I really wanted to like this game, and I mean it. I don't exaggerate when I think this game is just straight-up bad.
There is one word that describes this game's controls perfectly: Unintuitive.
I've found myself always performing an air dash instead of a double jump, because I'm just used to games tieing their double jump to the same damn button that makes you do the regular jump; although I admit this might be a personal issue.
Speaking of the air dash, I've found it to be extremely unreliable to start combos. More often than not, I will perform an air dash to hit an enemy, just to fly over it instead.
The charged homing attack isn't very pleasant to use either, since it takes way too long to charge.
The most reliable attack in the game is the spindash, since you can just press down while walking and then just keep turning around. It is very cheesy and won't give you a good style ranking, but I can't be assed to try anything else when it always results in me not hitting the enemy and running straight into their attacks almost every time.
And it's not only the combat that feels unintuitive, the overall movement is as well. Playing this game feels like walking in the streets with an abusive father that holds your arm with a painfully hard grip and drags you around to make sure you won't stay a centimeter away from him.
When you jump from a spring, your entire movement is locked until you reach the peak of your height. Whenever you land from a jump, Sonic does a landing animation and you can't jump until it's finished. You cannot jump while looking up for absolutely no goddamn reason. Jumping while having the miminal amount of speed accumulated feels like playing Super Mario Bros. 1 all over again; no, this is not a compliment. If you're jumping left, you cannot turn around while in mid-air, the best you can do is barely reduce your speed. If you jump while standing still, Sonic will barely speed up when jumping, forcing you to always jog a notch before jumping. It felt terrible in Sonic Unleashed/Generations and it feels terrible here.
And then there's the tutorial. It's awful. Stopping every time you see a speech sign to see information about the game being explained in an unnecessarily slow-paced fashion is extremely tedious. I did not read every single speech bubble, and I'm not ashamed of admmiting that, because if I did so, completing the tutorial might as well have taken twice as long to finish as that infamous Sonic Heroes tutorial with Omochao interrupting you every five seconds. Ever thought about that? Also, thanks for making playing the tutorial mandatory, jerk.
The only thing I can praise about the game is the presentation. The game looks gorgeous. But that's all there is to it. Seeing the trailers is exciting and cool. Actually playing the game yourself is painful.
With all of that said, how can the game be improved?
First of all, the controls. Give the player more control over their air momentum. Allow players to go left and right freely while in mid-air. Don't lock the player's controls during specific animations, it's unnecessary and it just make the controls feel restrictive and unsatisfying. Map the double jump to the jump button, or at least make it a toggle, for crying out loud. Instead of making the homing attack something you need to charge, just make the air dash work as a homing attack when enemies are nearby, just like EVERY OFFICIAL SONIC GAME. Increase the height the double jump gives you if you decide to tap it instead of holding it.
Simplify the combat a bit more. If you want players to enjoy your combat, a great way to do it is to make the combat be extremely simple and intuitive for first-time players, and then you add several *optional* movement options that give players a large variety of abilities to master over the course of the game.
You could make so you can defeat enemies by spamming homing attack (preferrably without needing to charge it), but also give the player extra moves that can be chained to either get extra height, speed and/or higher style ranks. This is a concept that's already somewhat present in the game, but what's missing is that surface-level simplicity I'm talking about. Playing the game as a first-time player is not intuitive, and it truly feels like you need to master all of the game's mechanics so you can then START having fun.
As for the tutorial: Do not try to explain information through text unless absolutely necessary. The most pleasant tutorials are those where you don't feel like you're reading an instruction manual to play the game, but rather just let you play the game while its mechanics are being explained through context. If you absolutely NEED text to explain something, do it like any other Sonic game, and give the player a speech orb that gives them a short text that doesn't interrupt gameplay in any shape or form when touched.
ULTRAKILL is a great example of all of what I've just said. The game tells you how to slide, dash and damage enemies while close to them to regain health, but all of this information is conveyed through text that doesn't interrupt gameplay. The game eventually tells you that you can charge your Revolver, and the text that tells you that appears when you reach a room with a glass floor. The game doesn't have to separately tell you that you need a charged shot to break the glass floor, and the developer confirmed the room has specifically a glass floor instead of a glass wall so players can be fully aware of the idea they can break some floors with the pistol, and then you can figure out on your own you can take advantage of that to kill large groups of enemies by shooting the floor they're standing on, throwing them into a bottomless pit.
And I think that's all. I really hope this game improves, because it has potential. But it will need a little bit more than just good presentation to really be a good game.