Steep: Reviews and where to find it
Ubisoft combines an Alpine open world with seamless online features, but is it the game fans have been waiting for?
Ubisoft has launched its arcade extreme sports game Steep, the company's seventh release of the year after Watch Dogs 2 and Tom Clancy's The Division.
Steep drops gamers into an open world set in the Alpine mountains and can be played as either a first or third-person experience. Players can take part in several extreme sports events, including skiing, snowboard, wing-suit flying and paragliding, all of which can be unlocked by exploring the peaks of Monte Blanc and Matterhorn.
There are also online features that allow gamers to meet friends or strangers seamlessly and combine different sports to create new events that can be played by up to six people.
With no new snowboarding games released since EA's SXX in 2012, is Steep the winter sports title fans have been waiting for?
Here's what the experts think.
Polygon praises the game's fresh take on the extreme winter sports genre, where the large open world breaks the convention of forcing players to complete highly repetitive and seemingly "endless challenges".
It's when you ignore the pre-determined races and head to one of the taller peaks on the map that Steep comes into its own, the site says. Meandering down mountains and creating your own path can lead to "some really beautiful organic moments".
Each mountain has different areas to explore and new challenges to be found, says The Independent. These challenges include racing to pull off stunts and tricks, to modes where the player has to "wipe out in the most spectacular way possible".
Condensing the Alps into a playable area is Steep's "unique selling point", adds the paper, which says it's particularly enjoyable when each peak can be explored using the four different sports disciplines.
Like other Ubisoft titles, Steep can feel "heavily formulaic", says Ars Technica, with time trials and races "adding nothing new" to the genre. These events can be "narrowly defined" and "remove the sense of scale" of the open world.
The site also feels gameplay is restricted further by needing to upgrade the player's avatar and mountain peaks, which gives "no option" but to complete almost every challenge "whether you like it or not".
Trusted Reviews disagrees, however, saying Steep's openness and freedom allows you to "spend days just wandering around". Gamers can either gradually level up and unlock new areas, or "relax" and focus on exploring the intricacies of the map.