It has been quite some time since the gaming market has seen a game as well put together after a long durational gap between genre releases. Ubisoft took note that the market hasn’t had a good X-Games style video game released in quite some time, primarily in the snowy climates. This is where their new IP, Steep, comes into play. I’ll be the first to admit that it is a cool game, pun intended.
While I haven’t played every SSX game in recent years, I was a fan of the original release on the PlayStation 2; it was one of my first titles I owned on the newly released system at the time. Snowboarding games are one of the few sports-oriented genres I feel that I can truly enjoy to its core. I can’t get into vehicle racing games no matter how hard I try. I can’t get into the latest Madden, NBA 2k, WWE or UFC game either; albeit they all have their yearly perks. Enough about my tastes, let’s dig into Steep.
It is gorgeous every step of the way
For starters, Ubisoft absolutely knows how to make gorgeous games and Steep is no exception. In the very beginning I found myself eye gawking at the snowy footprints I was leaving behind. These were TRUE imprints into the snow, leaving deeper imprints depending on the depth of the snow. Typically, games will show footprints as a top layer mark, not Steep, it’s truly admiring to that detail, and this is just footsteps before we suit-up with a snowboard.
Steep showcases an open-world format
Once you finally get to the boarding ramps or hills of choice, this is where the fun begins. Steep, unlike your typical snowboarding game, utilizes a completely open world map. The nice part of this is that the game allows you to move your snowboarder to whichever section of the map unlocked to you that you want to. If you want to start halfway up the mountain, you can do that. Not to mention the map is damn large itself, so the open world feels massive for the game. It’s a nice change to the restrictive predesigned lanes of courses.
Since it is open world, that means there is more room for you and your friends to seamlessly board through the mountains given to you. Players from all over will be able to meet up with one another and friends to compete and just have some all-out fun.
There’s more to do than just snowboarding
Aside from the open world, you will find that there is more than snowboarding available to do including a various number of sky-gliding courses. I despite a seemingly easier route to take, the more dangerous you get with obstacles, the higher score. I constantly found myself attempting to fly my character between small gaps of power lines to increase the score to a ridiculous number. Yes, before you must ask, smacking into these obstacles or the ground results in your characters failing of the course, many times responding to you with an observation of how non-l33t your skills are. If you do fail on a course, there is a quick button press to restart rather than having to wait for a menu screen and then a reload.
For parity, there also is skiing available as well.
Steep is in a niche genre
Steep might not be for everyone, as it aims to fill a niche market. For gamers that are looking to take their adrenaline sports to the console, Steep is for you. With few games of this genre on the market in recent years, Steep is an excellent choice with the benefits of gorgeous sceneries. However, if you have no interest in snowboarding, skydiving or X-Game style games, you probably will not enjoy Steep as much as I did.
November 18th-21st Open Beta for Steep will allow gamers to try it out, available to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Steep is scheduled to release December 2nd, 2016 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.