Three years since its debut at the PC Gaming Show, Shedworks' widely anticipated open-world adventure Sable is finally nearing release. In the latest issue of Edge, we catch up with studio founder Gregorios Kythreotis – who has produced a bespoke piece of artwork that adorns the cover of E362 – to find out what makes its beautiful, Jakku-inspired sandbox tick.
Taking cues from Team Ico's output and The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Sable's world nevertheless has a feel and mood that's all its own – helped no end by evocative sound design from Martin Kvale and an emotive score from Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast. "The whole process has been amazing," Kythreotis says, of working with the pair. "At least I can say [with confidence] that this game's going to sound good."
Those who played the recent demo on Steam and Xbox may be surprised at just how much freedom you're given. The opening, as Sable prepares to embark upon a rite of passage known as Gliding, is misleadingly dense: once you're in the world, it's entirely up to you where you head next.
It’s a place where key items don’t simply magic into existence when you’re told about them: you can complete quests without ever having spoken to anyone, and the game will simply roll with it. "The main thing that we wanted to encourage was this idea that the player wouldn't feel like if they came across something before they should, that they would be punished for it," Kythreotis says.
The result is a game that avoids the traditional open-world shopping list to gradually tick off, in favour of a story where you set your own goals, and where the discoveries feel all the more organic and satisfying. "It really feels like [the players] are the ones uncovering it rather than you standing over their shoulder being like, 'Yeah, look in that corner there,'" Kythreotis explains.
Highlights from Edge 362
Still, sometimes it pays to have a little guidance, so allow us to direct you towards some other highlights from E362. In Knowledge, we run the rule over Valve's Steam Deck, and explain why those 'Switch killer' headlines don't really do it any favours. We find out how Sheffield indie Steel City Interactive is set to define the future of boxing videogames. And in our Hype section we take a look at Annapurna's spectacular rock odyssey The Artful Escape, indie immersive sim Weird West and Soulslike sequel Salt & Sacrifice, as well as talking to the team behind Early Access hit Phantom Abyss.
It's a strong month for reviews, too, with the first verdict on Digixart’s endlessly surprising Road 96, alongside Neo: The World Ends With You, Death's Door, Last Stop and more. And accompanying our comprehensive review of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles are some fascinating insights from creator Shu Takumi.
With a retrospective dedicated to how Bionic Commando Rearmed reinvented the arcade game for the download generation and a look at how today's developers are taking retro revivalism to new extremes, E362 is a packed issue – and it’s on sale now.