Steep Reviews

AuthorReview
Agent Olas
269,423 (139,665)
Agent Olas
TA Score for this game: 1,095
Posted on 14 March 17 at 00:21
This review has 5 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Steep was a Free-to-Play title for the weekend of Mar 10 - 12. Like many gamers, I was fairly excited to give this game a chance because I had heard so many good things about it from friends who had already purchased it. The fact that it is a Ubisoft title was a bonus, because their games have a pretty good track record as far as I am concerned. The following are my thoughts on the experience I had playing the game.

This game is quite impressive visually. The detail of the snow and the trees on the mountain was better than I ever would have expected. Most games have trouble getting trees just right. This game nailed that aspect. The snow powder and particle effects were top notch and I cannot praise the game enough in these aspects. The views when using the wingsuit and paragliding are amazing, especially during sunset.

The open world design was a concept that I was initially hesitant about in a snow boarding game. However, I enjoyed being able to just explore and ride my board (I did not ski very often, more on that later) down the mountain. One of my friends described this game best when he said, “This game is so relaxing when you are just going down the mountain without any goal to accomplish” (The Siets, 2017). I could not agree more. Taking your time to explore different routes, and finding different and varied ways down the mountain made this game a truly unique experience.

Now, this game was not without problems. As a matter of fact, it is riddled with problems from minor annoyances, and poor design, all the way to major flaws. Now, I know that the overwhelming majority of readers are not in my usual XBox party, where many of these problems are discussed on a regular basis, but you are going to get a peek into what my friends and I talk about pretty regularly. Buckle up.

Xtreme sports game have always been a favorite of mine. There are games that focus on the extreme like the Tony Hawk franchise or SSX, and there are simulation games like the Skate series. This game tries too hard to balance between the two, and in the process it does not do either one particularly well. This game also tries to straddle the line between being a mountain exploration game and a snowboarding/skiing game. It should have focused on one, and done that version well.

One thing I always look forward to in these games is listening to the soundtrack. My complaint with STEEP is not in the content of the soundtrack, but rather the way in which it is implemented. In this game, there is not an option to view the entire soundtrack. Okay, that might seem petty but hear me out. You cannot look at the songs in the game, and it does not tell you which song is playing. If you were able to find a song you like, you could not easily find out what it is. Tony Hawk games in the very early 2000’s showed that info, and even let you customize the soundtrack. That is most definitely an oversight in this game.

Next, the map. Good God almighty. This game’s map is atrocious. It is difficult to navigate for so many reasons. The 3D nature of the map makes it difficult to maneuver the cursor where you want it to go. There is so much going on that it can be difficult to place the cursor where you want to place it. There are drop points in the air that do not have a simple way to select them. The navigation coordinates help, but there is no orientation marker to let you know where north is on the map. It is a sloppy mess and could be so much better.

The tutorial in this game is lacking any real substance. Yes, the game walks you through how to switch disciplines and how to control them to some extent. However, much of this game is left for you to understand on your own. The health/g system of the game is confusing. You can jump off of a mountain and not fall off of your board, or you can go too fast on smooth snow and wipeout. The health/g system in the game is annoying and it only takes away from this game.

One final major complaint is that the play control in the game is bad. It is difficult to turn when you are going fast, it is more difficult to turn when you are going slow. There is no real difference between skiing and snowboarding that I could tell. In seemed easier to ski than snowboard if you were on flat ground or ice. For a snowboarding game, there was way too much flat ground to navigate. Checkpoints are in illogical or annoying locations. The checkpoints are often way too small and feel like they were placed with no real thought to where they should be. You can race past finish lines and have to restart the race. These checkpoint problems combined with the control problems make this game annoying to play.

I used the word annoying a lot. I know that. There is a reason. I found this game both annoying and frustrating. These are two things that a video game should not be. My friends and I wondered, who tested this game for Ubisoft? Someone had to have told them all of the issues this game faced. The longer I played, the less fun I had with the game. Now, before you comment to say, “If you disliked this game so much, why did you play it for so long?” The answer is, I was scoring points for our GTASC 2017 team.

This game had so much potential. However, I feel that the the shortcomings greatly outweighed the positives of this game. The price tag of free was good for the free-play weekend. If I would have paid full price for this game, I would have been very upset. I would (and did) give this game 2 out of 5 stars.
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