The free beta for Ubisoft's open world sports game Steep appeared on Steam recently, so strapped on my clunky ski boots and waddled to the top of the mountain, ready to try out some x-treme winter sports.
Steep is a playground of snowboarding, skiing, and wingsuit flying across a vast, snowy, mountainous region. There are races, challenges, and free exploration. There are also a lot of terrible things that can happen to you, and more specifically, to me. Here are ten terrible things that happened to me in the Steep beta.
My inaugural wingsuit flight was less than magnificent
After warming up with a little snowboarding, I was granted a wingsuit. Confident in my flying abilities from my experiences in Far Cry 4 and Just Cause 3 and that dream I had one time, I stood on a wooden platform at the top of the mountain, put on my wingsuit, and leapt into the air like an eagle. The result was a pathetic belly flop onto the platform like a dead eagle, followed by a violent tumble down the mountain.
See, you have to be at the very edge of what you're jumping from to actually use the wingsuit properly. And you can't walk unless you choose 'walk' from the radial menu: any attempt at forward movement, and the game tries to make you fly, even if you're not in a position to.
I hit a rock, and then another rock, and then a third rock
Snowboarding in Steep is fun, probably the most fun of all the sports. You can reach breathtaking speeds, though when you're hurtling down the mountain it can be hard to spot giant jagged rocks rushing towards you. And, having hit one, I then hit another, and then another. It's a pretty impressive feat, though, seeing as I managed to not touch even a single bit of snow for about sixty feet.
I got stuck in a fence, then got stuck in it again, then got stuck in a different fence
I get the idea of placing obstacles along the mountainside, but I'm a little perplexed by all the goddamn fences. I'm not saying I should be able to smash through them willy-nilly, but I'm not sure where the fun is in becoming perpetually trapped in them.
You really get stuck in these suckers, and where there's one there's usually several, so navigating through them is tantamount to when you're walking around outside and you get some stray spiderweb stuck to your face and you have to flail around for long minutes trying to get it off you.
I was Wile E. Coyote
Ragdolling in Steep isn't quite as much fun as, say, the Trials games, but it's still pretty entertaining to watch. This time, however, I hit a cliff wall so hard I just stuck there like a cartoon coyote. The only thing missing was a giant spatula to peel me off the rock.
In my defense, I didn't realize I was wingsuiting off a jump intended for a paraglider, which is why I missed the target area so badly and flattened myself. Wait, that's not a defense at all.
I got 97 points for completely failing to jump off a jump
This is a beta, and the scoring dial seems to be set to 'ridiculously forgiving' at the moment. I'm not complaining: I need all the help I can get. But here I got almost a hundred points for speeding up to a jump and then completely failing to do a damn thing with it.
I prefer a sarcastic scoring system. If a little +.01 had popped up, perhaps with the audio of a single person slow-clapping, at least I'd know the game was paying attention.
I discovered powerlines aren't just for show
I'm not complaining, I was just surprised (and horribly injured) to discover those powerlines aren't just drawn in, they're actually there.
I stomped around on a frozen lake but the ice didn't break
I'm playing Steep because I want to pretend I'm an x-treme sports person, and x-treme sports should come with x-treme risks. I figured stomping around in my giant hard plastic boots on an icy lake might break the ice and I could x-perience some x-treme hypothermia, but the ice didn't break. Not even a little! I'm x-tremely disappointed.
I skied backwards for seven minutes and nothing interesting happened
This gif is only a few seconds long, but I'll ask you to do me a favor and sit there watching it for seven minutes. That is essentially what I did. Somehow I wound up skiing backwards, and not sure how to turn around without stopping, I just went with it, figuring that surely, at some point, something cool would happen. But the only thing that happened was that I just skied backwards for a really long time. It's not even any harder than skiing forwards.
I couldn't figure out why this terrible sport is in the game
Skiing, snowboarding, wingsuits: I'm all good with that. They're fun. Even walking, which you can do in Steep, is just fine. But I don't get paragliding at all. If you're gonna fly, take the wingsuit. If you want to get somewhere very slowly, walk. Don't ever paraglide, though. It's boring. The most fun you can have is to pretend it's a swing, like I do above, and even that gets old after a few seconds. This is the worst sport.
I cleverly scraped up a bunch of points by hopping around on the steps of a hydroelectric dam but then I knocked myself unconscious
While I was horribly losing a race, I spotted a hydroelectric dam and decided to visit it. As I clumsily tried to climb the stairs with my snowboard I discovered Steep kept giving me points. Figuring it was safer than getting points by doing cool things, I just stayed there a while, figuring I could gain a few levels by simply hopping around. Alas. I brained myself on the railing, proving that I can embarrass myself even when I'm not trying to be x-treme.