You know how long we’ve been waiting for a true successor to SSX3? How long we’ve wanted a follow-up to EA Big’s connected, open-world mountain of exploration, trick popping, and miscellaneous larking about? Stop waiting. Ubisoft’s Steep might be it.
Developed by Ubisoft Annecy, the developer of Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell’s online components, it’s a connected, open-world action sports game, with an emphasis on marrying real-world beauty with slightly arcadey, over-the-top action. And direct competition looks to be much less important than experimenting with the environment, pulling off egregiously cool tricks and runs, and otherwise having a great time showing off and challenging your friends.
The game’s ‘structure’ seems to favour pure freedom. In , we see a player paraglide down to a mountain peak, and then stop, using a zoomed out ‘Mountain View’ camera to check out current challenges on the peaks around him. He chooses a wingsuit run and hurtles down the mountain, between outcrops and precipices, through tiny gaps between rocks, before ultimately opening his ‘chute to come to a stop in thick powder. Then it’s onto a snowboard to carve an improvised path through the forest and over a nigh-vertical mountainside drop.
But such things aren’t simply for in-the-moment hijinx. The game will record any run you make, including stunts pulled, and will allow you to use that replay to set bespoke challenges for friends online. With players gunning down slopes, as others trek back up them, and more still gliding overhead, there’s a real sense of a huge, shared playground just begging to be goofed through together.
Steep is due for launch in December 2016.