GGRecon's Best Indie Games of 2021: Sable

GGRecon's Best Indie Games of 2021: Sable
Images: PixPil

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Posted 

10th Dec 2021 14:46

I'm sure we're all in agreement that visuals aren't everything in games. Sure, the argument will rear its head every once in a while - where the conversation used to rely solely on "graphics" has now turned into a scuffle over which game can strike the goal of 120 FPS at 4K first.

Thankfully, the subject is beginning to wane, as many games get closer and closer to looking like you're just watching something filmed in the real world. But, it doesn't always have to be this way. Sometimes, the most visually remarkable works of art don't replicate life at all, and adopts its own style and form to create something abstract enough to be fascinating, and real enough to remain engaging. Thank goodness, then, that we have Shedworks to deliver exactly that for the world of video games.

Sable: Stuck In The Midden With You

Sable puts you in the boots of Sable (naturally), a girl embarking on her first "gliding" across the mystical world of Midden, a journey that is designed to help Sable become who she will be for the rest of her life. It's a sentimental yet simple premise, but frankly, it doesn't need much in the way of story to make you compelled to explore.

The first thing you'll notice about Sable, of course, is its heavily cel-shaded art style that immediately sets it apart from any other game on the market. There is no other game that looks even slightly like it, with a compelling visual style that persists even when everything is bathed by the luminescence of some of your Gliding's caverns and dungeons.

Sable: Gliding & Striding

One of the most important features of Sable's gameplay is that there is no combat anywhere, but entirely intentionally. Peaceful interactions with Midden's caverns and crevices maintain the sanctity of the land you walk on, making your whole adventure feel as though it is truly a sacred birthright.

Every step you take and metre you cross in your hoverbike feels significant, and makes you truly consider what it is we're put here on Earth to do. Sable is a deeply evocative game that, despite some of its eerieness, is incredibly relaxing that allows you to take a backseat from the vigorous action of many games on the market and allow you to truly reflect, using Sable's journey as a means to reconsider.

Sable is special not only in presentation, but also in heart. The game is one of the most considered of the year, and comes with a sincerity that's tough to beat. If you've got the time for a game that can allow you to relax and explore in a similar vein to Abzu, then Sable is an absolute treat that is not to be missed.

 

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