|Photo Courtesy Ubisoft|
Here we go on my first official review! So please be gentle folks
I heard about STEEP early in 2016 from a close friend of mine and was instantly enthralled with the possibilities that came with what Ubisoft Annecy was trying to build, and after putting countless hours into this labor of love we call STEEP, I think I’m ready to do it justice.
So lets start with the environment, they’ve done a phenomenal job of truly mapping The Alps and creating what feels like a living breathing world, no 2D trees or bushes in this one! Your board or ski’s will cut a path through the snow, and actually carving oftentimes sends small snowballs off to the sides leaving their own trails behind them; when you’re in the air you really get a realistic sense of how fast you’re moving and there are snow and wind animations to add to the atmosphere once you’re off the ground.
Now I’ll touch on the controls, this is the one area STEEP could use some improvements, the controls do feel clunky at times and I feel that the mapping could use some tweaking. The fact that the jump and grab share the same triggers makes timing grabs for maximum points tough and can complicate racing at times. The easiest fix I could come up with is just allowing for customization of the controller layout, but I’m not sure if they have any updates for the control scheme planned. The view options on the other hand are awesome. I loved the GO PRO view mode, really brings up the realism and intensity of the game and gets your heart racing, especially in the wing suit!
The amount of customization options available to you are way more than I initially expected out of the game, with eight riders to choose from and over a hundred different clothing and gear options there are a lot of different combinations not even including the often goofy costumes that are available, I don’t think I ever hit a point where I couldn’t find an outfit I liked with the current character or gear I had unlocked.
The challenges and stories are a lot of fun and add quite a bit of character and flavor to the game world, from barreling through spaces barely big enough for a person in a wing suit, to flinging yourself off a cliff face to see who falls to the bottom first. Towards the last half of the game the “play your way” style ends up working against you a little in the sense that you’ll need to play some of the other set ups in order to unlock all the mountains.
The multiplayer flows very well with the way the game plays, loading in players nearest to you and cutting down on needless taxing of the processor or bandwidth consumption. This makes it easy to meet new people on the mountain, while giving the sense that the mountain is populated with players as opposed to running into the same 15-30 people on a massive map.
All in all I have to say that I enjoyed STEEP thoroughly, of the small issues I found in the game, none of them broke the flow of gameplay. I don’t think there was a day I played it that I didn’t enjoy myself and I will continue to play this game for years to come. So I guess in this humble stoner’s opinion STEEP lived up to all expectations and delivered the best extreme winter sports game I’ve played in a very long time.