Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Sonic Team has a funny way of making games these days. This morning The Sonic Stadium broke news of a forum post leaking images pertaining to be from Sonic Unleashed. We can now confirm that these images are real. This will be the next Sonic game.
And yet, we don't know quite how to take the news. On the one hand, we're excited with the promise of gorgeous levels and a Sonic that we actually want to associate ourselves with. On the other hand... well, read on.
Sonic Unleashed will be the next Sonic 'canon' game, if you will, intending to follow on from Sonic 06's Iblis disaster (in more ways than one), hence the weird unimaginitive dark creature git in the screenshots this morning. You see Super Sonic attempting to stop Eggman once more, but a new trick up his sleeve results in Sonic having to deal with a rather unnatural curse.
A werewolf. Sonic has to fight a werewolf alter-ego of himself.
But hey! Look how gorgeous this is!
Makes it all better in a weird way, right? The locales look stunning, and Sonic has never looked better. During the Sonic stages you can expect to encounter levels in a mixture of tried and tested ways, including Sonic and the Secret Rings style running and switching to 2.5D platforming on the odd occasion.
At various points he will change into his werewolf form, at which point a gameplay gimmick will come into play - something we've been told isn't exactly in keeping with trying to make a Sonic game... well... let us say, 'good'. We have our suspicions.
The blue hog won't be alone on his adventure either, as another new character that will probably be dispensed of in ten minutes will make a no-doubt unwelcome and unnecessary appearance. Just who or what this character will be is unknown as of yet.
Finally, Sonic Unleashed is currently a working title and, like Sonic Wildfire before it, will likely change before its release. We weren't told what consoles the game is destined for, but if we were to put our speculating caps on we'd say the SatSR elements would point to the Wii being a likely candidate. Sonic Team appear to want to continue the trend of adapting old stories into the Sonic universe, let's hope the werewolf thing doesn't bring things down a peg or three.
To see some official art of the were-hog, check out SEGA-Portal's archive of screenshots that were added throughout the day.