Unused beta island found in Sonic Frontiers Switch files

Image: SEGA

We think it’s fair to say that the huge cloud of dust that followed the launch of Sonic Frontiers has finally cleared up. Based on the mixed reviews across the board, one theme that seemed to divide us all was the game’s approach to the “open zone” concept, with some feeling it was a big leap forward for the Sonic franchise and others feeling it wasn’t enough. However, it seems that these zones were originally intended to be more open.

One fan has been digging through the Switch game files and found the original beta islands, which seem to combine the layout that would later be used in the smaller Frontiers zones. Publish your discoveries on the YouTube channel Đeaththis tour of the original Sonic Island is a much more open world than the one we got.

The larger island seems to combine the islands of Kronos, Rhea and Ouranos in the finished product into one large zone with free travel between them. While some objects aren’t loaded in this particular example, the video captures the scale of what it once was – a Sonic game that’s much more focused on open-world exploration than island hopping.

You can watch the full tour of the island in the video below:

It’s worth noting that while the beta island was originally found in the Switch’s game files, the video above shows it ported to PC, and therefore runs at a higher frame rate and resolution.

Whether that sense of freedom was enough to change the way many people viewed the Switch version of the game is an answer we’ll never know. What is clear, however, is that there is potential for a much larger open-world Sonic game, and perhaps we’ll see more of that with what SEGA has in store for blue blur next.

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