What is Steep?
Steep is an extreme sports game that mostly focuses around snowboarding. With four different disciplines on offer (skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and wingsuiting), and a huge, open world setting based on the Alps to play around in, there are hundreds of challenges to complete, loads of runs to find, and plenty of spectacular scenery to take in.
How do you play Steep?
With a great selection of extreme sports to choose from, and a wide array of challenges to try your skills at, there's plenty to get stuck into in Steep (not least the snow!). Most of the challenges in Steep are designed to be taken on using either skis or snowboards (your choice)- with some asking you to take part in a downhill race, whizzing past boulders, trees, and fences at high speed as you blitz towards the finish; others asking you to pull off spectacular tricks by hitting jumps, and having great timing, as you aim for a high score; while others still ask you to live life dangerously, and only grant you points if you get close to obstacles.
Then there are the wingsuit events (essentially a onesie that turns you into a flying squirrel), which either ask you to shoot through a number of checkpoints around a challenging course (easier said than done when you're effectively gliding), or only give you points for skimming the surface of the snow/rocks below - something that takes real guts when you're hurtling head-first down a mountain at breakneck speed.
As the game's set in an open world, a lot of your time will actually be spent getting from A to B, exploring the world to find "drop zones", which in turn will unlock new challenges for you try your skills at. When you come near a drop zone in game, a little notification will pop up to tell you there's one nearby, at which point you need to whip out your binoculars, and zoom in on it to "unlock" it.
How easy is Steep to pick up and play?
Steep is a game that treads the line between arcade and simulation controls, providing a control scheme that's reasonably easy to pick up, but tricky to master. Actually getting around is easy - on a snowboard, all you have to do is use the left analogue stick to steer, and you're away, with your in game snowboarder doing all they can to build momentum, and keep themself going automatically.
What's more complex are the game's jumps and tricks, which are heavily timing based, and so require some speedy reactions. To jump, you'll need to squeeze/release the right trigger at just the right time as you leave a ramp, to give yourself maximum air time. If you want to spin, you'll need to push left/right (or up/down to flip) just as you leave the ground - leave it too late, and you'll end up with a mega slow spin that'll earn you next to no points. As you'll need to time both your spin/flip, and your jump almost perfectly to pull a trick off, all while hurtling down a crowded course, packed with obstacles that mean the jumps come up on you in the blink of an eye, it can be easier said than done.
Each event in game tells you how hard it is, on a scale of 1-3, and you only need a bronze medal in order to complete it, with fairly lenient times/point goals on offer. Certain peaks (and the challenges they contain) can only be unlocked by earning a certain amount of experience points, but experience isn't only granted for completing challenges - you can earn it for simply exploring the game's world, too (and even for crashing!)
Finding your way around the open world can be a little bit of a challenge, as the game doesn't give you too much in the way of pointers. Objective makers are giant beams of light, which, while they can be seen from miles away, aren't much use if you're not actually facing them - so you'll need to take a bit of time at the beginning of each run to get your bearings, figure out where your objective is, and how best to get there.
Steep is an "online only" game, and as such will require an internet connection. If your console isn't connected to the internet, you won't be able to play the game - and if your connection drops out, you'll be bumped back to the main menu.
Steep is a game with very little in the way of mature content. In terms of bad language, the very occasional use of the word "sh*t" is as bad as it gets here, while there's nothing in the way of sexual content.
While it isn't really violence as such, it is possible to come a pretty drastic cropper in game if you make a mistake at high speed - your character will then "rag doll" as they essentially start flopping their way down the mountain side, bashing into rocks and any other obstacles as they go, before getting to their feet unscathed.