The Sonic Kart racing games have been some lowkey, underappreciated bangers, taking the core concepts of a kart racing game and adding a few of its own touches to make the gameplay feel more unique. Unfortunately, Team Sonic Racing might be a case of Sumo Digital attempting to fix what isn’t broken.
For the most part, Team Sonic Racing plays like a standard kart racing game. Drifting around the track grants boost, there’s items that can screw up other racers and there’s always multiple routes throughout the course. Team Sonic Racing attempts to build on that by adding teamwork mechanics to the game, to mixed success.
Each character belongs to a team of three, and you must work together to help your partners reach the finish line ahead of everyone else. You can use slipstream boosts, pass items to one another and more in order to gain an advantage, and doing so builds your ultimate meter. Once filled, you unleash an unstoppable burst of speed that changes the landscape of the race.
These new tactics add a layer of depth to the racing, but it will take a while to fully adapt to these mechanics. However, the real problem is having to rely on AI partners who seem more than willing to hang out in the middle of the pack when you’re leading the charge. The genre can often be frustrating, as you’re usually prone to getting missiles up the arse on the last corner, but incompetent AI compounds that problem.
There’s a good racing game here, with tight controls and decent tracks, but it’s lugging the weight of an unnecessary team mechanic that drags down the whole experience. Maybe you should stick to playing Onrush for now, but if you must find out for yourself, Team Sonic Racing will launch in December 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.