Scheduled release date:
November 2005

As you're no doubt aware, the next installment in Sega's Sonic Adventure series doesn't feature Sonic as a main character. In fact, it's not even being called Sonic Adventure. The new star is Shadow The Hedgehog, and that's also the name of the new game.

When Sega announced Shadow The Hedgehog, people reacted in horror when they found out that Shadow will use guns as weapons…

Here at E3, the game is on display, and we're happy to tell you formerly-horrified folks that Shadow The Hedgehog still feels just like a traditional Sonic game. Shadow has guns, yes, but he can also run, spin-dash, and jump like Sonic can. The levels are also pretty much setup with the same tunnels, ramps, and jumps you've seen in previous Sonic Adventure games. The main twist here is that Shadow can shoot at enemies if he wants. Shooting is mostly optional–except in spots where you need to shoot a switch you can't reach or snipe at a distant enemy.

In this case, Shadow's guns enhance the traditional formula–they don't take away from it. Gameplay still generally involves holding onto rings, navigating through platform-style levels, and beating up small enemies and large bosses.

However, those of you sick of Sonic Adventure won't find much here to change your mind. The colorful 3D worlds and nutty robot enemies are back, and the graphical quality is on par with Sonic Adventure 3–although a little smoother.

Also, we noticed that while Sonic isn't the main character, he is still present in this new game. In the level we played, Shadow and Sonic teamed up to beat up enemies along a broken-down freeway.

Shadow the Hedgehog is scheduled for release in November.