Game review on Xbox One, PC
Zach McCoy-Davies / Tue 24th Jan 2017
152 views / 2 bites
OVERVIEW Steep is an open-world extreme sports game, set within the glorious snowy mountains of the Alps. Giving players four unique ways to navigate the terrain; players are set loose to shred, glide and fly to high score heaven.
From the get go the player is dropped within the world of extreme sports as the game guides you through the basics of each game mechanic: Skiing, Snowboarding, Paragliding and Wingsuit Flying. From there the player is free to choose drop zones, scout locations and join other players in the seamless online open-world.
The story is very thin with Red Bull events, leading the player progressively forward to harder challenges and high XP levels. Occasionally, there is a mountain-based 'story mission' in which the mountains take the player on a journey with soothing narration and swaying music.
With not much story to follow, the gameplay will either sway you or leave you loathing Steep. If you love watching GoPro footage from base-jumpers, or want to feel the thrill of snowboarding down a snowy mountain-side, then this is the game for you. Each play-style feels unique (apart from snowboarding and skiing which use the same base mechanics) and caters for casual gamers, making it accessible for anyone.
Wingsuitting is a definite highlight, as making it through small gaps in a rocky cliffside is always an achievement. You feel accomplished if you make a risky maneuver or land an impressive trick as the reward system is forgiving, allowing you to unlock extra gear and better drop zones.
Much like the game 'Skate', You are able to restart a challenge if you make a mistake and get straight back into the action which keeps the game flowing nicely. The trick system is also quick to learn, allowing you to pull off great lines with ease. Having the ability to switch to a different sport at any time is also a plus as it allows you to explore different paths you have uncovered without any load time.
Steep is one great looking game, no matter what system you decide to play on. Ubisoft have done a fantastic job capturing the essence of the snow capped mountains, littering them with realistic particle effects and lighting. With the ability to change the time of day, the environments all look rich and vibrant from sunrise to sunset.
Player models also look crisp no matter what sport you choose, making for great YouTube montage eye-candy. The ragdoll effects are rewarding in their own right, lending well to the overall art style.
Audio effects are firmly placed within the genre of extreme sports. The music is laced with indie rock roots reserved for the type of highlight reel a professional athlete would upload to YouTube. While it suits the style of game, it may not be for everyone.
The environment is where the game really comes to life, with the snow crunching beneath you and the wind lifelike. The player grunts as you land hard, lets out a loud scream as you pull off a great trick and always has a comment to make when you land on your face. A great touch and nod to another popular Ubisoft franchise is the eagle cry as you freefall from a high jump, I'll let you figure out what game I'm referring to.
VERDICT If you enjoy sport games like the 'Skate' series and want something that will hold your attention with loads of objectives then pick Steep up, just expect many face-plants along the way.