We take to the snowy mountains in Ubisoft’s new extreme sports IP
Ubisoft loves the open-world concept and it’s something they’ve been basically pushing for years now. Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed and now Ghost Recon are all open-world titles and it seems to be getting bigger every year with Ghost Recon: Wildlands featuring one of the biggest the company has ever made.
During E3 2016, Ubisoft announced a new IP called Steep and you guessed it – its open world. But if you think about it, an extreme sport title with snowboarding, skiing, paragliding and wingsuits – it makes sense. With the world living in a GoPro age and the lack of extreme sports games of late, it’s actually refreshing to see something like this get announced.
In the build we played, we were introduced to the multiplayer mechanics of Steep upfront. Ubisoft is building this as a social game and we were organised into groups of makeshift friends. This setup somewhat feels like how we were organised at Ghost Recon: Wildlands, with a group of real players but instead of shooting bad guys, we were carving up snow together.
We jumped straight into snowboarding and feel of the game while still early felt more on the realistic side than arcade. We followed a set course down the mountain where each of us was racing to get from point A to B. There was opportunities to do tricks on the way down going off jumps and slopes. While you can perform tricks, the scoring system was missing which the developer later added it will be fine-tuned and added.
After the first race which I performed quite badly, we were taken to the map screen so the developers can show off the scale of the game. Again, Ubisoft loves their open-world maps and this was probably the third time I was shown an open world map at the Ubisoft booth. It was great however to see what to expect when the game ships. The open world freedom means players can explore and carve your own adventure as well as showcase the many varieties of paths and things to do.
Once we got familiar with the map and it’s scale, we were then taken through the many different types of extreme sport Steep provides. You can even walk but that’s not so extreme. We were also given free time to do basically what we want in the game. I decided to snowboard most of the time because it’s been a while since I actually played a snowboarding game and my partner or random stranger at E3 was wing-suiting it up above me as I made my way down the mountain. We followed a path but wasn’t something actually forced which pushes the idea of creating your own adventure.
The build of Steep they had at E3 was quite early but the developers just wanted to give us a hands-on run through of the concept and what they’re pushing. Things like a scoring system with leaderboards will definitely compliment a game like this and I can’t wait to see more of it. Extreme sports titles have been lacking in the market but with ideas and similarities from other Ubisoft franchise, Steep will definitely be fill that gap.
Steep comes out December 2016 on PS4, Xbox One & PC.