On Friday last week Ubisoft’s Steep opened the slopes of its beautiful mountains to winter sports fans around the globe. I’ve spent around 8-10 hours of time with the game, and I have a lot I need to get off my chest.
While I’ve currently reached level 9, I’ve played both Steep’s beta and release, enough to get a feel for the game. I still have much to see and do, but I’m pretty confused on some aspects of the games. Here’s what you should know.
Going into Steep I was really hoping for something more in tune to Amped, SSX or Coolboarders. Instead, I got the Skate of the mountain which isn’t a bad thing. Really this is the best extreme winter sports sim of all time, because frankly, there hasn’t been any competition. The biggest problem is Steep seems to get confused with what it wants to be. When it tries to be goofy it just doesn’t work, namely, the talking mountains are really out of place.
Yes, the Mountains actually talk to you. It’s even weirder than it sounds.
The difficulty curve is hard but certainly fair though the G-Force System is extremely unreliable. You can hit the same jump 100 times, and get 100 radically different results, from landing without impact to crashing to anywhere in between. There also seems to be no way to soften your landing – once you take to the air, you can no longer control how you land, which I guess is supposed to feel more realistic, but it just isn’t fun. I found myself going off a ramp and immediately restarting, over and over and over and over and over again, until you get a jump that might maybe possibly hopefully work out. Fingers (skis) crossed. I really do like the fact it’s not brutally easy like a Tony Hawk title.
WAY TO MUCH WALKING!!!!! Where is a grappling hook when you need it. The walking is brutal. Imagine traveling across the Witcher 3 on foot at 1/16th (I just made up a number, I’m not good at math) of the speed. It’s painful.
Why can’t I customize a character? Players don’t have stats, which is another weird choice, so why does it matter. I believe there are 6 or 7 people you can choose from and that’s it. The only you can buy in this game are helicopter rides, clothes, and gear. Like Watch Dogs 2, there are some really out-there outfits. Think Dead Rising in terms of clothing. It would have been nice to pick a face for my snow bro.
The size of the world is massive. It looks like I have a ton left to do, with plenty of room for DLC. It’s a shame I can’t figure out a way to get to most of these places without walking however.
I really like the boarding and the wingsuit, though it’s extremely finicky to maneuver. Sticking the landing is extremely frustrating. I don’t mind the skiing, but I’ve never been a fan of skiing in general. Board or die dudes! The weak part is the paragliding. I could certainly live without the paragliding. It’s incredibly boring. Like fall asleep while you play boring. Why glide when I can soar with my wingsuit?
A rewind button would have been cool. Not a huge fan of the constant restarting.
I haven’t dove into multiplayer yet, so I can’t comment on that aspect.
I find the white line that Ubisoft lays out for you in the game usually isn’t the best route. It’s a safe route to grab a bronze medal but you’re better off trying your own way for gold.
The soundtrack is garbage. Why no custom music player? Watch Dogs 2 had this same problem. I’d really like to just vibe down the mountain listening to the new Childish Gambino.
It took a few hours to really wrap my head around how the game worked. It’s not overly simple, and like most Ubisoft games it throws a lot of things at you all at once, which isn’t a bad thing. I like variety. It’s the spice of life. But it’s hard to figure out where you’re best to start when everything is in front of you.
Steep really does capture the essence of snowboarding, and growing up in Vancouver I spent a lot of my time boarding. One year when I was 16 I got caught on a chairlift for 4 hours and got a season pass for free. That was a good year. Also an extremely generous gift for only being stuck four hours. And to think I almost jumped.
The biggest gripe I have with the game is where SSX is a little to out there and crazy, Steep is far too grounded.My memberberries might be cloudy but I feel Amped nailed the balance quite well. I’m going put a lot more hours into Steep over the coming week and get a review up sometime next week.
Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.