Rounding out the last of the big game releases for 2016 is Ubisoft’s mountain exploration title, Steep! Just in-time for winter, Steep sets forth to fill the void for you when you’re too lazy to hit the slopes yourself and there are no new Amped or SSX games out. Will Steep fill that hole in your heart? Will it make you feel like you’re soaring down the snowy alps at breakneck speed? Not exactly…
Right off the bat, Steep offers up some stunningly visuals. From the sky to the glistening snow on the vast and beautiful alps, everything looks gorgeous. There’s nothing much that can be said about the breathtaking views from the top of the mountains, witnessing the sunrise versus witnessing the sunset. Slipping around at night versus the peak of day. It all looks good, and it’s very soothing, like getting bundled up in your winter clothes and just laying in the snow. You’re not cold, you’re not hot, you’re just comfy. That’s how Steep and it’s visuals make me feel. Comfy.
One thing Steep has going for it is it offers the player a lot of things to do and an impressive area to explore and discover. There’s tons of missions, races, challenges, and collectables to complete and collect that in a perfect world should eat up hours and hours of time.
Wingsuits are no doubt one of the coolest things in video games. The Just Cause series utilizes them very well. The wingsuit in Steep is a lot of fun, quite possibly the best part of the game…but that’s not necessarily a good thing. In a game about primarily snowboarding/skiing, the highlight should be that and not gliding through the air.
Controlling Steep feels OK at best. Soaring down the hills does ensue some type of thrill and pulling off tricks brings about a sort of satisfaction…that’s when it works. A lot of the times going downhill is a constant, clunky adventure. It’s very easy to lose control, bounce off a rock right into a solid object which, more times than not, you’ll phase into and either get stuck or shoot out the top.
One of the biggest downfalls of Steep is its repetitiveness. This was apparent rather fast. All the various events and challenges could not save Steep from getting incredibly boring. After about one to two hours of playing the game, unfortunately, started to simply feel like a chore.
My biggest issue with Steep is the UI, which is very confusing. It is probably the worst UI I’ve experienced in a video game ever. I kept finding myself getting lost in the ‘Mountain View’ and oftentimes selecting races and events I’ve already done. The map is a mess and it might just be a dealbreaker for me. I might be able to chalk this up to not paying attention due to being bored out of my skull, but the map and menus are way too complicated for what they really are. For some reason the menus use a cursor to select the various options. I’m not sure why they thought this was a good idea as it was just frustrating and pointless.
Steep was a flat out disappointment. The game was hyped to no end being hailed as ‘the next SSX’ or the ‘spiritual successor of Amped’ and those are rather gratuitous claims. The game’s one saving grace is the breathtaking scenery. Unfortunately the mind-boggling and confusing UI paired with the terrible physics and graphical issues really take their toll on this game, and they’re not something that can be saved by some pretty sights. As a die-hard Ubisoft fan, I’m personally disappointed that they allowed something like this to be released and on top of that for full price. There’s a lot of better games out there that you can spend this $80 on, I suggest you look at them and try to forget about Steep until it’s in the bargain bins.