E3 has always been the It’s time to see the latest updates on some of the most anticipated games, and this year was no exception with Shedworks’ debut game, Sable. Originally announced at E3 2018, Sable has been slightly behind its planned 2020 release date, possibly due in part to the pandemic.
However, that era was not for nothing as Sable continued to garner an audience, gaining attention for its unique visual style and straightforward premise. The game follows Sable, a young girl about to leave her tribe for a rite of passage to explore the vast deserts and ruins that surround her home.
Since 2018, there have been tiny developer updates giving a glimpse into the world of Sable, but it wasn’t until this year that we finally got a more complete look at the game’s mechanics and the featured character. We’ve picked out the most important things about Sable that you need to know before you jump on your paraglider and head out into the desert.
1. Sable is the first game from Shedworks
Sable has received a lot of press since its announcement, but it turns out the game is being developed by a relatively new studio run by just two friends: Daniel Fineberg and Gregorios Kythreotis. Although the studio was founded in 2014, Sable will be their first game.
They’ve worked on other projects with other bands to put their talents to work in videos, apps, and music. As recently as 2018, Shedworks worked in conjunction with Sam Jacobs to make the Disappear here exposure. However, Sable is their first full-fledged attempt to develop a game on their own. Sable is shaping up to be one of the most notable new indie games of the year, and the fact that it’s created by such a green pair of game developers is impressive.
2. Personalize your clothes and your glider
Clothes make the nomad. What is a rite of passage without changing identity to correspond? Any good trip should allow the player to match the feelings they begin to develop during their adventure, and Sable does this in two ways.
Sable begins with just three items of clothing: pants, a coat, and a mask. However, there will be opportunities to mix and match these three clothing locations with others found in the wilderness. It is not known if the outfits will also have mechanics or if they will remain strictly cosmetic. Only time will tell.
The second main character in the game, Sable’s bike, can also be customized. Parts of the bike can be found all over the world, such as in the remains of fallen spaceships in the middle of the desert. The changes Sable makes to his bike can even affect your hoverbike’s handling and speed performance.
3. Influence of artistic style
Shedworks was open to their influences artistically during the development of the game. They cite the French artist Moebius, the Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli and even the cartoon Tintin as key inspirations of their visual style.
Sable’s most important and easily recognizable influence is the work of Moebius. In fact, beyond the soft colors and ancient cosmic tone that Sable and Moebius share, there are even some clichÃ©s that appear to be direct tributes to the work of Moebius.
Take, for example, the opening to the game where Sable walks through the ruins to sit down in front of a giant face, reminiscent of other scenes from the Moebius catalog. From the design of ruins to the mysterious airships floating in the sky, there seems to be a strong influence of the French artist. So be on the lookout for what might be other references to Moebius ‘work or even another of Shedworks’ inspirations in Sable.
4. An open and calm world
This wide open world may seem like it hides dangers unknown to Sable, but Shedworks wanted to focus on exploring and getting lost in the world they created. The player is free to explore without worrying that something might hinder their progress or come out of the shadows.
There is no restriction for the player in this regard. Without fear, the player can focus on how they experience their journey rather than planning a fight or being too afraid to venture further into nature. Sable seems to want his players to get lost in the journey as they scale mountains and crawl through ruins in search of artifacts, upgrades, and themselves.
Along with the bike parts, artifacts, and outfits that Sable can collect, some eggs can be found all over the world atop cliffs and in rock beds. Although their reward is unknown, their challenge lies in how they appear to be hidden and moved.
Although the world may seem large, it is not endless. There was speculation early on that Sable might have an unlimited world to explore, but the game world has a limit as all of the environments have been handcrafted and organized for the player to enjoy. Everything is intentional.
5. Sable is not just a biker
While the hovercraft is really cool and the scenic shots look like they’ve come straight out of the deserts of Tatooine, the game offers other ways to navigate the environment. The first is a climbing mechanism that looks like a more streamlined version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s climbing system.
Sable can climb any surface in the game but is limited to a small stamina bar, and so far it doesn’t appear that this bar can be improved – the player will need to be aware of how they use their stamina. endurance. From the demo there doesn’t seem to be a way to jump higher with a low bar to reach a little further like in Zelda, but maybe an upgrade can change that.
In addition to climbing, Sable unlocks the ability to soar using ancient secrets that appear to have been passed down to his tribe. Sable uses a rock that has been imbued with cosmic rays from a nearby temple to create a bubble around it, and that bubble makes it fall much slower through the air with much more control. The ability to fly over will allow the player to reach chasms that they once thought were impossible.
6. There is more than tourism
However, just because there are no enemies in the desert doesn’t mean that there are no challenges that the player will be tasked with taking on. There are puzzles to complete to access new areas and learn more about the world. Sable will have to use his know-how to interact with the environment, collect key parts, and maneuver ruins and mountains to reach his destinations.
The inhabitants of the world of Sable use technology recovered from fallen spaceships, but they are still partly a mystery in their construction. From what the demo looks like, some of these puzzles will revolve around the secrets of these trades as well as the ancient secrets of the temple ruins dotted throughout the game.
There are even a few quests that Sable will find himself doing, including scarab hunting to find a part for his hoverbike, where the player gets their first interaction with one of the young nomadic children of the Sable Tribe. The quest, while straightforward, also acts as a way to show that things might not be as straightforward as they initially seem.
7. The characters are essential
Sable’s story centers on the young girl’s growth as she leaves her home. Her story is based on isolation, and how she reacts and learns about the world around her will be the main focus. There will be a lot of quiet moments where it will just be Sand sliding alone in the desert or slowly climbing up a cliff to reach a new artifact.
However, those moments will be made up for by the characters Sable meets on his journey. Just as Sable meets characters to give her direction with quests, she will also encounter opportunities to find other people who will teach her more about the world and herself.
In the demo, we get a taste of it with dialogue options and Sable’s inner monologue as she reflects on her conversation with her friends. There are options available that seem to alter the course of the conversation slightly, but it is not clear to what extent these options can drastically affect the flow of the game.
Sable’s story is poised to be one of exploration, introspection, and reflection, and we can’t wait to see how she develops as a character during her time in the sandy deserts.
Sable will launch on September 23, 2021 for PC and Xbox Series X | S and will be available on Xbox Game Pass.
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