Sable put to the test: a breathtaking paradise of boredom

Sable put to the test: a breathtaking paradise of boredom

Sable put to the test

On paper, Sable sounds like a doomed project. Only two developers dare to embark on an open-world adventure without any action. In addition, they want to compete against one of the best games of recent times: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We perceive the Nintendo game as a template throughout our 20-hour game session. A comparison is therefore inevitable, even if it seems unfair in terms of the size of the production. In the test, we clarify who the experimental Zelda clone Sable is aimed at, what makes it so fascinating and where there are lots of stumbling blocks in the sand.


Sable | REVIEW | A breathtaking paradise of boredom loadVideoPlayer ('84476', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured', 12, '16: 9 ', false, 1380466, false, 267610, 260, false, 0,' ',' ', false); Sable In the test, we clarify who the experimental Zelda clone Sable is aimed at, what makes it so fascinating and why there are loads of bugs hiding in the sci-fi dunes of the action adventure.

Table of contents

1 Story: Grown by the stranger 2 Game world: A breathtaking place Nothing 3 Missions & Gameplay: Collecting, breaking out and determining 4 Motivation & drive: Chic outfit, fast vehicle 5 Audio & Sound: Wonderful graphic novel to replay 6 Technology & Performance: Sci-Fi dunes full of bugs 7 Conclusion: For some a masterpiece, for others a horror

Story: The stranger has grown

The personal story of travel Adventures focuses on the young girl Sable (buy now / € 22.49), who has to embark on a journey of self-discovery on a futuristic glider that is common for her tribe. Doesn't sound particularly fancy at first ... it isn't. But the thin story fits in well with Sable's oeuvre and never unnecessarily comes to the fore. Instead, it's about exploring and exploring the game world Midden. It is important to mention that there is no devastation that we should stop. There is also no overpowering opponent who wants to subjugate the world. Not even enemies. Overall, Sable offers very little at first glance, but the fascination increases with every hour of play and those who bite through the somewhat monotonous one-hour tutorial will be rewarded - at least all those who have a heart for such unusual games.

Sometimes masterful: In its best moments, Sable is actually one of the greatest games of the year, but they are often overshadowed by the graphical problems. Source: PC Games In addition to some communities that give the lifeless game world an identity, there are also countless old spaceships and fragments to be discovered. They serve more narrative fodder about the downfall and the final hours of a fallen civilization. For example, we find several stations of an intact A.I. in the vast desert, which gives an interesting insight into the past of the mysterious world. One can only guess what the desert looked like hundreds of years ago, but the huge skeletons and the fragments hidden by the sand stir our imagination. Incidentally, there is no voice output, so if you want to familiarize yourself with Sable's charming homeland, you have to read - and even then some things remain a question mark. Localizations in some languages ​​are planned, including German, Spanish and French, but this will only follow in the next few months. According to the development team, they would like to publish this by the end of 2021.

Game world: A breathtaking little corner of nothing

If you don't feel like a story model like this, you can indulge in the actual heart of Sables : The breathtaking game world and the exploration of the foreign, which enchants in a very special way. The intimate gaming experience, which focuses on relaxation, calm and melancholy, actually ties in with the fascination of the destroyed Hyrules in its best moments. As already mentioned, the focus is on Sable's self-discovery. But what would self-discovery be without any spiritual component, right? It comes in the form of our gliding device "Simoon", which has a kind of soul with which we should build a deeper bond over the course of our adventure.

With good music through the night: To the soundtrack of the indie band " Japanese Breakfest "Roaring through the sci-fi desert of Sable is a fantastic feeling that inspires us even after hours. Source: PC Games When we fly through the barren desert on our indestructible Hoverbike, memories of Rey's stay on the Star Wars planet Jakku or very fresh cinema memories of Denis' sci-fi epic Dune spring to mind Villeneuve (read our detailed film review here). Likewise, the Playstation masterpiece Journey has its parallels to Sable. But what do you actually do now, apart from sliding, when there are no fights? Riddles, for example: In addition to the small destroyed spaceships in Midden, there are also huge wrecks that offer large puzzles in the style of the Zelda shrines from Breath of the Wild. The head nuts are by no means so successful and complex, but the dungeons have a magical touch due to their imposing size and beautiful look that cannot be dismissed.

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Missions & Gameplay: Collecting, clearing and investigating excrement

In addition, there are plenty of quests to do in the many nomad settlements and outposts. Sometimes we should collect the droppings from giant beetles by jumping cheekily on their backs after feeding.

Imposing wrecks, measly puzzles: all over Midden there are huge old spaceship wrecks with complex puzzles waiting for us. Unfortunately, they are never really good and are usually rather boring. Source: PC Games Elsewhere, a foster father of orphans wants us to free a child from prison with the help of a fabled and feared mask. Sable reaches the climax of the mission when it comes to complex investigative work in which we collect evidence to find a perpetrator. Admittedly, there are the more unusual missions, most of the time they are limited to simple "fetch quests". The developers don't want to playfully challenge us, they just want to chase through the desert. This can be a major criticism, but it also depends on what you hope for from Sable. Some people will like the gameplay enormously, because it is so different, so refreshing and so brave.

