Mixed or average reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 50
  2. Negative: 10 out of 50
  1. 45
    They tossed in one of the dumbest "twists" in the history of gaming. A werehog? Really? Stretchy arms? Did anyone actually believe this was going to be fun? Gone are any elements of speed, replaced with mindless and poorly designed brawling segments with some terrible platforming sections.
  2. Terrible level design, unresponsive controls, and a poor camera are just the beginning of the problems in this awful adventure.
  3. What will have many gamer's hopes up is the developers really nailed the Sonic portion of the game, but the pure sense of speed, action, and exploring. It will make gamers have flashbacks of earlier Sonic the Hedgehog days. Hopefully the next game in the series will focus more of this then adding a new gimmick to the series.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 60
    I love Sonic because his speedy style of platforming is fun, and Sega should have just developed a game around that and left everything else out.
  7. Compared to Mario Galaxy or Ratchet & Clank - heck, even compared to Crash Bandicoot, another platforming mascot mired in mediocrity - Sonic Unleashed is an obviously poor effort from a series that is still hopelessly lost in the modern gaming landscape.
  8. Sonic Unleashed is the best that Sonic the Hedgehog has been in years, but this is probably damning it with faint praise. The Sonic segments are fun, and die-hard fans will probably be quite satisfied with them, but everything else just isn't.
  9. The amount of backtracking required in Sonic Unleashed is absolutely inexcusable, and this mandatory medal hunting is the nail in the coffin.
  10. 50
    Ultimately, this simply isn't the fresh start Sonic fans were so desperately hoping for...but at least it's not as execrable as the last two efforts.
  11. Sonic's finest 3D outing, it's just a shame he has to share top billing with the Werehog. [Jan 2008, p.56]
  12. The main character’s name is SONIC – it’s a reference to how fast he can run. Why must the game include all this other random crap, especially when it isn’t all that polished anyhow?
  13. 40
    Oh Sonic, you’ve raced so far to only find yourself where you started. While Sega inches ever closer to finding that magical combination to create their Sonic empire once again, the rest of the game drags down whatever hope gamers had for reliving the better parts of their childhood instead of the parts where they were sorely disappointed.
  14. Get past the irrelevant filler and Sonic Unleashed becomes the game we all wanted - it's just a real shame that we have to work so hard to fully unleash it.
  15. Sonic Unleashed isn’t quite the spectacular return to form promised, but it’s a hell of a lot closer than Sega’s other recent efforts. [Jan 2009, p.89]
  16. Sonic Unleashed is a game that feels schizophrenic in its execution. Unfortunately, you deal with the fun, easy-going personality for less than half the time.
  17. If you have high levels of patience then there are some excellent moments that are worth staying around for, but we’d wager that most will hang up their controllers by the second or third forced Werehog mission. [Jan 2009, p.102]
  18. 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.
  19. Fast and superb in the day. Slow and mediocre in the night. This time, Sonic is both a hero and a beast in a game full of lights and shadows. The Sonic Team has proved not to have a destination in mind, but maybe in the future the blue hedgehog could find his good old speed.
  20. 65
    It's one small step for Sonic, but we're still awaiting that giant leap for the franchise.
  21. It's like Sega baked a delicious chocolate cake, but mixed a bag of nails into it.
  22. Despite the power of the blue Hedgehog, Sonic Unleashed never really impressed us. The game has its moments, but these moments are so rare and easily forgotten when you've reached the point where you almost throw your controller against the tv. The race levels are awesome, but with the heavy load of the uninspiring Werehog levels, those aren't even enough to give the game a sufficient grade.
  23. 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.
  24. I appreciate Team Sonic’s effort to mix the old with the new, and there’s definitely some potential in the alter-ego mechanic. Unfortunately, they don’t blend especially well in Unleashed, an experience that had me alternately stoked to get to the next traditional level and a bit disappointed every time the sun went down.
  25. 60
    This is better than Sonic’s last main game. But that doesn’t make it good. I’d like to think Sega is on the right track, and that the next game might cut out a lot of the padding and focus on speed.
  26. The satisfaction of memorising a Sonic stage and playing by instinct at supersonic speeds has finally come to fruition, Sonic Unleashed is exactly what we've been waiting so long for.
  27. The game is stunning, the sound is great … some aspects worked so well but then a few glaring flaws popped up. A few more months in development and this game would have received my highest praise. But this is still a very solid game to share with those young gamers close to your heart.
  28. Terrible stuff, and what’s more quite predictably so. The problem’s made worse by how much better things would be if its fat was simply trimmed. Oh Sonic, where art thou?
  29. It's a beautiful game with brief glimpses of what a 3-D Sonic game should be like, but even the pretty visuals aren't enough to carry this failure.
  30. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 135 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 47
  2. Negative: 9 out of 47
  1. Aug 17, 2011
    A much better game than the reviews suggest. Loads of secrets and replay value, fantastic graphics and music. If you love sonic you'll love this. Hell, you may even learn to like the Werehog. Full Review »
  2. Jul 10, 2011
    Sonic Unleashed is far too repetitive and annoying. The only fun I found in this game were the daytime levels which didn't last very long. The night levels were extremely tedious. The controls were far too sensitive and clunky, and every level saw you doing the same thing. Kill these guys. Open up this door. Kill these guys. Open up this door. Jump over a ledge. Kill these guys. Die. Repeat the level from the start. Also, the same infuriating music played every time some enemys spawned. I thought the option to upgrade Sonic's powers were a neat addition, but there wasn't enough fun content here to keep me hooked for long. 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 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 »