Mega Modders Bring Sonic Unleashed To The PC

By Craig Pearson on March 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am.

STARING EYES
How do modders mod games without any mod tools? It’s a conundrum I have no intention of finding out the answer to, because in my mind the modders are Timothy Olyphant and Robert Downey Jr. as two mismatched hack cops with 24 hours to hack the game or the terrorists will destroy the concept of Greenwich Mean Time. Tim has played by the rules all his life, but he needs someone who thinks outside the box to help him into Sonic Generation’s twisty code. Tim’s just shouted that he’s ‘cracked the backdoor’ and RDJ responded with a smutty remark and a raised eyebrow that was a little too suggestive. Tim tried to laugh it off, but the sexual tension is now palpable. What’s that, Robert? Why, that’s crazy talk. It would never… oh my god, he’s in! He’s made it. He can now mod Sonic Generations. They just hugged in celebration! But this post isn’t about my entirely appropriate manflesh fantasies (find out in my upcoming feature film, “Sexy Hacks”). No, this is about a Sonic Generations total conversion, bringing the previously non-PC Sonic Unleashed to the master system.

That was a clever pun to end on, eh? However sensually the conversion was managed, there’s no denying that the fans have captured the headache inducing colours and sproings, along with the vomit inducing camera swirls. However they managed it, I hope Sega are appreciative of the frankly astonishingly professional job that people have done for the love of their game. It’s not as if they were ever going to bring Unleashed to the PC, and with the extra power the PC and the engine has, it’s probably the best version of Unleashed.

Like it? Still have Generations installed on your PC? Here you go.

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59 Comments »

  1. yurusei says:

    Tonight, Sonic comes out of his console prison. Craig steps out of his closet.

  2. 65 says:

    I can’t imagine this will survivelong considering Sega’s more or less recent DMCA shenanigans on Youtube.

    • mrwonko says:

      I can’t imagine this will disappear since there’s a torrent available.

    • Baines says:

      The DMCA shenanigans were for the the Shining franchise, which I believe had a new game in productions. People seemed to think that Sega, or at least someone in the new game’s production, wanted to erase the existence of the previous games from Youtube, possibly to prevent comparison. It really blew up when Sega went so over the top, though, including pulling videos that simply mentioned the name.

      However, there is also the Streets of Rage: Remake project, but last I recall people weren’t sure whether Sega was actually good guy or bad guy because the people involved weren’t allowed to talk about it. (People made a Streets of Rage mega-game, combining all the Streets of Rage games and adding more content. It was going on for a while, and the creators had been talking to Sega to make sure it was okay. The creators eventually put out a “Complete” version of the game, and were immediately C&D’d by Sega. People didn’t know whether Sega had knowingly let the game be released before shutting it down, or whether someone at Sega had realized the extent or existance of the project too late and did a panic C&D. (Regardless, the C&D prevented any future bug fixes or changes to badly designed unlock system.))

    • Tiller says:

      That was one developer who was mad at fans abusing the official Sega Email to take down youtube videos. It wasn’t official Sega action and the guy got his hand slapped pretty hard.

      Sega’s been cool with mods and fangames Sonic wise since:

      A) They’re never going to stop them
      B) they promote their brand
      C) They’ve hired some fans to do good work for them (Sonic CD is using Taxman’s Retro Engine and they hired him to remake the Sonic CD you see on steam)

      • JoshuaMadoc says:

        So I wasn’t too far off when I thought that bullshit festival got started because of one butthurt idiot for an employee. Hope the moron got demoted hard.

        Still, it doesn’t explain what illicit substances SEGA was taking with Streets of Rage Remake.

  3. jellydonut says:

    I thought this was a Cara article at first.

  4. Lewie Procter says:

    I can’t imagine Sega are at all happy with this. It’s on the fringes of piracy rather than modding, since this is actually content ripped from the Xbox 360 version of Sonic Unleashed, which was (with a lot of fixing) fully compatible with Sonic Generations, which uses an updated version of the engine from Unleashed.

    Still a pretty incredible achievement, and judging from that video it appears to have been done to a professional quality. There’s a bunch of tweaks too, and lots of rubbish things from Unleashed have been removed.

