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Under Review: Steep (the game)

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By Joshua Kodis
Park rats be warned, there are no rails in Steep. Other than the lack of jibs and some product placement that will have you sucking down Red Bulls and shitting GoPros, I’m having a blast playing this game.

When I first played Steep at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany back in August, I hated it. I waited an hour in line to play a super-shitty ten minute demo. There was no tutorial, and the controls were completely different than what I was used to (compared to any other snowboard game). I also had some German chick trying her best to explain stuff to me, but I speak maybe ten words in German, most of which are bad ones. There was also this terrible techno music blasting loud enough to penetrate the shared sweaty headsets and pollute my ear holes. It was just an all-around terrible experience. Having been looking forward to this game for quite a while, I went home from Gamescom highly disappointed. And then in November Ubisoft released an open beta for a few days to try the game out. This is when I fell in love with this game. Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, yeah, it’s that sexy?

Today was release day for Steep. After playing the game some more this morning, and then sharing my either boring or entertaining Gamescom experience, I’m ready to review this game for you: It’s awesome. You start off going through a short tutorial that runs you through the four different action sports the game offers. This is really what the demo at Gamescom could have used to prevent the crushing of my hopes for a good snowboarding game.

After the tutorial, the controls make sense and feel quite natural. For some odd reason though, they don’t explain how to do different grabs — all it takes is a trigger button and a move of the right analog in whatever direction for the desired grab/tweak. Now before all you elitists out there start whining about skiing being an option in the game, fear not, you are never forced to ski if you don’t want to. I think it was a smart feature to throw skiing into the game though. Not only will the game simply appeal to a wider audience, but this will also benefit the players since it is an online game at all times. The more people who play, the more people you’ll see bombing down runs with you. It makes the game feel more real, like there is an actual human presence in the world created for the game, but I am glad they left out lift lines. Plus, you’ll also be able to compete against those dicks on sticks if that’s more your thing.

You can also choose a wing suit, which you guessed it, allows you to fly down the slopes at high speeds dodging trees, power lines, and rocks. The last sport is paragliding. At first, this was my least favorite until I figured out the stunt button and how to score points by swooping close into cliffs without killing your character. And yes, you can die in this game. It’s a nice feature and keeps the game more realistic. If you plan your line poorly and launch off a massive cliff, you’re going to die.

Steep is without a doubt, the best looking snowboarding game ever made. The snow especially has had noticeable work put into it. How it reacts to your character, wind, and light. I acts like real snow. Being immature, I tried walking around leaving footprints with hopes to mark the hill with a snow cock in front of some other players, but they must have foreseen this threat and put a limit of footprints before older ones start to fade away.

The characters in the game are pretty customizable with different boards and clothing and the option to add other things like, yes, a GoPro. The best thing about the characters though, is how they react to the world. They’ll fumble and recover, scream when plunging off a cliff, claim banger tricks, or shout out “Oh shit” when doing arm flaps through the air. That last one had me sold on the realism of the game, because I yell out “Oh shit” while riding all the time. The world pretty much allows you to explore where ever you want to and even rewards you for doing so. Even though there are no rails in the game, which I don’t fully understand why they were left out, there is still plenty of natural features as well as some added park runs loaded with jumps to hit.

For me, Steep is the greatest snowboarding game to come out in many years. With its handcrafted slopes that provide countless detailed runs and providing different ways to come down from the summit, Steep will keep you stoked until it’s time to go riding for reals.

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Comments (15)

  1. you forgot to include #AD at the end of this.”Best snowboarding game in a while” haha F(_)ck outtta here!

     
  2. So i got an xbox one and I wanna buy a new snowboard game no matter what. Can some one please weigh in on Mark Mcmorris vs Steep. Im talking everything. Customizable character, brands, park building, playing with friends, story game play. Please tell me which one to buy!

     
    • Hello. I reviewed both games and if you read my review for Infinite Air, you’d know I didn’t care for it. All jokes aside though, here are the differences between the two of what your asking.

      Steep has much better character customization. Plus it’s developed y Ubisoft, which is well known to continue to produce DLC to add on to the game well into its future.

      IA I would say has more of the usual snowboard brands. Streep has some, but it’s mixed with a bit of ski brands as well.

      No park building option in Steep. IA is all about building your own mountain. Having said that, that is one of the reasons I liked Steep better. IA seems like an unfinished game. You use their random hill generator to create the terrian and then place everything from jumps to buildings. That may be your thing, but I found Steep’s handcrafted world to be much more interesting. And it’s massive. Steep offered a much larger variety of terrain to ride than IA does.

      IA you can share your runs with other people, but that’s pretty much it. You’re alone on the mountain. In Steep you can ride with your friend and do challenges and you’ll see other players randomly on the hill and be able to group up with them with a single push of a button.

      IA has no story, no objective. It’s a sandbox pretty much. Steep has a leveling system and a story, some wierd narrative stuff, but yiu actually feel like you’re progressing in the game.

      I would recommed picking up Steep over IA. If you don’t believe my reviews, maybe go check out metacritic.com and see what the collective average on the two are. IA has an average score of 49. Not enough reviews are in for Steep yet.

      Hope this helps.

       
      • Josh! I was hoping you’d reply! Thank you dude, this is exactly what I wanted to know. Looks like ill be getting steep.

         
      • I played a steep beta and it was so limited you can only drop in in places you unlock, even if you see a sick line somewhere else. You can drop in anywhere in IA. The actual snowboarding has the ability to be much more realistic in IA too. No auto-landing, and you have the ability to do a steezy back one with an poked out Indy, unlike steep whereyou just spin till you hit the ground

         
  3. Hey just because some cunts look like they should be on the silver screen does not mean you should tear yourself a new asshole

     
  4. Woah Josh Kodis took a picture of me once at Blackjack. Glad to see youre still around!

     

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