega, if you really want to fix Sonic, the first thing you should do is stop trying to fix him. [Jan 2009, p.67]
  10. The least awful Sonic game in years. [Jan 2009, p.74]
  11. Sonic fans can justify it for the sprints. Everywhere else? Beware. [Issue#174, p.78]
  12. In the end, Unleashed features some of the best Sonic action in years – but it also features some of the worst.
  13. The Sonic-team has succeeded in developing an improvement upon the last Sonic-game on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Even then, Sonic Unleashed is a flawed game. The Hedgehog-levels are fast and fun, while the Werehog-levels offer a bit of a change to the classic Sonic-gameplay, although, unfortunately, it often comes down to mindless button bashing. Unleashed shows that Sonic isn’t dead and buried yet, but still leaves a lot to be desired.
  14. You can't help but love the daytime levels, but as soon as night hits the game, you will be desperate to turn off your console.
  15. In this adventure, there is a total of about 60 minutes of quality gameplay. The rest leaves me deeply upset with Sega and the hole they've dug for Sonic.
  16. There are things about Sonic Unleashed that reminded me of how great this franchise could be when done right. It’s just a shame those parts weren’t the true focus of the game.
  17. 48
    This is far from the return to form many have expected, and we now see why Sega was so keen to keep its new take on Sonic’s character a secret. Despite some promising moments, Sonic Unleashed collapses under the weight of its flaws.
  18. Sonic Unleashed had promise, and actually part of the game is pretty decent, but its too bad the entire game wasn't completed with the mindset of "Day" Sonic. Sorry Sonic, gamers pass on this one.
  19. 45
    Sonic Unleashed has made me bipolar. In the daytime, I'm happy – almost too happy. And at night I become angry and irritable, frustrated and impossible to be around. [Ed: Nice, Hilary. Backwards much?]
  20. The amount of backtracking required in Sonic Unleashed is absolutely inexcusable, and this mandatory medal hunting is the nail in the coffin.
  21. Sonic is back, but unfortunately the developers didn't dare to let him star in a all-running racing game, but insisted on adding a superfluous story and roleplaying elements. Could we get a pure Sonic experience next time, please?
  22. 20% of Sonic Unleashed is brilliant. [Jan 2009, p.92]
  23. Structurally it's a mess. [Mar 2009, p.77]
  24. Terrible level design, unresponsive controls, and a poor camera are just the beginning of the problems in this awful adventure.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. Sep 27, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I'm a long time Sonic fan, since Genesis, and I absolutely LOVE this game. It's alarming to see so many giving it so little credit, and highlighting their woes about certain aspects. Personally I had a fun time playing as Sonic the Werehog, but more than that, the speed levels are utterly incredible. Spectacularly crafted, graphically too. Couldn't be more pleased with the outcome![2] 10 for that one Full Review »
  2. Dec 18, 2012
    This game is EXTREMELY overrated. The daytime stages are linear, claustrophobic, and overall boring. The game just holds your hand and justThis game is EXTREMELY overrated. The daytime stages are linear, claustrophobic, and overall boring. The game just holds your hand and just has you keep going, and going, and going, and then occasionally quickstep, drift, and jump to prevent getting hit. This game has you do SO little. In the daytime stages, that is. In the nighttime stages, while they ARE too slow, they actually have you DO something, and their is ACTUAL platforming. But despite these nighttime stages being the best part of this game, they just DON'T belong in a Sonic game. These nighttime stages have you constantly fighting hoards of enemies like a Kratos from God of War. So with the boring, linear, and overall uninspired level design that just holds your hand the whole way through, and the slow, out of place brawling sections, this game is officially my LEAST FAVORITE SONIC GAME. I know Sonic 06 sucked, but at least you DID something in that game, and it was designed LIKE a platformer, (Although they failed) Now that the gameplay is out of the way, let's move on with the story. Sonic crashes Eggman's party once again, and chases the big bad Doctor to his interplanetary space ship. After transforming into Super Sonic with the mystical gems known as the "Chaos Emeralds" and destroying Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's robots, Eggman begs for forgiveness, leading Sonic into a trap. Eggman drains the power of the Chaos Emeralds, reverting Sonic back into his normal blue self. Eggman uses the Emeralds power for his laser which he uses to crack the world into seven sections. The Earth's core is exposed, and an ancient creature who was trapped in the Earth escapes. This creature is known as "Dark Gaia". Eggman's plan is to harness this creature's power, (Considering how WELL that plan worked before) and rule the world in order to build his Evil utopia, "Eggman land". (Creative name, I know) However, Sonic absorbs Gaia's energy and transforms into a werehog. Yes, a WEREHOG. As in, whenever he sees the moon, he turns into this strong, furry, huge beast with stretchy arms. After falling to the Earth and surviving, he finds out that a little flying fairy dog, thing, has been knocked out. Sonic wonders if he has knocked out this tiny creature, and proceeds to try to wake him up. Startled by Sonic's strange appearance, the strange creature runs away. Sonic tells the creature that there's nothing to worry about, and this creature decides to trust him. Soon, the Sun rises, and Sonic is reverted back to the blue form that we're all familiar with. Sonic says that he will help this creature, and after walking around town for anyone who might know him, Sonic decides to name this tiny thing "Chip". After exploring the town and it's incredibly linear and confined areas, Sonic and Chip find out that in order to restore the continents, they must place the Chaos Emeralds in shrines all around the world. After realizing this, the two find Tails the Fox, Sonic's long time best friend, who tags along for the ride, and travel all around the world searching for these shrines to stop Dr. Eggman's plot, defeat Dark Gaia, and restore the world to it's original state. I can see a LOT of effort and thought put into this story. Although I prefer Sonic storylines to be a bit more simple, a bit of seriousness can never hurt, and there are a few Comedy scenes that balance out the seriousness. Finally, the graphics and visuals. The visuals in this game are STUNNING. The humans aren't realistic, and don't TRY to be realistic, so they feel a bit less out of place with the Giant mutant animals. The stages are beautiful to look at, and the character models are very polished, and this game looks beautiful in HD. But despite the stunning visuals and amazing storyline, the gameplay is just too shallow and too out of place to make this game any fun. Sonic's levels shouldn't be confined, they should be open and free. You should be able to fully EXPLORE the world around you, and not be trapped on ONE path which will occasionally branch out into two or three pathways. The funny thing is, that the HUB WORLDS in this game allow more exploration then the actual levels themselves. In conclusion, this game, while the story had a lot of effort put into it, and the visuals are very pretty to look at, the gameplay, and the level design is just shallow and boring in the daytime stages, and out of place during the Nighttime stages. This is, in my opinion, the WORST Sonic game in terms of level design and gameplay. While the story is a grand step up from games like Sonic 2006, and Shadow The Hedgehog, this game just offers you nothing to do half the time, and the brawling sections in the Nighttime stages can get very repetitive after a while. This is the most overrated, over-hyped, and overly loved game in Sonic history. If you're looking for a Sonic game with some thought put into it, DON'T get Sonic Unleashed. I'd suggest getting Sonic Generations or Colors. I give this game a 2 out of 10. Full Review »
  3. Dec 8, 2011
    Sonic Unleashed seemed to continue the downward trend of modern Sonic games.

