Sega has announced Sonic Origins will release later this year, remastering four classic Sonic games in a single collection but locking much of their content behind additional paid DLC.
Sonic Origins remasters Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, introducing new visuals, modes, and gameplay content. It will release on June 23 – the 31st anniversary of the Blue Blur.
The four games can be played in Classic or Anniversary mode. Classic will recreate the original experience, presenting the games at their original resolutions while giving you a finite number of lives. Anniversary mode, meanwhile, lets you play the games in full screen and gives you an infinite number of lives to breeze through.
You can play through each game as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, and new missions will let you collect medallions, which can be spent in a new museum area to unlock additional content and stages to play through. You can watch the games in action below.
However, the Sonic Origins website shows some content will only be available through additional DLC, locking it behind a paywall even for those who pay $39.99 / £32.99 – about AU$54 – for the base game. To unlock everything, you’ll need to buy three expansions: the Premium Fun Pack, Classic Music Pack, and Start Dash Pack.
The Premium Fun Pack adds Hard missions, a letterbox background, character animations in the main menu, camera controls over the main menu islands, and character animations during music islands.
The Classic Music Pack, meanwhile, includes an additional 73 music tracks from the Sonic Spinball, Chaotix, and Sonic 3D Blast that were originally released for the Sega Genesis.
The cost of each DLC hasn’t been announced but the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game, which includes both expansions, costs an extra $44.99 / £36.98 – pricing the additional content around $5.
The Start Dash Pack adds Mirror Mode, a letterbox background, and 100 bonus coins. It’s free for everyone who pre-orders the standard or deluxe version of the game.
Although the extra content might not make a huge dent in your wallet, its pricing structure has rubbed some people the wrong way. Not only will they be released alongside the base game, but the add-ons are only minor additions which, in the time of Sonic’s original release, would have been included as free unlockable extras, rather than paid DLC.
Stranger still, the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game doesn’t include the Start Dash Pack unless you pre-order it, meaning those who buy the deluxe version of the game after it launches won’t have access to all its content.
Pitched as the ultimate remaster of Sega’s classic titles, Sonic Origins stirred a lot of excitement among fans of the series, promising to fully port the acclaimed games to modern hardware for the first time. That excitement has somewhat diminished in the face of this extra monetization.