Steep Preview: Moves Like Shinobin
Kalvin Martinez / Sep 29th, 2016 No Comments
Sports games mostly appeal to a specific market, but extreme sports games have the ability to bridge the gap between fans of the sport and fans of video gams. SSX, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Snowboard Kids have done a good job of engaging non-sports fans. Steep, an open-world extreme sports game from Ubisoft, feels like it will continue this trend.
One of the most surprising announcements at E3 2016, Steep takes players across the Alps with four different sports: skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit flying, and paragliding. At any given time during the game, players can switch between each sport and tackle challenges on the snow or in the air.
I got a chance to play the game’s snowboarding, skiing and wingsuit flying gameplay.
Handling and controls feel great in Steep’s snowboarding. However, pulling off sick tricks takes some learning. Like real snowboarding, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be upping your score and attempting riskier moves.
It is much more difficult to pull off stunt moves while skiing than it is while snowboarding, which makes sense — how often do you see skiers grinding and twisting through halfpipes? Overall, snowboarding and skiing feel exactly as you’d expect in Steep.
Snowboarding and skiing are cool, but wingsuit flying sets Steep apart from previous extreme sports titles. There is an intense surge of adrenaline when you drop down and start gliding across the sky. The challenge I played involved getting as close to the ground as possible without hitting the rocky mountain terrain or crashing into the snow below.
It was exhilarating to glide and fit through tight spaces knowing that at any moment a single false move could mean a meaty splatter against the Alps. Ever since Far Cry 3 introduced the wingsuit, I’ve been waiting for Ubisoft to make good on that experience. Steep delivers the same heart-pounding action, but with a more focused goal.
While the environment is open world, you won’t have to tread across mountains in order to get to your destination. You can zoom out on the map and select a specific challenge to drop into. The game is designed for players to start on one side of the mountain and continue across it by going from one challenge to the next.
There are a bunch of different cameras to use as you traverse through the Alps. There is a free cam, fixed cam and a GoPro mode. Be aware that the GoPro view will make you feel disoriented and possibly like vomiting, which honestly is probably close to the feeling you’d get actually doing any of these sports.
Ain’t No Brakes
Steep was a lot of fun. There is an addictive quality to the challenges. You continually want to improve your score try to go for higher marks. Thankfully, a quick retry button is at the ready in case you screw up and need to go for gold fast.
While Steep is no Snowboard Kids 2, it does fill the extreme sports niche that has been missing in video games. The look of the Alps is mesmerizing, even if you’re falling infinitely down that tasty powder.
Even if Steep doesn’t sound like the type of game you’d normally try, the open-world feel and intuitive gameplay may make it worth venturing out of your comfort zone.
Steep releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Dec. 2.
tags: preview , Steep , Steep Preview , ubisoft