Having just finished watching the Ubisoft E3 conference, I can confirm that I am excited. I’m excited for Ghost Recon: Wildlands. I’m excited for Watch Dogs 2. I was excited for a new Splinter Cell (which was never shown). And come the final moments of the conference, as the presenter announced what was supposedly “the next big thing,” I was sure that my excitement wouldn’t be short lived.
But alas, it was. Ubisoft took a different path. Cinematic shots and wide angles of snowy mountains and trees appeared instead, a snowboarder set against the setting sun in the distance.
Admittedly, to my immediate skepticism and dismay, came the moment I knew (or rather, decided) that it was a sports game. I concluded that, no, I wasn’t interested in this. I wasn’t excited.
Yet, instead of leaving the stream, instead of ignoring the news, I decided to give the game a chance – subconsciously or consciously; I’m not entirely sure, but I’m glad I did.
As it turns out, Steep looks to be far better than I initially considered. First off, and probably the most defining aspect of the game, is the fact that it’s open world. An open world sports game, you say?
Initially, the concept may sound ridiculous, considering the typical nature of the most prominent sports games in the industry today, and particularly the nature of previous titles focused around snow sports. Like many modern racers, you’re confined to a path, and to deviate from said path is impossible.
Yet within time, it is easy to understand that when you talk about an open world sports game, what better way to focus it on other than by using snow sports? It’s very fitting that such a sport, so free and rebellious, should be done justice in an open world.
The game is nothing short of stunning, full of beautiful vistas and mountains, all set against a vibrant and colorful sky. Bright colors and shapes dance through the snow, down the mountain – Steep, so full of danger yet so deceptively pretty and eye-catching. Once or twice during the trailer I found myself shocked by the screams of fallen riders, the juxtaposition of danger and beauty echoing across the ridges and rockfalls.
In terms of what the game offers play wise, you’ll be able to snowboard, parachute, ski, glide; apparently, the choice is yours. In the end, it doesn’t seem to matter as much, seeing as everything shown so far looks incredible anyway.
Steep isn’t any stranger to awesome, death defying stunts and ventures around the mountains, with the trailer and gameplay footage having their fair share of both. Oh, and you can do all this in either first or third person.
Apparently, the game was inspired by Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which becomes more and more apparent the more you watch. Wildlands has also been known to showcase a plethora of creative and exciting ways to traverse its landmass, including paragliding, helicopter, and so on. Take the two games side by side, and you’ll notice many moments of similarity between the two. Definitely not a bad thing.
Of course, you won’t be battling drug cartels and blowing stuff up around the snowy mountains of the Alps.
The game will feature a variety of convenient social features, including built in recording, social media integration, and of course, online multiplayer play. Compete in challenges and perform feats to prove yourself and bag those ever important bragging rights.
For those of you wanting a chance to play the game early, head over to www.steepgame.com to sign up for the beta, available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. The game will be launching some time this winter, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on any developments as they arrive. Catch the announcement trailer and gameplay footage below. It’s well worth a watch.
In conclusion though, from the little I’ve seen so far, I can claim, confidently and truthfully, that I am excited for Steep.
Be sure to stay tuned to Fraghero throughout the coming week for all the best from E3 and more.
UPDATE: The game is set to release in December 2016 (source IGN: E3)