Steep promised to be an open world extreme sports adventure, but really it’s not. I had imagined a game where you would be flown to any point you chose on a mountain range, and dropped off to do what ever the hell you wanted. Instead, Steep is a game where you have a number of challenges to complete at set points on the mountain. You get to fast travel to these points by way of a tricky and frustrating navigation system. To progress you seem to have to beat specific goals on each of these challenges, meaning you have to master every one of the four available sports, skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit and paragliding. The last straps you to a parachute and you have to try and make it through a series of floating checkpoints in a slow and frustratingly hard to control way. Being in the parachute however is the best way to see and unlock more points of interest, aka challenges.
Steep is at it’s best when approaching terminal velocity, and this can only be achieved on skis, snowboard or wingsuit. The most adrenaline laced fun you can have is to fast travel to a wingsuit challenge and whilst standing on the edge of the platform, switch to snowbaord, jump off, switch to first person view and try and make it down a route that was never intended to be snowboarded. YEs, most times you will fail, sometimes you’ll break your ribs, sometimes you’ll get knocked out.
The problem is, outside of extreme speed and doing what you’re not supposed to do, there is little to fuel the imagination. Trying to do jumps or perform tricks is problematic at best and certainly inconsistent, more akin to random chance than actual skill.
It’s a shame because with a few tweaks Steep could have been one of the best sports game ever, it certainly has the look and feel of something great, but just never quite reaches expectations.
Rating: PG Parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers.