I was excited, picturing myself carving across mountains, narrowly missing trees and skidding across rails. But this remains a pipe dream, after just a couple minutes the seams on my dream began to unravel. Granted this is just day one of the Early Access Beta, but unless things drastically change I’m sensing a dud.
Last Generation This Generation
Steep is going to be released on Xbox One, Playstation 4 on December 2, 2016. Notice the exclusion of last generation consoles? Excluding the previous generation should mean this game is able to push the graphical boundaries and showcase really next generation graphics – especially since the game isn’t having to render all that much compared to say a cityscape in Grand Theft Auto 5.
In general, visually the game is lacking, it looks like a PS3 game. Tree’s feel like there are two or three types of variations – in slight color and height and this could have been overlooked except for the fact that they also look and act flat, no swaying in the wind, no branch movement. Its like a better version the city scape we had in Twisted Metal and yes, that a harsh comparison, but dammit its a not all that far off.
The snow does deform, and at times really really well, but even this small win has a downside. I found a low roof filled with feet of snow. I pushed forward only to find that the snow did nothing, it didn’t even deform. It just enveloped my character in a while sheet of pixels – no interaction at all.
The biggest drawback I found immediately was that your either pushing forward for more speed or your pulling back in the wingsuit to keep from slamming head first into the mountain.
It feels more so than creating a feeling of conquering the mountain, the goal is to go as fast as you can down the mountain and again I hate to say, but not even as good as a mediocre title like “Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam” . This is evident early on as the first “race” you’ll do wants you to show off your dexterity. However doing any tricks slows you down to the point your going to at the back of the park. The only way I could gather rank was so do as the computer competition was, forgo tricks and simply go in as straight of a line as possible.
Even simple tricks like a 180 is made to feel wonky since you cant wind the spin up, instead you need to start the spin after you get air. A quirk yes, control once you get in the air and the entire setup feels like its out of your control, that you only have control over 45 degree movement, nothing in between reducing some of the realism that the game could have brought.
The Sounds of it all
Sound wise Ubisoft did awesome. The crunch of the snow sounds impactful like your truly tromping through the snow. The gust of wind also sound great – I just wish the wind was more than a sound effect.
If this was a last generation game I would have been happy, but I expect more from this generation. Especially after some of the quality games that have been published in the past year, not including that the price tag is $60 for what really feels like a simple downhill racer. At this time based on the Beta gameplay I would recommend to pass on the purchase. However it is definitely worth a two day rental from Redbox. I just cant see there being much variation in a simple game like this, at least not enough to warrent the price tag. Save your money and save up – after all Red Dead Redemption 2 is just around the corner and who doesn’t like Cowboys.