Friday, December 21

Steep Review

I played on: PS4
I paid: £15.99 (PSN January sale)
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Notes: N/A

Steep gives players the chance to experience multiple winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and wing-suiting. SSX had always been the go-to snowboarding game since the PS2 era and Steep doesn’t try to replace it but instead offers a more realistic take on the idea. You can still pull off amazing looking tricks in Steep but nothing like the insanity found in SSX. I personally like both as they feel very different from each other. This is kinda like comparing Skate to the early Tony Hawk games. Sure they’re both about skateboarding but the areas and styles they master are very different.

You have 8 sports to play within Steep although 4 of them are locked behind a massive grind or a paywall. Skiing, snowboarding, wing-suiting and paragliding are the 4 main sports you have to play with. There are plenty of events such as trick challenges, races, daredevil events and more. Snowboarding and Skiing handle very similarly to each other with you needing to keep balance, manage your landings and speed as well as pulling off tricks. This is where you will find most the content with more challenges and events for these sports than the other two. Wing-suiting has you trying to glide as close to things as possible without colliding with them. The harder challenges have you darting through old ruins, rock tunnels and other small spaces. The odds are these will take you a few attempts but when you manage them you will feel like a god. Paragliding is the slowest sport with you having to use updraughts to manage your height while exploring the beautiful landscapes. I only tend to use this to scout out new lines or to travel to certain places.

The mountain stories are my favourite activity as they give you a line and let you explore it on your own while poetic narration plays. These feed in the open world as they show you the best places and lines to try on your own. While exploring the mountains you will be able to stop and use your binoculars to scout out drop points. These are locations you can start at and the mountains are littered with them. It’s just fun to start at the summit of a mountain and slowly make your way down pulling off tricks and stopping to unlock more of these points. The Alps, Alaska and Asia are all open to you. Every one of these locations is beautiful and fun to learn and master. This is what Steep does so well. You have flushed out sports in beautiful enjoyable environments and all the little gameplay touches around this help you enjoy them however you want. For example while skiing or snowboarding you don’t just earn points for tricks but also going fast and avoiding obstacles. This lets you gain experience and more events without having to be a trick god, like in SSX. Simply mastering your chosen sport is enough if that’s how you want to play.

The thing that trashes Steep, however, is the microtransactions. They come in 3 forms. You have ‘Steep points’ which you can use to unlock the 4 extra sports, clothing or silly outfits. These can be earned by doing events but you gain so little for each one that it’s just grinding. This ruins the rest of the gameplay that very much lets you focus on what you enjoy instead of forcing you to do certain things. Of course, you can buy them. Now the most expensive sports which are the rocket wingsuit and speed riding cost 100,000 steep points each. With each event paying out 450 points for easy, 900 points for medium and 1350 points for hard it will take you a long time to unlock these. You could buy 96,000 points for £15.99 and only have to grind a little or cough up £28.99 for 175,000 points and get one of these sports. Base jumping and sledging each cost 40,000 each. The clothing gets even worse with something as small as a helmet costing you between 2,000 and 24,000 points. Lastly, you have helicopter tickets which allow you to fast travel to any location. These can be avoided with the drop points being common enough to not need them. On top of all of these in-game costs, you also have plenty of DLC to worry about.

These microtransactions take a good game and destroy all it’s potential because the needless grinding is always there. You can’t even customise your character without having to spend hours playing events or coughing up real money. Half the games content is hidden away by this same issue and even fast travelling is limited by it. The entire time your playing Steep it feels like Ubisoft is looking over your shoulder hoping you get fed up with all the crap and pay up. Thing is even if you do pay up, you just go back to the same crap. It’s pointless. An endless grind that makes Steep not even worth starting to begin with. The gameplay is amazing but the game is crap. Even after you’ve bought Steep the cost to continue enjoying it is, well, steep.

Recommendation Rating: 2 out of 10

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