Sonic Frontiers got a pretty cool new trailer during Gamescom Opening Night Live, finally announcing the release date of this "open zone" take on SEGA's platformer. The game itself is playable on the show floor too, allowing fans to get a short hands-on experience before release in November. However, one clip may not be doing Frontiers any favours, as fans have discovered some strong level design similarities to older games in the series.

Sonic fan site Sonic Stadium shared this off-screen clip, showing someone playing through one of Frontiers' linear Cyberspace levels:

While it looks to most like any other 3D Sonic stage (albeit a very short tutorial level), some fans have noticed it bares a striking resemblance to Sonic Unleashed's Windmill Isle Act 1:

It's hard to deny the stages have very similar layouts, and the comparison above has split fans down the middle. Some argue that lifting level design from older titles is a bad look; this is a new game, and should feature original stages of its own rather than recycling past works. On the other hand, defenders say the Cyberspace levels, in context, are drawn from Sonic's memories, and so it's possible there are intentional throwbacks to his past adventures, both in the level's theme (Green Hill Zone) and layout (Windmill Isle).

The reality is this is just one unfavourable example in a game that's likely to have tens or dozens of these Cyberspace levels. As is always the case, we can't possibly know one way or the other until the game is in our hands on 8th November. It's also worth pointing out that these linear stages are not the main attraction; Frontiers is largely about wide open areas, and levels like the one above are a change of pace between exploring Starfall Islands. Probably best not to sweat it too much, is what we're saying.

What do you make of this? Is Sonic Frontiers cutting corners with copy-pasted levels, or is there creative intent behind it? Is it even a big deal? Discuss (nicely) in the comments section below.

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