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Sable | Part 1 - Into the Desert


The Ceremony

Table of Contents

screenshot of a videogame. Background contains a statue of a face while in the foreground a character sits, looking at the statue. Light peaks through the windows out of frame and onto the character and statue.

Let me just get this out of the way now. I have only played about 10 or 15 minutes worth of Sable (work and school, what can I say), so this is not a review by any means, nor do I intend to review the game. This is a first impression, with more posts incoming as I make my way through the game.


The game begins in a temple. The music slowly drones in the background, eliciting a peaceful yet mysterious atmosphere to the world.  The camera pans between different interior shots of the temple before finally settling on our protagonist as they make their way to the Giant Face. I have yet to find out the meaning of the face, but when I do, I'll let you know!

Oh, the views!

From here, the game released the controls, and I began to figure out how it all worked. I used a keyboard and mouse, which worked fine, but honestly, this game would do well with a controller. (note for my next playthrough: connect Xbox controller) After getting used to the camera, my first instinct was to run straight at the Giant Face, which is how I found out you can climb in this game. Similar to Breath of the Wild, Sable also uses a stamina meter to determine how long you're able to run or climb. It's also how I found out that you're not supposed to run at the Giant Face and mount it...Anyways, I made my way through the narrow walls, pressed a button to open a door, and climbed up a ladder. Honestly, what I saw made me smile. It was like walking out of Vault 101 for the first time all over again.

Desert landscape. A far off tower sits three quarters from the right with a steam of smoke just beside it. In the foreground a character stands, staring at the tower.

Welcome to Ibex Camp

I began my journey by following the stream of smoke in the distance, eventually making it to Ibex Camp. It's here where you're introduced to Jadi, an elder that seems to be your guardian or at least mentor, and a few other characters, as well as the goal of our character. There is no dialogue in this game, at least as much as I have played. You are presented with dialogue through text windows where you can then pick your response, and honestly, I enjoy it this way for this game. The beginning of the game already set up a mysterious vibe, so I love that I get to choose what to say and create the dialogue in my head. Video games can be like books.

The Atmosphere

What I've enjoyed about the game so far is its atmosphere. The developers used a cell shady, hand-drawn look for the game. It's very minimalistic in its aesthetic, not only in the environment but also in the gameplay elements. When you acquire a compass in most games, it'll be displayed either at the top or bottom of your screen, but in Sable, they hid it away with a hotkey; mine was set to 'Q.' Pressing this will bring up a ring around your character depicting a compass. I personally enjoyed this touch as it kept the screen free of UI elements, which I believe is a huge benefit for this game given how beautiful the world is (and this is just the first 15 minutes!) I'm a sucker for interesting game design, and little things like this really help elevate any game for me.

So far, I've been impressed with this game, and I am really looking forward to playing it some more and writing about my experience with it. I intend to write about my character's journey and maybe some other thoughts on it and other media. Thanks for reading.

- Be like water, my friends.

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About Alivad The Impalaone of us since 9:24 PM on 10.16.2021

I love playing and watching indie games and movies. Experiencing the design choices of these mediums is always fascinating to me. Although I'm new to blogging and writing, I do enjoy the medium and hope to hone my skills with each post. Let me know your thoughts!

Currently Playing

Sable - PC

Demons Souls - PS5