    OK, I will admit - it's a step forward from 06, but that
    Sonic Unleashed seemed to continue the downward trend of modern Sonic games.

    OK, I will admit - it's a step forward from 06, but that doesn't automatically mean it's great. What people overlook so damn much is that: 1) The MAJORITY of the game is played as the Werehog, which is absolute CRAP. I can't believe people can be so blind and brand this as 'such a great game' and yet they themselves had a horrible time with this disgusting gameplay style. 2/3 of the game is played as this piece of crap, which automatically makes it a bad game. But no, SEGA had to make it even WORSE! Let's go deeper, shall we? 2) Surprisingly, the incredibly overrated daytime stages are bad as well. At first, you'll be in love with them, because of their insane speed, seemless gameplay and literally effortless fun. But once you decide to play them again... the fun is gone. Why? Because you're constrained in a tight hallway surrounded by invisible walls and doing nothing but plough through everything at breakneck speed with no thinking required. I really don't understand what the hell is so fun about this turdfest. It's WAY too easy and gives nothing for the player to do but RUN. Sounds fun, right? 3) Pace... ugh. Remember the good old days, where simply beating a stage would lead you onto another? Well, Sonic Unleashed throws all of that away and forces you to explore hubworlds, talk to random people, wait through loading screens to access ANOTHER hubworld and as soon as you reach the level gate, you're prompted by this annoying pest known as 'Chip' that you haven't collected enough sun or moon medals. This means that you have to replay the crap you've just played to collect more medals hidden throughout the stages in order to progress. It enhances replay value, but then again, why 'enhance' replay value on something that nobody would enjoy (well, at least the Werehog, anyway)? It's just a stupid gimmick to pad the game out.

    OK, so, I don't like this game, which is pretty clear. But is there ANYTHING that this game did right? Hell yes.

    1) The graphics are stunning, especially in HD. It makes the pain more bearable to see all these pretty landscapes that you wish you could explore but can't because the stupid game won't let you. 2) The music is fantastic. The daytime music is usually more fast and upbeat, featuring some catchy tunes packed with variety. These just give me a feel-good feeling. The nighttime music, on the other hand, is much slower, somewhat orchestral and relaxing. Personally, I prefer the daytime music, but there's no denying that both types of track are just great. 3) While I do NOT like the daytime stages, I can praise it for at least one thing: the technical achievement. Even though ploughing mindlessly through everything is NOT my kind of fun, you've got to admit that it's pretty darn stunning to see Sonic run that fast with incredible graphics to boot. There's not a single slowdown issue while doing any of this, either. There are a few framerate dips, however, espeically in the later stages.

    So, all in all, I would recommend Sonic Unleashed ONLY to diehard Sonic fans who want to 'check it out'. Otherwise, (send me death threats for saying this, I don't care) Sonic Unleashed is a smelling piece of crap and it should never have been released in such a state.
    Full Review »