    • tobecooper says:

      Well, it’s impossible for Sega to stop this now that it hit the internetz, so the reasonable thing to do would be to get Generations on various promos to try to gain something off the buzz the game will be getting because of the mod. I mean, they can and maybe even should condemn the mod with one hand, but the second hand should be trying to make the best of the situation.

      • nearly says:

        I honestly think (as someone who loved Sonic as a kid but hasn’t bought a game since a Game Gear title in 1999) that I would probably buy it if they were to do a promotion just now. I would even potentially say that I was doing it to support Sega, and maybe even mean it.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      In some respects it is a bit of a shame that the Sonic games are on sale on Steam presently. It would have been interesting to see what sort of a bump to sales of Generations this would have caused. While the combined sale and mod should create a greater bump, Sega will publicly anyway just attribute it to the sale, then do the whole takedown thing after the sale.

  5. andytizer says:

    Who is actually in the market for playing all these Sonic games/fan games/mods? It kind of astounds me that there is such a high cult demand for this stuff.

    • frightlever says:

      “Who is actually in the market for playing all these Sonic games/fan games/mods?”

      Gamers.

    • misterT0AST says:

      What made you say “high cult demand”?
      It’s just regular demand.

    • Dominic White says:

      You underestimate just how many Sonic fans there are out there. If there wasn’t an audience, he wouldn’t be in multiple games every year.

      • Tei says:

        My 4 years old cousin is a fan of Sonic, because Sony Colors in the Wii.

      • thegooseking says:

        Yeah, but a large part of the audience (myself included, I admit) are prone to thinking of each new release, “Maybe this is the one where Sonic becomes good again. It’s not impossible.”

        Although Sonic Generations kind of actually was, so vindicated!

        • Dominic White says:

          About a third of Unleashed (these levels) was good, as was Colours and Generations. Sonic Racers Transformed is downright great, though. I think we’re past the curse of terrible Sonic games, at least for the moment.

        • Baines says:

          I believe it is impossible for the majority of the Sonic fanbase to agree that any particular game is where Sonic “becomes good again”. The games have been so many different things and Sonic is so many different things to so many people.

    • Tiller says:

      Well recently Sonic fangames have been much better than, say Sonic 4′s episodes. They’re the only games that actually get the classic formula mostly right.

      Mods and stuff are the result of the Sonic hacking community, which is actually pretty big. They just do stuff for fun and a good portion of it gives replay value to a game. I have plenty of character mods for Generations with slightly tweaked physics and actions to make playing a stage feel different. This is basically a free map pack with 8 additional stages. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want that.

  6. mollemannen says:

    i would think this is an advanced copy-paste of levels. and by advanced i mean a little harder than copying half-life maps into counter-strike.

    • Milky1985 says:

      If you have a look at the screenshots the texture quality is higher (maybe the textures are available in generations but they may have added them), they bug fixed the levels, made it work with the new mechanics and changed the layout slightly as well in places to make it flow better I guess.

      Its also a different engine than the one used in unleashed, they have changed the lighting system and added a new level select to reflect the new levels, not quite a copy paste :p

    • Tiller says:

      You have no idea what work went into this. They created a mod manager, ripped everything from the 360/PS3 version of unleashed, created a map editor to piece together the levels, ported the objects they could, completely remade a couple of gimmicks and objects, modified enemies to be similar and themed to the stages, created their own whiteworld map with original music, ported an advanced shader left in the Unleashed engine that wasn’t fully utilized and Generations doesn’t have, and had to bugtest their asses to get everything working smoothly. With absolutely no support or tools. They created them on their own.

  7. Ross Angus says:

    OK, enough about the game and mods. I want to read more of Craig’s fan fiction.

  8. DickSocrates says:

    I’m amazed anyone cared enough to make this. That said, some of that trailer is quite exhilarating. Not sure how much gameplay is there, but the sense of speed and the scale of the landscape is very impressive, like a mad dream. Maybe that’s enough?

  9. Jekhar says:

    The article makes it sound like the whole game was ported to the pc, which isn’t true. The “just” converted the day time classic racing levels. That whole night time werehog fighting stuff is gone. And there was no mention of any story elements like cutscenes.

