I have to start this article with a confession. I never did achieve the platinum for Steep. But I have a good reason for not doing so. To get every trophy in Steep, you must buy two pieces of DLC. And although I liked the game, I decided to take a stand and sack it off (at least until there’s a sale). While I didn’t get a platinum, I did get every trophy on the base game, so I’m going to call it a moral platinum.
Despite all the planning that goes into trophy hunting, it took me a long time to realise that I wouldn’t be able to get a platinum; otherwise I would have skipped the game entirely. Instead, I chose it because it was winter, and instead of the heavy sleet outside, I was dreaming of soft snow, something you could put on a postcard. That’s exactly what Steep is.
In a nutshell, it’s an open world game where you can ski, snowboard, paraglide or parachute to your heart’s content. Like a ski holiday for the insane. And I’ll come out and say it now: I hate everything to do with skiing holidays. I hate the cold, I hate not being in control of my feet, and I hate the idea of trees and rocks speeding towards me. The only thing I would be interested in is the après-ski, and Steep doesn’t include that. But I treated this like a free holiday and gave it a go.
Day one was all about trying new things. I arrived in the Alps and immediately strapped on every piece of equipment possible. I spent hours whizzing my way down the mountains, loving every second. I tried every challenge that sounded interesting, and collapsed at the end of the day celebrating a day well spent. I already had a couple of trophies under my belt.
On day two, everything changed. It suddenly dawned on me that I had done everything that sounded interesting, and all that was left were the hard challenges, or ones that really didn’t suit me (like every single race above easy). I decided today would be a day to explore. At first it was fun, finding an open space to stand and scan the horizon with my binoculars, but it soon became a dreary, monotonous bore. In order to get a few trophies in Steep you have to discover everything. And that doesn’t mean just looking at it. You have to walk to every village and lake, and yes, I do mean walk, as many are in places you can easily ski past without noticing. My main mode of transport during day two was my parachute. But no-one tells you just how slow they move. It’s slow, by the way. Really slow.
Day three came around and I felt a little better about tackling the difficult challenges that taunted me every time I went to change my clothes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I knocked myself out so many times it’s a wonder I can remember my own name. This was only saved by my choice of costume. I had decided to don a goat’s head for the day. Unbeknown to me, this would turn me into an actual goat who could make no other noise than an elongated “baaaaa”. The only time it changed was after crossing the finish line, at which point it became a celebratory “baaaaa”. Real life me started copying this every time I completed a challenge. It was annoying, but had become somewhat of a subconscious noise.
During a challenge in which you follow a mysterious voice from the heavens, the game started giving me a recipe for Tartiflette, so I turned it off and had a long, hard look at myself. I also looked up when my local shop closed that night. I have yet to make the dish.
The nice thing about Steep is that everything you need to do in order to obtain trophies can be done in short bursts, so you can stop at any point for a bit of a breather. A breather for me entailed travelling (in-game) to Alaska to take a gentle ski or to paraglide down a different mountain. It may have been the same activity, but it felt refreshingly different when there weren’t trophies involved. Enjoyable almost. There are no trophies to get in Alaska, which is a strange choice from the developer – one which I still don’t quite understand, but definitely appreciate.
The trophies weren’t too bad to collect. As with any open world game, some are bound to feel tedious, such as exploring every nook and cranny when all you really bought the game for was high-speed skiing. The worst by far was getting gold in every challenge in the Alps. I found it hard enough completing some of them, let alone being one of the best in each one. It took me a long time, and stopped being enjoyable when I kept messing up the first corner on something and had to replay the same five seconds over and over again. I loved the game when I first picked it up, but now I can’t look at it with anything but disdain. I imagine one day I’ll look forward to playing it again, but the trophy hunt ruined the experience for me. If you’re going to go for the platinum in this game, then don’t. And if you must, make sure you don’t try and do it in three days. And remember that you’ll have to part with more money than you first thought. Cheers Ubisoft.
Was it worth it in the end? It wouldn’t have been worth it even if I did have the money spare to claim the true trophy.