I’ve been playing a bit of Steep. I know, it seems like an odd game for me. Because it is. I’m not really into sports. I played soccer for a while, and I understand it, but I don’t play soccer games. I don’t like much else.
But I heard a podcast talking about it, and what I heard excited me, so I decided to grab it and give it a shot. My favorite local game store had just dropped the price on it and I couldn’t pass it up.
Surprisingly, my past is accented occasionally by snowboarding or skating games. I have never done either of these things. My parents never let me get a skateboard when I was a kid, and I have never been snowboarding. Skiing once, and I loved it, but never snowboarding. However, I had demo discs on the Playstation 1 (Jampacks, if anyone remembers those), and one of them had a demo for a Tony Hawk’s game, a snowboard racing game, and some other skateboard racing game. I played all of those a lot. I only ever got to play the full Tony Hawk game once because I rented it from Blockbuster and found I hated it. I liked my demo version.
Even so, part of me wondered if that was because I actually enjoyed those games or if that was because it’s basically all I had. I owned I think three games for the PS1 at the time, which were A Bug’s Life, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Frogger I believe, and I couldn’t afford more so I made do. I never counted myself as a fan of snowboarding games or anything of that nature.
But when I heard this particular podcast talking about how they recreated this mountain range in amazing detail and how you can do challenges, but you can also just go around and explore, I wanted in on that. One of my favorite things to do in games is just explore. It’s why No Man’s Sky didn’t disappoint me.
I have to say, Steep is a lot of fun. I really enjoy just picking a place, dropping in, and going as far as I can, then picking up my snowboard, and walking up and doing it again, or fast traveling and starting in a different direction. It can be as exciting or relaxing as you want it to be, and I did enjoy being able to do a challenge or two and then walking away and just explore snowboarding.
There’s something very calming about just cutting through the snow.
And then abruptly stopping when I accidentally hit a tree.
Yeah. I’m still as uncoordinated as ever, but some how manage to, largely, miss most things.
There are several tracks you can take, rank up, become proficient in. Two of them speak very loudly to me.
The first is exploration. It was the first one I got a rank in, and that is honestly the one I will probably do the quickest, not necessarily because I’m intentionally focusing on it, but because that’s just how I like to play games, especially like this one.
The other is Bone Collector. I love the name, and it rewards big and frequent crashes. Which is good since I’ve been doing plenty. I got a milestone notification for falling down a hill for 30 seconds (in reality, I think it was closer to a minute, but who’s counting?). I have already hit mile stones for K.O.s and amount of G-Force my character has experienced.
I wish I could customize the character a bit more. I really don’t like looking at a bearded man. I have his scarf up covering his mouth whenever possible so I don’t have to. I don’t want to play as a female because, given the choice, I will always chose a male since I would rather look at a male for 20+ hours because I find them more appealing, when given the option. In games it isn’t an option, it doesn’t bother me to play as a female. Just saying that if I get to choose…
The voice over is sort of annoying. The guy who tells you about new challenges or tries to point you in the direction you should go next sounds like the sort of guy I would hate to associate with in person, and would rather punch in the face in my head. Mercifully, you can turn on subtitles and turn off the voices. This made my experience much improved, but also led to a few awkward moments when I looked down halfway through a sentence and only then realized he had been talking to me, so I missed whatever was said. Not that I think it mattered. There was also another moment where I was following this guy as part of a story mission thing and he was talking to me, laying some wisdom about skiing/snowboarding/haberdashery(?) on me, and talking to me about the mountain, and I missed most of what was said because I didn’t want to bother turning on voices for him either. I find I don’t really care. I’ll follow the guy, but I’d really rather just be doing my own thing, going about my own business. I am usually all about story in games, but sometimes, it’s more about the experience, and Steep is that for me.
I also am not quite sure how I feel about basically being online constantly. I’m not a big fan of the MMO things. I have never liked the idea that some random person could pop into my game and mess me up or bother me or something like that. Still, it doesn’t appear that the other players have any bearing on me. They don’t seem to be able to collide with me, and most don’t even talk with me, which is great. I don’t want them to. If any game could ease me into being okay with this sort of thing, I think it might be this one, but I still don’t like seeing others around me. I would rather be on the mountain alone. I have heard you can play offline, but as far as I can tell, that requires you to basically not be connected to the internet at all. Let’s face it, that won’t happen.
But I’m going to enjoy boarding down a mountain and crashing into rocks and trying to ignore everyone around me. I suppose if you want to, hit me up and we can snowboard together.
Just don’t talk to me.