When developer Wilhelm Nylund shared a video of the upcoming Haste: Broken Worlds on Twitter earlier this week, it almost immediately blew up. The preview has since garnered almost 1 million views as well as thousands of retweets and likes. Much of the ongoing conversation, however, involves wishing Haste’s speed and momentum could be replicated in a much larger game: Sonic Frontiers.
“Better Sonic than Sonic,” said Samuel Molina, a Spanish designer currently working on Star Citizen at Cloud Imperium Games.
“[W]ild that indie devs make a better [Sonic] game than the company that’s been making [Sonic] for 31 years,” another Twitter user said, “but also not very surprising.”
“You’ve dropped the perfect video for Sonic fans to be annoying over,” said a third.
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Haste is currently in development at Landfall Games, the Swedish company behind hits like Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and Clustertruck. Nylund, the studio’s CEO and designer, told Kotaku that Haste is a racing game wherein a large group of players is whittled down through multiple rounds, almost like a battle royale. The video uploaded early Wednesday morning shows off the first of several playable characters intended for launch.
Although Haste apparently takes more inspiration from momentum-based games—think Tribes, Tiny Wings, and Counter-Strike surfing maps—Nylund understands why Sonic came up so often in response to his video. Sega built the blue blur’s initial reputation on being faster than his competitors (i.e. Nintendo and its relatively plodding Mario games), so it only makes sense that Haste, which on its surface is all about speed, would resonate with Sonic fans.
“I can definitely see why people are making the comparison,” Nylund told Kotaku via direct message. “The Sonic franchise seems to be the first thing that comes to mind when the concept of running incredibly fast comes up.”
As fun as Haste looks, this response also involves the overall disappointment in what we’ve seen of Sonic Frontiers so far. Early footage revealed a bland “open zone” game that looked more like an Unreal engine asset flip than a next-gen entry in the typically vibrant Sonic franchise, and subsequent showings haven’t eased overall indifference. With another potential letdown on the way, it’s only natural fans might be desperate for anything that seems to embody Sonic’s “gotta go fast” potential.
“I see those comments as a massive compliment!” Nylund said. “It is incredibly cool to know that we’ve made something that seems to deliver on the fantasy of speed so strongly to people.”
Haste: Broken Worlds recently entered full-steam development, but Landfall Games is accepting sign-ups for a future multiplayer alpha if you’re interested in trying it out sometime soon.