The coming-of-age story is one of the world’s most recognizable themes, though most take on a much different form than the upcoming Sable, by London-based Shedworks, in which the eponymous protagonist must undergo her “gliding,” a rite of passage similar to a vision quest, using her hoverbike for transport across the planet’s desert landscapes.
While specific story details will be left for the player to uncover, exploration will be a key aspect of the narrative. Sable’s gliding ability will take her through mysterious ruins to ancient monuments and fallen spaceships, putting her in contact with various other cultures and nomadic tribes scattered across her world. Ultimately, her adventure will be one of understanding, attempting to answer important questions about how and why prior events occurred as they did. The search for answers will lead players on a “deeply personal journey . . . while learning (the planet’s) history and discovering Sable’s place in the world.”
The game’s 3D graphics are quite striking, with an illustrated ligne claire art style setting Sable apart from its peers, while solo indie musician Japanese Breakfast is composing the score and Sunless Sea and Horizon Zero Dawn veteran Meg Jayanth is handling the story. Presented in third-person perspective, Sable allows players to explore the open-world environments at their own pace, with opportunities to scour for hidden secrets and collectables, meet other nomads and “help them out and discover their stories,” customize the protagonist’s hoverbike, and freely “climb anywhere” both in the air and on foot. While puzzles will be present, they are optional, as the developers promise that “it’s up to you what you want to do.”
Sable is currently targeting a 2021 launch on Steam for Windows and Mac, along with the Microsoft Store for Xbox Series X consoles. Interested gamers can glide over to Shedworks’ website for more information.