NEED TO KNOW
WHAT IS IT? A light RPG adventure set in a Moebiusinspired open world
EXPECT TO PAY £20
DEVELOPER Raw Fury
REVIEWED ON Nvidia RTX 2070, 16GB
RAM, AMD Ryzen 5 3600
LINK shed-works.co.uk/ sable
Every part of my bike tells a story. Stabilisers powered by crystals foraged from a storm-swept plateau; the hood a slick piece of kit picked up in the markets at Eccria; a pristine, ancient engine scavenged from a spaceship older than history. It handles like a dream, but it’s also a living record – one I can imagine my Sable looking at fondly even when her adventures are a distant memory, and a thick layer of dust covers the old bike’s chassis.
A stunning debut work from developer Shedworks, Sable is an open-world RPG styled heavily after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fact, Sable carries a lot of Zelda’s influence – from the stamina bar and free-climbing, to a passing similarity in musical cues. But Shedworks has pointedly rejected combat in its entirety, with a story that ignores traditional fantasy adventure. Sable isn’t here to save the world. She’s just having the gap year of a lifetime.
Among the people of Midden, there’s a rite of passage known as the Gliding. Leaving home and family behind, adolescents head out into the world to take time for themselves, figure out what they want to be, literally trying on new faces in the form of masks before returning home to live out their new-found role in society. As Sable approaches her Gliding, this ritual provides the blueprint for the rest of the game, as you travel across the deserts doing odd-jobs for strangers and earning badges to turn into new masks.
An hour-long tutorial with your clan, the Ibexii, you’re given the two most essential pieces of kit for your travels: a Gliding stone which, once activated, lets you float near-indefinitely in a protective bubble (though there’s no fall damage penalty for hurling yourself off cliffs), and your bike, which you assemble from scavenged parts across the valley. Returning from the ceremony to obtain your mask, you find your clan of nomads has moved on – leaving just you and your bike facing a huge, open desert.
Midden’s desert regions are vast and largely empty, leaving you alone with the hum of your bike and the desert wind. Fittingly, your bike glides more than it revs, lighter even than Destiny’s sparrows. There’s a soft purring to the engine as you float over dunes, creaking as you bump against rocks. It’s often awkward, but never a nuisance – a somewhat inelegant companion that has a playfulness reminiscent of Halo’s bouncing jeeps.
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