As already mentioned, fights do not play a role. Even the few animals that can be discovered are never after us. Even if we jump from the top of a huge ruin, we don't get any harm. This is explained by our magic floating ball, similar to the Parasegel from Link, but it still takes a lot of getting used to. Nothing in Midden will or can harm us. And here again is the question of whether this should be viewed as a criticism. Because on the one hand there is actually a lack of excitement, danger or dynamism over a longer period of time, but in the same breath that is really great! Instead of constantly struggling with bats or goblins, we breathe and enjoy the backdrops and scenery. Sable rewards with its beauty. If you stand in the middle of the desert and see wonderful mountain slopes or flying islands, you can hardly wait to climb up gradually. Link sends his regards: As in the obvious example of Breath of the Wild, it is possible for us to improve our stamina with the help of collectibles in order to achieve higher points in the game world. Source: PC Games

Motivation & drive: chic outfit, fast vehicle

There is no skill system or opportunities to further develop Sable's skills. Except for our stamina, which, like the Zelda model, is essential for running and climbing. So-called "chum eggs" can be found everywhere in Midden. We can bring them to the Chum Queen, who rewards us with a new endurance bar - once again, Breath of the Wild sends its regards. In order to keep us going, there are many items of clothing and masks that we earn from the various nomadic tribes. They have no armor value - that would be pretty nonsensical in Midden anyway - but they are appealing because of their different looks or noises. For example, there is a fancy outfit with crystals that clink with every step. Speaking of clinking, there is of course a currency in Midden as well. With this we can provide our loyal sliding partner with new parts. They make our aircraft faster, more manoeuvrable or simply more stylish.

You want to look chic: Even in a largely extinct desert, fashion is in the foreground. With the countless tribes in Midden, we can stock up on different clothes and make ourselves pretty. Source: PC Games

Audio & Sound: Beautiful graphic novel to replay

The obvious strength that has been inspiring since the announcement on the Xbox Show 2018 is the breathtaking art style of Sable. The Shedworks studio did a great job of making Sable look like an interactive and beautiful graphic novel. The outstanding French cartoonist Jean "Moebius" Giraud embodies an obvious influence. For an additional "cartoon style", the movements and animations of the characters are reduced, which conjures up such an original appearance in the overall picture that it amazes us several times. Paired with the soundtrack written especially for the game by the indie band "Japanese Breakfest" and the generally wonderful audio background, the result is an audiovisual masterpiece that is rarely seen.

A paradise for explorers: The Midden desert , which is reminiscent of Sci-Fi works like Star Wars and Dune, may seem a bit boring at first, but with every hour of play, new breathtaking scenery and environments emerge that are rarely seen in open-world games . Source: Microsoft

Technology & Performance: Sci-Fi dunes full of bugs

Sable also relies on a day-night system, in which the first of the major weaknesses presents itself. The carefully selected color palettes of the seven world areas can actually convince across the board, but at night the image shown quickly turns into a monotonous and muddy disappointment. Mountains look strangely semi-transparent from a distance, shadows rarely appear as they should and in general there are various graphic errors and frame rate drops that cause displeasure. While this is still manageable for the die-hard on the PC or the Xbox Series X and S, the problems on the Xbox One are often so severe that you hardly have a chance to slip into the magical gameplay flow of Sable. According to the developer duo, they are aware of the problems and promise to fix them in the next few weeks. We don't want to be too strict with the debut work of the London studio Shedworks, should the many graphical annoyances actually be minimized with the help of a patch, we would include this in our final rating.

Conclusion: For some a masterpiece, a horror for others

Now we come to the all-important question: How good is Sable and who is this emotional travel adventure aimed at? If you can gain something from experimental games, you will find countless things in the Midden desert that will burn in over the long term. However, if you have your difficulties with rather calm and minimalist stories and are hoping for a similarly varied and intense adventure like Breath of the Wild, you could be quite pissed off. Sable is a small project with a lot of heart that only works if you are actually ready to surrender to the emptiness and calm. Between the many spaceship wrecks, the outposts and dunes lie magical moments that deserve to be discovered.

Sable has been in Xbox Game Pass since September 23, 2021. For PC, Xbox One and the Xbox Series consoles, the intimate desert fun costs just under 25 euros. If you do not have a Game Pass and still want to dive into Midden via Xbox One, we advise against it due to the technical problems at the moment. How do you like the melancholy sci-fi journey? Are you frightened by the game world or can Sable's adventure sweep you away? Write us your opinion in the comments!

Sable (PC) 7/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons A breathtaking and original game world Charming characters and figures Unique gameplay with a lot of emotionality and melancholy Lots of great places to discover Fantastic soundtrack that captures the world great Fantastic art style that feels new Lots of options to customize your own glider and character Lots of bugs and graphic errors Heavy frame rate drops, especially on the Xbox One Far less impressive at night and in the dark. Puzzles are often too simple and uncreative. Monotonous gameplay that could put off many players every type of player.

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