Sonic Frontiers confirms shock Big the Cat return after Origins leak

By Lee Brady,

Sonic Frontiers has just received a 'big' leak by way of Sonic Origins, which was datamined this week to tease the impending return of iconic character Big the Cat. No, your eyes do not deceive you.

Update: Thanks to some recent footage from Gamescom 2022, we now have confirmation Big the Cat has returned for Sonic Frontiers. The footage, included below, shows Big giving Sonic a fishing rod and offering to teach him to fish, as well as our first glimpse as Sonic Frontiers' fishing minigame.
Mercifully, for any monsters less than fond of Froggy's best friend, Big the Cat appears to be the bearer of entirely optional side missions that players can trigger and take part in across Sonic Frontiers' 'open-zone' map. Here's hoping the fishing gameplay has improved at least a little from its previous inclusion in Sonic Adventure — otherwise, Sega can expect the same level of backlash they've faced trying to patch Sonic Origins.

Let us know in the comments if this has substantially changed your perception of the upcoming Sonic Frontiers, and for more Sonic-adjacent Gamescom news, check out our Hyenas preview and interview, which has players shooting each other in zero-g for the chance to win a Blue Blur-adorned keychain.

Original Story: Sonic Frontiers, the upcoming big-budget Sonic release from Sonic Team, received a lot of attention at Summer Game Fest this year, but it was clear that Sega did not want to give away too much information regarding Sonic’s first fully open-world adventure. Luckily for fans, it looks like they didn’t have to — at least, not on purpose.

Sonic Frontiers brings back fishing, absent from the series for over 20 years

sonic frontiers big the catBig has already been revealed for upcoming Netflix show Sonic Prime, so you never know.

Sonic Origins, a retro collection of older Sonic games updated with an improved widescreen formatting and a bunch of PlayStation trophies to collect, launched this week and was swiftly datamined by fans for any information they could gather about the upcoming Sonic Frontiers. As it happens, they were wildly successful, and discovered a huge reveal: the hallowed return of Big the Cat.

First breaking over on Twitter, it turns out Sonic Origins was running on a version of the Hedgehog Engine — a proprietary engine designed by Sonic Team and used on 3D Sonic games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors Ultimate. As suspected by modders, this led to a lot of shared assets from Sonic Frontiers, which is also running on the Hedgehog Engine, being easily discovered by those who know where to look.
Aside from confirmation of a cyberspace-themed map somewhere in the game and the existence of the dubious sounding (in the age of crypto currency, anyway) ‘FishCoin,’ a number of assets discovered in-engine suggest the return of fishing to the Sonic franchise — not seen since 1999’s Sonic Adventure — and even the return of Big the Cat, who has seen only cameo and spin-off appearances since his last main playable role in 2003’s Sonic Heroes.

While it hasn’t been confirmed whether we’ll actually play as Big at some point in the new game, or if he simply tutorialises the fishing minigame, or if any of this is actually going to make it into the final release, it’s fascinating news all the same. Long the butt of many jokes for fans and detractors of the Sonic series alike, largely due to his dopey nature and pace-killing debut in Sonic Adventure, it’ll be interesting to see how the modern era receives the fisherman cat.

Well, this was certainly shocking news — what are your thoughts on the return of Big? Anyone else hyped at the notion that Jon St. John, voice of Duke Nukem, may reprise his iconic voice role? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium, recent Sony news), and his secret third eye on the junk he really likes (Sonic Superstars, Final Fantasy XVI). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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