Ubisoft’s movement toward open world games continues with Steep, a new extreme sports game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC that was announced at E3 2016. Being touted as the “first open world game that links open world and sports,” Ubisoft is excited for Steep both for its multiplayer potential and the way it takes advantage of the franchise’s new tech.
The production on Steep came out of the open world development for Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Originally starting as a demo for Wildlands, Ubisoft’s Annecy studio has been working on Steep for two and a half years. Creative director Igor Manceau explained at Ubisoft’s E3 corporate press event that the idea was an “open world action sports game designed with sharing in mind.”
“We could offer something fresh, something new, where navigating the world was at the core of the experience,” he said. “We felt it could bring something really fresh to the gaming environment, something fresh that actually responds to a huge trend you see on YouTube: action sports.”
Steep is set on one mountain in the Alps at the intersection of Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France, and every player using the game will be based on this mountain. Players will have the opportunity to ski, paraglide, snowboard or wingsuit down the mountain, and can alternate between the sports at any time. Manceau described Steep’s intention as being “a medium for personal expression” with the different challenges, and explained that “exploration … is really important.” The game wants you to push your limits, and face your fears.
Steep is seamlessly online, and even though every player shares the same mountain, there won’t be any collision between players unless you select the option. When playing, users can replay great runs, control various cameras in both first and third person (the press conference demo showed off the mountain view capabilities), and — of course — share your best plays with the world.
Steep became a passion project for Ubisoft’s Annecy Studio, which specializes in multiplayer games. Annecy is close to the French Alps, and Manceau is a bit of an extreme sports enthusiast himself. With the genre being almost as big as gaming as YouTube, he felt like the game was a natural progression for the studio.