Mixed or average reviews - based on 50 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 50
  2. Negative: 10 out of 50
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  1. Sonic Unleashed is a glorious return to true console form for Sonic.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Games Master UK
    Sonic's finest 3D outing, it's just a shame he has to share top billing with the Werehog. [Jan 2008, p.56]
  5. 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.
  6. Don’t be fooled by the cute and cartoon looking game presented here. Because beneath the surface there’s some intricate and clever design that will test even the most ardent of fans and gamers.
  7. An accomplished Sonic game leaving us wanting more.
  8. A slightly smaller game would have been preferable to one padded out with Werehog.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. In the end, Sega’s insistence in holding onto these flawed elements transforms what could have been a truly excellent take on the classic Sonic formula, into a messy, ugly beast of a game. All these unnecessary nocturnal distractions end up outstaying their welcome even before you get tired of them, and this whole feral business is beginning to wear thin.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    Nowhere near as diabolical as last year’s two-fingered salute to its fanbase, and rendered so sweetly you’ll not see a prettier Sonic game on the 360, although you can sure play one on Xbox Live. Unleashed doesn’t upset or anger, and only really frustrates if you give a damn about high scores, but it doesn’t enchant either. It exists, and it does a fine job of doing so, but it rarely entices.
  17. 70
    Diehard fans will once again enjoy this title, but for the Sonic franchise, it's another missed opportunity.
  18. AceGamez
    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.
  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. Sonic Unleashed brings the SEGA icon to the 360 and although there should be masses looking to get a handle on it, it quickly becomes apparent that technology has left our little hedgehog behind.
  21. It's like Sega baked a delicious chocolate cake, but mixed a bag of nails into it.
  22. 65
    It's one small step for Sonic, but we're still awaiting that giant leap for the franchise.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 60
    Sonic Unleashed is kind of a video game equation of sorts. If half the game is solid but far from perfect, and the other half is pitifully bland and repetitive, then the result equals an experience that ends up disappointing almost as much as impressing and entertaining.
  27. 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.
  28. 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?
  29. 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.
  30. If you ignore the terrible night levels, Unleashed shows huge promise for the future of the franchise. The essence of Sonic is captured once again with incredible artwork, fluid motion and awesome speed. Unfortunately, we can't ignore the night levels, and they come dangerously close to ruining this game.
  31. Edge Magazine
    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]
  32. 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.
  33. If you can stomach the layers of non-Sonic-esque hogwash, you'll experience some of Sonic's best moments this decade. Until the Sonic Team realise what the Sonic fans want which is fast speeds with high octane action, then this franchise could almost be dead in the water.
  34. 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.
  35. The developer has tried to bring back some of the gameplay that made Sonic great in the first place and this works a treat, unfortunately though they have also included the more slow paced gameplay too and this spoils the game completely.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. games(TM)
    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]
  40. Speed, pacing and quick reaction skills is what we've always associated with Sonic. And when you go for your first run in Sonic Unleashed everything feels just right. But then night comes and all of a sudden Sonic turns into a werewolf. And here's where ugly turns to bad. Sonic Unleashed becomes an uninspired action title, completely bereft of any finesse. When you're actually out running on the fast levels the game is pure fun, but the dull button mashing moments as a werewolf is enough to destroy the overall experience.
  41. 48
    It's too fiddly and obtuse to appeal to children, and too generic and tacky to cater towards the discerning taste of a gaming adult. The only possible reason you'd have for wanting this game is because it's cheap.
  42. 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.
  43. 45
    If you're a true hardcore Sonic fan, give the game a rental and enjoy the day stages. Otherwise, don't bother.
  44. 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.
  45. The amount of backtracking required in Sonic Unleashed is absolutely inexcusable, and this mandatory medal hunting is the nail in the coffin.
  46. 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.
  47. 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?
  48. 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.
  49. All I can do, and it kills me to say this, is advise you don’t get this game. Simply because it’s a poor game, with a score propped up by a better, more traditional Sonic available to play. Sadly it’s not available to play with enough.
  50. 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 767 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 767
  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 loveA 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. May 16, 2012
    This game is nearly perfect. It's only flaw is the medal hunting. You have to roam around the hub worlds and levels searching for more sun andThis game is nearly perfect. It's only flaw is the medal hunting. You have to roam around the hub worlds and levels searching for more sun and moon medals to advance to the next level. The problem is that they're unnecessarily hard to find. Another (minor) flaw is that the difficulty of this game spikes dramatically about halfway thorough. At that point, it takes some real skill to be good at the game. Otherwise, everything else is perfectly executed. Good graphics, story, day and night gameplay, hub worlds, voice acting, cutscenes. character choice, level design, etc. Full Review »
  3. rbee
    Aug 9, 2009
    First my take, then my 10 year old son's take. We bought an Xbox 360 very, very recently and loaded up on a few essential dad-kid games First my take, then my 10 year old son's take. We bought an Xbox 360 very, very recently and loaded up on a few essential dad-kid games before leaving the store, unconcerned about reviews or seeing gameplay in action. For me, a few red flags were raised during the opening sequence and later in the game was a bit bored by the nighttime werehog elements but so far have not been troubled by them beyond fact they are different. It is certainly true that I would have passed on the game had I see those elements in action at the gamestore or online, and especially if they were not plastered with the Sonic brand. My son, on the other hand, is still thrilled. In fact, he preferred the slower and what he called "Kingdom Hearty" gameplay as werehog Sonic, and felt more like he was progressing in a game with a character he could build. Speeding through levels hje gets flustered and disinterested, gains and loses coins at random, and has no reason to feel nostalgic. His first exposure to Sonic in game form, beyond images of older Sega titles in magazines, was actually Super Smash Bros (Wii). (His first exposure to Mario was Galaxy, as well.) I feel that this Sonic game is a fantastic balance. The developers have gotten their slaps on the wrist in sales and are making up for things bit by bit to classic gamers by releasing DLC, but I don't think they've put a foot wrong here. Another thing to consider about my review: we live in Japan, and the Japanese release of the game is in both Japanese and English. Perhaps so are other versions. This makes the game particularly exotic to one or both of us, as having the ability to log in under two gamertags with save games in two languages and spice up the experience. It's rather like watching a classic Disney film get remade in a foreign language -- interesting and bizarre and much easier to accept. Full Review »