They tossed in one of the dumbest "twists" in the history of gaming. A werehog? Really? Stretchy arms? Did anyone actually believe this was going to be fun? Gone are any elements of speed, replaced with mindless and poorly designed brawling segments with some terrible platforming sections.
Terrible level design, unresponsive controls, and a poor camera are just the beginning of the problems in this awful adventure.
As much as I disliked lumbering through levels as Sonic’s hulky Werehog, I disliked hunting through the hub worlds looking for coins even more. Sega, if you really want to fix Sonic, the first thing you should do is stop trying to fix him.
Compared to Mario Galaxy or Ratchet & Clank - heck, even compared to Crash Bandicoot, another platforming mascot mired in mediocrity - Sonic Unleashed is an obviously poor effort from a series that is still hopelessly lost in the modern gaming landscape.
The main character’s name is SONIC – it’s a reference to how fast he can run. Why must the game include all this other random crap, especially when it isn’t all that polished anyhow?
Sonic Unleashed isn’t quite the spectacular return to form promised, but it’s a hell of a lot closer than Sega’s other recent efforts. [Jan 2009, p.89]
Sonic Unleashed takes two steps forward with some of the best speed levels in recent memory, and one step back by tacking on yet another failed experiment with the Werehog.