Before anyone gets confused and befuddled: no, the above video is not Sonic 4. What it is, instead, is a fan-made video using renders to reanimate one of the first levels of the Genesis favorite Sonic & Knuckles in glorious 3D. And glorious is indeed the best way to describe the video: everything from the physics of the jumping to the placement of enemies is matched up to the classic version, and the detailed objects and light effects make the level seem real enough that it should be a proper game.
That's likely the reason that Sega's own community blog have picked up on the many tips toward this fan video. In their own words:
We've seen it for the love of Tikal, we've seen it!There can't be much more satisfying for a fan than having your tribute acknowledged by the company it honors. Still, it's easy to see why some fans are a bit miffed that the lovely rendered level above isn't part of a larger production, even the point of disparaging Sonic 4's graphics and physics as those demonstrated in this video.
Honestly, I've been bombarded with all sorts of messages some very excited, some downright rude, telling "SEGA" in no uncertain terms about the video. Truth is we saw it hours ago and think it looks absolutely awesome.
While it may be easy to stick with the side of nostalgia, it's also worth noting that the Sonic & Knuckles video is simply a mock-up, with no plans or method for becoming part of a larger game. Revisiting old levels might be a blast, but it's easy to focus on shiny graphics when you don't have to worry about creating a whole new game. That said, this gamer's money would much prefer going toward the classic physics of Sonic than the version Sega's working on now.
Sonic 4: Episode 1 is still scheduled for release later this year.