DEVELOPER: SUMO DIGITAL / PUBLISHER: SEGA / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, SWITCH, XBOX ONE (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Following on from 2010’s surprise kart racing hit Sonic & Sega’s All Star Racing, and its 2012 sequel Sonic & All Star’s Racing Transformed, Sumo Digital and Sega are bringing us its spiritual successor in the form of Team Sonic Racing. Gone are the licensed Sega characters from past franchises - in their place, an entire cast of familiar faces exclusively from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
Sumo Digital have also mixed things up gameplay-wise, with the implementation of a new team boosting mechanic where the emphasis is on cooperative play. Players choose to control a single character, but will then be placed into a team of three. The idea is then for all members of your squad to finish as high as possible, earning an accumulative score that will determine the winning team. There are several cooperative techniques that can be employed to make this task easier, such as assisted boosts and slingshots. Traditional kart racer-style weapons (which are picked up by driving over them on the track) can also be swapped between teammates. All of these actions will fill up your Team Ultimate meter which, when filled, will unleash a powerful boost, making all members of your team not only significantly faster, but also invulnerable for the duration of the effect.
The emphasis in TSR is very much put on speed. There are almost limitless amounts of ways to boost around the courses, and particularly skilled players will be able to incorporate techniques that will see them pick up speed bursts through almost the entire duration of tracks. Ramping up the difficulty will increase the speed even more, with expert mode (which you unlock by beating tracks on hard mode) feeling particularly blistering.
There’s also a surprising amount of content and variety with TSR. All racers have a myriad of customisable features (both cosmetic and performance based), and with 21 different tracks (some being revisited tracks from the first two Sumo Digital Sega kart racers) and a wide variety of both on and offline game modes, TSR will keep fans of this type of action occupied for weeks. All in all, Team Sonic Racing is another fantastic entry in an already stellar kart racing franchise and one that we feel we can recommend to almost anyone.