It's no secret by now that Shadow the Hedgehog will appear in Sonic Forces. The Ultimate Life Form stars as one of Eggman's enforcers in his latest bid for global conquest, but this development has since left fans wondering why the reformed hedgehog is back on the side of evil, putting him at odds with Modern Sonic and the Resistance.

Today, SEGA has revealed a new prequel DLC for the upcoming title, focusing on the backstory between Shadow and new baddie Infinite and setting the stage for the events of Forces. The appropriately titled Episode Shadow add-on will also feature the grand return of Shadow himself as a playable character, for the first time in eleven years!

Episode Shadow adds three additional levels to the main game, with Shadow playing very much like the Boost-based Sonic we've come to know in recent times, so those who've played the likes of Sonic Generations extensively with mods will no doubt feel right at home. While his own unique story is short, however, you can also swap Modern Sonic out with Shadow and play through several of the former's levels as well. In the above footage, the stage opens to E-123 Omega's disappearance within the dried out Green Hill area, and it's up to the remaining members of Team Dark to investigate. Having traced the signal to the area, Shadow and Rouge the Bat find the Zone overtaken with strange red cubes.

Digital preorders for Sonic Forces are also going live today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with early purchases for the PC version set for Thursday, September 21 (no luck for the Nintendo Switch eShop, unfortunately). Those who do order the game in advance will also receive the same Bonus Edition content from the specially-themed physical release, featuring SEGA and Atlus-themed costumes for the Custom Hero character as well as a Shadow the Hedgehog costume.

Episode Shadow launches simultaneously with Sonic Forces on all platforms come November 7th, and it will be available as a free download to everyone who purchases the game digitally or physically. Are you looking forward to playing as Shadow once again? Are there others characters you'd love to see get similar treatment? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Special thanks to Edith Yang and Aaron Webber from SEGA of America's PR team for the early look back at PAX West! Gamnesia readers can look forward to reading about my time with the Sonic Forces demo from the event (featuring the new Tag Team mechanic), coming soon.