Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
Buy On
  1. 72
    Sonic Unleashed is half great game and half tedious gimmick.
  2. Even if you have to endure a few too many boring werehog fights, it's still worth playing through this adventure just to see Sonic sprint again.
  3. The Wii version has less annoying traits than the others and still retains all the usual mediocrity. The motion-control elements in the Werehog levels add an extra dimension to the action, and the hub worlds are entirely text-based and aren’t nearly as annoying. If you can stand the diminished graphics, the Wii version actually edges out the PS3 and 360 entries.
  4. This game is really fun to play, especially in the racing sections. Sonic is breathtakingly fast! The platforming levels are a drastic switch from the racing, and force players to slow down.
  5. The faster Sonic levels are a real treat, and Sonic Unleashed has many high points to balance out the lows. The real bummer is not so much the concept of the werehog sections as it is how these portions of the game painfully drag the rest of the game down.
  6. 70
    The real problem is the werehog stages. Luckily, those levels aren't bad, they're just kinda there. About all they succeed in doing is slowing down the action between the stages that you want to play.
  7. Stripped of unnecessary narrative nonsense and forced to use new camera views and level designs, it's simply a more satisfying rendition of the same thing, more faithful to the original series and undoubtedly the version that Sonic fans should pick up.
  8. Games Master UK
    Fast and fun. Until the sun goes down and it gets hairy and ham-fisted. [Jan 2008, p.59]
  9. 25
    Sega fails to make a good platformer -- pretty much everything Sonic Unleashed does has been done better in tons of other games.
  10. The werehog levels reek of an idea born out of trying to turn Sonic into something that kids like, instead of just giving them the Sonic many of us grew up with. We didn't need gimmicks back then and we don't think kids need them now either. Ultimately we can't help but feel disappointed... yet again.
  11. Even if you can get over the sheer stupidity of making Sonic a big, brawny “Werehog”, and even if the janky, overly finicky platforming doesn’t put you off, answer me this: who the hell wants to brawl in a Sonic game?
  12. Hardcore Gamer
    In the end, the whole of Sonic Unleashed is slightly greater than the sum of its parts. [Dec 2008, p.45]
  13. Sonic comes back too Wii with a extremely fast game that feels more arcade than adventure, with an eye on the past of the series that makes it recover some of its lost feeling. The dazzling velocity can be well managed thanks to excellent controls, but we miss more pure velocity stages and a bit of more variety overall.
  14. A game full of duality. The Hedgehog levels are a lot of fun, and the controls accentuate that. On the flip-side, the Werehog levels are riddled with frustratingly boring combat and gameplay. It never helps that the game can't let go of its ridiculously dumb story.
  15. If a 16-bit-esque Sonic game appeared on Xbox Live Arcade or PSN, I’d likely be all over it because the glimpses we get of a the Sonic of yore in Sonic Unleashed are very fun. It’s not enough to redeem the entire game though.
  16. Nintendo Power
    If you don't mind some fisticuffs mixed into your high-speed thrills, give Sonic Unleashed a shot. [Holiday 2008, p.80]
  17. 75
    This has been an exercise in balance that has proved to be worth our while. While this game might not be up to much if you’re the owner of one of the hulking beasts that are Microsoft and Sony’s consoles, if you’re a Wii owner, don’t be put off by what you’ve read.
  18. Why, Sega? Why did you do this? Why did you botch what was potentially the most amazing Sonic game of this generation? All that can be done is to hope the next attempt succeeds where this failed so horribly.
  19. Sonic Unleashed takes two steps forward with some of the best speed levels in recent memory, and one step back by tacking on yet another failed experiment with the Werehog.
  20. Sonic Unleashed is both one of the best Sonic games we've ever played and one of the dullest. If you can put up with the werehog levels you'll love it.
  21. Nintendo Gamer
    Mostly horrible, with a side order of decent enough. [Feb 2009, p.58]
  22. The best praise that can be given to Sonic Unleashed is to call it a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the game is heavily weighted towards its werewolf stages.
  23. 60
    Sonic Unleashed proves that Sonic Team are back on track with Sonic in some respects, but there's still a way to go before they get it right - trimming the unnecessary night-style stages away, or evening the mix of gameplay, would be a great start.
  24. A sequel with more speed and less gimmicks would make us happy, but for now, Unleashed is a step above the awful games that came before it. Good to have you back, Sonic.
  25. 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.
  26. 70
    Sonic Unleashed has some stellar moments that remind me of better Sonic games from days gone by, but players will have to slog through the repetitive night stages to reach them.
  27. 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.
  28. Sonic Unleashed is incomplete for a game that would be "Sonic's return to the great shape". Of course, even with failures, it can be enjoyed by the most patient people, and by the ones who don't care about the Werehog. But they should have changed the game's name from "Sonic Unleashed" to "Sonic Unfinished".
  29. Astounding day levels gives exactly what fans want.
  30. Sonic Unleashed is certainly a step forward for the Sonic franchise, with great graphics, intuitive controls, a fairly grabbing premise and great level design. Unfortunately, it’s marred by the concept of the Werehog. Sonic simply need to continue this trend of returning to it’s grass roots and before long we’ll be getting 9 and 10/10 Sonic games again.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2008
#22 Most Shared Wii Game of 2008
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 160 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 160
  2. Negative: 25 out of 160
  1. BenG
    Sep 8, 2009
    Best Wii game and one of the best Sonic games to date. Better than I expected. Play it and see. To Tom C "The worst part about this game is Best Wii game and one of the best Sonic games to date. Better than I expected. Play it and see. To Tom C "The worst part about this game is the fact that the sonic sections are by far the greatest 3d sonic ever." How does that make sense? Yes Sonic Unleashed is one of the best and most important gaming experiences we've ever played, but the fact the game also includes werehog somehow undoes that? Where are people's values? If someone is to deducts points for the werehog it should be minimal, that is if you insist on deducting points at all, because if you do, it is misleading, and it implies we should be avoiding great gameplay just because the total package isn't consistent. Full Review »
  2. Nov 14, 2010
    Overall it really wasn't a bad game but it wasn't a good one. The last minute port decision did not help it, and neither did the 3:1Overall it really wasn't a bad game but it wasn't a good one. The last minute port decision did not help it, and neither did the 3:1 Night:Day. The controls were precise to Dimps credit. I really can't say much to it's praise though. It was a step in the right direction. Hopefully they'll follow it. Full Review »
  3. AndrewM
    Dec 6, 2008
    What I was looking for in a sonic game was a suitable follow-up to the Sonic Adventure series. and secret rings didn't cut it. this is What I was looking for in a sonic game was a suitable follow-up to the Sonic Adventure series. and secret rings didn't cut it. this is the closest they have come ever since they put out sonic heroes. i love the werehog levels where you actually have to slow down and think your way through an area, and take out your frustration on the miserable little ghouls that wreak terror on the townsfolk. the only three things I found to be potentially problematic is 1. no camera controls, which can get pretty frustrating in werehog levels 2. hardly any 'spinball' action for sonic. ( I mean, the most fundemental part of sonic removed?? ) 3. chip. he just sounds so cheesy. and when all of a sudden he is a god (SPOILER ALERT) that kinda turned me off the whole story. besides that, this really takes the cake as a fenominal continuation of the sonic franchise Full Review »