Steep: Road to the Olympics
It’s time to return to the slopes, this time with an Olympic twist in the new expansion for Ubisoft’s Steep. While the “story” mode is a bit more limiting, the new challenges are worth taking on. Come inside for my full review!
Before I get started, you should really check out my initial review of the core Steep game. I mean, Road to the Olympics is an expansion and not playable without it. So if you haven’t picked up the main game, be sure to read up on why I thought it was a pretty damn good Winter sports game.
All caught up? Okay, let’s talk about the new expansion that’s been developed to tie-in to the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. It brings in a whole slew of new open world mountains to explore from South Korea, Japan, and even the Alps.
Aside from the new maps, the main point of the expansion Ubisoft has been pushing is the Olympic connection. The new “Become a Legend” mode has you take on the role of a ‘faceless’ snowboarder working your way through the trials in order to ultimately compete in the 2018 Olympics. Once there, you’re mission is to be the first snowboarder to snag the Gold in all three events: Big Air, Slopestyle, and the Halfpipe.
You’ll spend a lot of time in various training modes as you work your way up to the Games themselves. Interspersed throughout your runs, however, are documentary style video clips with real life professional snowboarders. They talk about their own journeys and the struggles they’ve encountered for their own Olympic dreams. It’s a neat approach to the “story” in the game, and gives solid insights to these athletes.
The new events are a lot of fun to play, though if you’ve already gone through the core game, it’s going to be really easy. In every competition, especially the early ones, I was so far ahead of the computer competitors it wasn’t even funny. You do a total of three runs for each event, and those with highest cumulative score wins the round...Consistently, I would score so many points, that my total for TWO runs, would dwarf the three run totals of everyone else.
That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but the lack of multiplayer options in the Olympic mode (you can’t set your own competitions or anything like you normally can) makes it too easy. If you haven’t played through much of the core game, and mostly getting started with Road to the Olympics, it works pretty well in getting you comfortable with the controls and how to do cool things.
Other new modes introduced include some nifty things to play around with on skis (which have typically been the weaker option to play in the main game): Slalom, Parallel Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G. These modes are a ridiculous amount of fun, and are tougher to master. Once you nail a turn at top speed, however, the sense of accomplishment is strong. Again, this is all the more frustrating that these things are limited to the Olympic gameplay, meaning you can’t compete with your friends online.
Where the expansion really earns its keep is how it opens up after the Become a Legend mode (which should take roughly 3 hours). The story mode’s linear structure seems counterintuitive to the open-world nature of the game. Normally you can take your time traversing the mountain, finding new paths, and stopping to use your binoculars to find all new starting points.
The Olympic Events don’t allow for this kind of exploration, but once you’re done, everything opens up for your normal Steep gameplay/challenges. You’ll have several new mountains to explore and trails to carve. It makes for a vast amount of new content to play through, far bigger than the little updates we’ve seen in the past.
Once things open up, you’re left with the same fun, surprisingly addictive, Steep gameplay we’ve had since last year. The tweaks that have been made throughout updates/patches have made the game a blast with a format that makes it easy to drop in for a few runs and pop back out. While I’m still eagerly awaiting the Nintendo Switch version of the game, the Road to the Olympics is a solid expansion to an already fun game.