Sable puts you in the shoes of a young glider who leaves her clan to venture out on a mission to find masks. This is her rite-of-passage and will allow her to return to her clan. This young glider, named Sable, is tasked with finding badges that will help her procure these masks. This narrative is simple, and quite minimalistic, as the main focus of this title is around discovery and puzzle-solving.
Most of the dialogue is used simply to advise you of different points of interest. It doesn’t really provide any sort of narrative substance beyond that. Unfortunately this leads to dialogue that can be skipped. This is a real disappointment as there could have been potential to create lore for this world, to add meaning to your exploration.
Sable’s Underwhelming Mechanics
The majority of your time spent in Sable will be traversing around on your glider, looking for different places to explore. And honestly, it’s a bit hit and miss. As the game itself offers minimal direction for exploration, requiring you to discover towns and camps on your own, it quickly becomes tedious. There are many places to explore in Sable, and whilst some of it can be quite interesting, most of the world feels very empty, making traversal monotonous. Now, I understand that this design was supposed to evoke a sense of loneliness for the main character. However, this leaves the exploration feeling dull.
Most of the puzzle-solving elements in this game are very simple, often just requiring you to climb whatever is closest to you. Then you just continue in an upward spiral till you reach the top. The game does use a stamina bar for climbing, in an attempt to make you be more creative in how you traverse the environment for these solutions. However, the rate at which this stamina bar depletes, makes Breath of the Wild’s look like it lasts forever.
One major issue in Sable is its frequent bugs. The constant stuttering that occurs whilst riding your glider, quickly becomes an irritation and an eyesore. Also, I don’t quite know what is going on with the walking animation, but visually it’s a little stiff. Add to this a camera that will randomly move in a different direction to the player as well as the game not recognising when the player is attempting to interact with the environment, and you are left with some very disappointing gameplay.
Sable’s Beautiful Art Style
The art style in Sable is simple, but effective. Opting for a cell-shaded design, it really does look stunning at times. It’s day/night cycle even drastically changes the colour scheme as you travel throughout its various locations. Utilising a full colour palette for the day time, and a greyscale design for night, this is a really cool experience for the first few cycles. Unfortunately, this feature does become tiresome after a while.
Despite having much potential, Sable fails to provide enough content to be worthwhile. Whilst it may be intriguing at first, with its open exploration and interesting art style, Sable quickly becomes repetitive. You may get some enjoyment out of this title initially, but the lack of an interesting narrative coupled with inconsistent gameplay mechanics will leave you dissatisfied.
By Samuel Incze
Though Sable may have a fantastic art style and a large open world, with a variety of environments, its lack of a strong narrative and underwhelming gameplay fail to impress. The game may seem intriguing at first, but ultimately, it will leave players disappointed.
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