The official Sonic Superstars website seems to have confirmed that the Superstars co-op multiplayer game will be local only and that the game will not feature online multiplayer functionality.
One of the big reveals at Summer Game Fest last night was Sonic Superstars, a new 2D title that features a new aesthetic for the series and even brings back some fan-favorite characters like Fang the Sniper. Excitingly, it also includes co-op play for up to four players, a first for the series – unfortunately it looks like co-op will be limited to local play only.
The official reveal trailer for Sonic Superstars mentioned that players can “team up with friends”, but didn’t mention whether it would be via online multiplayer or local co-op. With most games today focusing on online multiplayer, it was easy to assume that this would be the case for Superstars.
However, this does not seem to be true. The Sonic Superstars website just went live following the game’s reveal and breaks down some of the game’s unique mechanics, including some new abilities and the ability to play as Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, and Tails. One section breaks down the multiplayer, seemingly confirming that it’s local only.
It reads: “More friends, more fun. For the first time in a Sonic game, play the entire campaign with up to 3 other players with 4-player local co-op that switches on and off.” A press release shared by Sega also notes that the game “offers 4-player local co-op, so fans can play solo or team up with friends throughout the campaign,” again making it clear that it’s local only.
While these statements at least confirm that co-op is spot-on and drop-in, it’s a shame that one of the game’s biggest draws will be limited to local play. To be fair, the trailer didn’t say that the co-op would be online, but as we said above, 2023 is a fair assumption unless specifically stated otherwise, which the trailer didn’t.
That being said, it seems like online multiplayer in a 2D Sonic game would be pretty hard to implement, as all players have to work at roughly the same speed to keep the screen focused on everyone at the same time. It already looks like it’s going to be difficult to manage when four players are watching one score, let alone when they’re all playing on different consoles around the world. Sega hasn’t commented on why the game specifically focuses on local multiplayer only, but we’d bet it has something to do with it.
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