Ubisoft announces its newest big IP, Steep

June 13, 2016 by Laura Michet

Hurl yourself downhill as fast as possible in this extreme-Alps-sports game.

It's been a long time since I played a good game about extreme/downhill/snow sports-- I think SSX Tricky was the last time, to be honest-- so I was pretty excited to see that Ubisoft's newest big IP is Steep, a game that combines downhill skiing, wingsuit-ing, snowboarding, and paragliding into a single game. Set in the Alps, Steep is basically about hurling yourself toward the ground as energetically as possible over and over again, then sharing those experiences to social media.

Check out the trailer; it contains a good dose of what I consider to be far and away the scariest thing shown at E3 so far, which is: FIRST PERSON DOWNHILL SKIING CAMERA MODES, ON, LIKE, CLIFFS AND STUFF, LIKE YOU'RE GONNA DIE. I tried to imagine this in VR and nearly barfed on myself with a combination of terror and excitement. Has there ever been a realistic first-person downhill skiing game before? I have no idea. If there is, I'll go play it right now. And re:Steep: how many of these modes can I replay in first-person when I share them to other people? Can I run a trail with the express purpose of flipping and tricking so hard my audience loses their lunch? That is kinda what I want out of this game, to be honest.

The sharing feature of the game seems to focus mostly on sharing ride replays. Players can also trace their old runs down the side of the mountain and get moment-by-moment ski analytics (???) on, practically every moment of the trip. You can also share these trails and tracks with other players and challenge them to beat you on the same course. When viewing replays, you can control camera perspective and angle and design a replay maximally likely to scare the crap out of someone like me.

Steep also has multiple types of multiplayer encounters-- you can race against other players, but during the demo, the player paraglides over a human Ubisoft says is another player. No word yet on whether you can just organically encounter these players and organically endanger their lives with organic high-speed ski collisions.

Another cool feature that stood out to me in the Ubi press conference was the 'mountain view,' where players can zoom out to see their position on the mountain and rotate around the mountains from a distance, choosing where to start their session. It reminded me a little of a kind of super-amped-up version of Skyrim's zoom-out map feature.

I am honestly hungry for some extremely intense, adrenaline-packed games that make me scared for my goddamn life but do not have guns in them, because there is really no other way I'm gonna get some of my friends and relatives to play current-gen core games with me. If you're not into ballsports, the number of "adult-y" action games without violence are pretty small. Steep, I think, could provide a cool alternative for those of us seeking the "feel like you're about to actually die" emotion.

And if Steep makes extreme sports games cool again, maybe we can go full-on 90s and make 3D skateboarding games cool again, too? Right? Right??