  10. Jason Moyer says:

    It’s hard to even watch a 3-D Sonic game. I hope they just stick to making proper numbered Sonics from now on.

  11. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Is it as much “just hold forward and trust the game” as Sonic Heroes? I always get the impression that I’m not actually playing these modern Sonics… (except when I miss the homing jumps and fly off into the background and die)

    Grumble grumble Sonic 3 & Knuckles grumble grumble.

    • Tiller says:

      Unleashed is more “boost to win” but “boost to die.” A good bit of it is just running forward and avoiding obstacles and lots of scripting that removes control from the player, but it isn’t brain dead. You still got to react fast if you want to go fast or else you’ll just die. Generations improves this for the most part in their modern level design, but it’s still present.

    • Jupiah says:

      You’re not alone. I bought Sonic Generations because of all the buzz about it being the first good one besides Colors in a long time, but I just did not like the modern sonic levels. Too fast, too on rails. It felt like instead of playing a platforming game I was watching a cutscene with an occasional “dodge this obstacle” or “homing jump to this ledge” quicktime event.

      My favorite Sonic game was also Sonic 3 and Knuckles, although Sonic CD is a close second.

  12. Bhazor says:

    Sonic Unleashed?

    …. why? Why would anyone do this?

  13. brulleks says:

    Thank you for that insight into your mind’s eye Craig. I now realise it’s possible to feel endeared and unsettled at the same time.

  14. Lemming says:

    Sonic Unleashed got 4/10 on Eurogamer, so I’ce got to ask…why would you want a mod of it in the first place?

    Also: “bringing the previously non-PC Sonic Unleashed to the master system.”

    Well played.

    • Phantoon says:

      He is a large ham, he is.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      The criticism raised at Sonic Unleashed were:
      -Bad camera
      -Poor controls
      -Anything with “were” in the name

      Sonic Generations’ controls are tight and the camera is good, so that’s fixed, and only the “day” levels are ported here, so none of the story bullshit and werehog stuff.

    • Tiller says:

      It’s the day stages of Unleashed that they ported which play similar to Generations Modern.

      The problems with Unleashed were the werehog slogging (which really isn’t horrible, just not impressive and the opposite of what you do in the day), the framerate issues, the controls feeling like soap, some really bizarre mapping to the controls (the homing attack and boost were on the same button, so sometimes you would just boost away in the air and die instead of homing in on something) and lots of padding.

      None of this is an issue in the Generations controls and engine running on a decent PC. So there you go. It’s basically a map pack to the “good” part of Unleashed.

  15. Meat Circus says:

    I’m terribly sorry, but Sonic Unleashed is shit.

    Sonic Generations is good though.

  16. The JG Man says:

    Sonic Generations’ (Modern Sonic) level design was an evolution of what started in Unleashed (and developed further in the legitimately good Colours). Unleashed reviewed badly because the majority of the game was decried as being bad – this mod is everything that was good. So, if you’ve played Generations and enjoyed it (which the majority of people seem to have done) you should feel comfortable playing these levels, although they are a step-up in relative challenge.

    It’s worth noting too that for the next just under 2 hours, Sonic Generations is on sale on Steam, along with all the other Sonic games. I strongly recommend Generations, both as a good platformer and also if you’ve ever liked Sonic at any point in your life.

  17. mseifullah says:

    I haven’t played Generations or Unleashed, but that trailer makes me want to finally take it out of my Steam gift inventory, where it’s been for about a year, and add it to my library.

    Sonic fans as a whole just are so dedicated, more so than for any other franchise I’ve seen. It surpasses creepy and goes on to be “somewhat troubling” (there’s a French woman that claim’s to be Sonic’s wife). But creepiness aside, I’m glad someone made this, because it looks really fun.

  18. Paul.Power says:

    I once memorably heard Sonic Unleashed described as the game where “Sonic admits he has a problem and checks himself into rehab”. Not an objectively good game, but the game where the series finally arrests its decline and starts improving.

    That and the good bits of the game were [i]very[/i] good (if few and far between), and that this mod only incorporates those bits.

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