Euro Score Helps Extreme Sport Gamers Go ‘Steep’

Paraglider soars through the videogame Steep.

Ubisoft Annecy’s Steep features a post-rock instrumental score by Zikali. (Photo courtesy Ubisoft)

Sumthing Else Music Works, the music label formed by Nile Rodgers expressly to service game soundtracks, makes available the original score for Ubisoft’s Steep. The open-world multiplayer summit adventure features a post-rock instrumental score composed by Zikali, a European collective of music composition and sound design artists.

“The musical artistic direction consists of the encounter between a post-rock formation of drums, bass, guitars, synths, to which we’ve added an orchestral dimension” with strings and brass, Zikali’s Jonathan Labigne said of the score, which also draws on a set of original instruments including hang drum and duduk.

These unusual instruments “define the sound identity of the project,” according to Labigne. The Hang is a modern percussion instrument created (and trademarked) by PanART, while the duduk is an ancient Armenian double-reed flute, made (lovely touch!) of apricot wood.

That is not the only innovative touch in Steep, which drops players into an Alpine environment where they can ski, snowboard, wingsuit and paraglide through a massive open world playground. Developed by Ubisoft’s Annecy studio, just south of Geneva, the breathtaking 360-degree extrene land- and skyscapes were captured using GoPro action cameras — lightweight and mountable and the force behind a new genre of adventure footage.

“We are just a few miles from the tallest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc,” Annecy head of development  Rebecka Coutaz said of the inspiration for Steep. “From our studio windows, we can see mountains all around us. We put significant online and multiplayer expertise [into] a game that captures the excitement and adrenaline we feel when we’re exploring the snowy mountains,” she said, noting production was in conjunction with Ubisoft Montpellier and Ubisoft Kiev.

The excitement of extreme sports is reflected in Zikali’s score. “The energy of the rider is represented by a modern and electric sound associated with the action, and the orchestra characterizes the different places — summits, narrow corridor or wide spaces — by the variety of its modes of play, bringing a strong emotional dimension,” Labigne added.

Steep was unveiled by Ubisoft at E3 in June 2016, and released to market in December for PlayStation 4, Xbox  One and PC. The multiplayer game allows players and friends across the globe to take on challenges together or compete to snag the top spot on the leaderboards. In addition to the Alps, Alaska will be available as a free game update on February 24th.

The Steep Original Soundtrackwas released on CD in stores and available for digital download from Sumthing Else on Feb. 17.

With global headquarters in the suburbs of Paris, Ubisoft is a publisher and distributor of  games whose portfolio includes Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Watch_Dogs, Tom Clancy’s video game series, Rayman and Far Cry. For the 2015-16 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of $1.47 billion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.