I remember first seeing Steep at E3 a couple of years ago. My initial thought was how it really looked beautiful. Like many games I see at the E3 conference each year, I comment on how it looks “really good” and then completely forgot about it! 2 years later and the Steep is a free game on Playstation Plus.
So I decided to take a bit of a look.
The game starts with a fantastic warning telling players that just because a player is good at snowboarding on the game doesn’t mean they will be good at actual snowboarding! Ubisoft covering all eventualities of lawsuits!
The actual game starts with a tutorial, starting with a wingsuit jump which turned into a bit of a snowboarding route…. and that was the tutorial over. The game did then show me how to do jumps and tricks through a few animations. I think I would have preferred this to be done gradually, like a play along tutorial but that is just personal choice.
The game itself was not really what I expected, or hoped for.
I was presented with a mountain filled with little markers, colour coded for difficulty, each of which was a different activity. The idea is to take part in whichever events you want in order to gain XP. The XP is collected to unlock different areas, which will have different activities.
I first played this game for around an hour and was pretty confused, not with the controls, but with what to do. I expected a level by level game where you unlock the next stages by completing the previous, like you find in most racing games. I do prefer a visible progression throughout games, the lack of this left the game confusing and a bit messy.
On my first play I noticed I was getting rewards, such as hats and the game told me to press the control pad to view them… this did not work. The options button just gave me setting info to change. After an hour of playing I took a break, but knew I would have to give it a second chance. As if by magic… (or a buggy game fixed itself) I had a menu! From here I could change what I was wearing, solely cosmetic, and I could choose activities to play, based on “we think you might like” rather than progression. This did make it easier to find activities, rather then searching mountaintops, but still offered no progression.
I did read from another review that although the game allows players to play however they want to, if you want to get enough xp to get to the end game, you have to complete all types of activities, so not quite play how you want.
I gave the game another hour but then quit.
Ubisoft made an incredible looking game, there is no denying that, but that’s where this game stops being amazing. The inclusion of some progression, such as levels or a story mode would have made this game playable, for longer than 2 hours.
Steep really isn’t for me.