Steep Road to the Olympics (DLC) Review
A little too much road and not quite enough Olympics.
Road to the Olympics is an expansion that adds an assortment of events from the Winter Games to Steep. The 'Road to' in the title is significant, because a significant amount of the new content takes you through the competitions and events that occur before the games even open, as hopeful athletes compete to earn the chance to even make it to the Olympics. As you make your way through the events leading to the Olympics, the game will periodically show videos of Olympic athletes relating their experiences in training and competing to win a spot at the games. The videos feel out of place from a game flow perspective, but I found them to be interesting enough. If they bother you then you can easily skip them, although it wasn't obvious to me if you could find any way to watch them again later.
The events are a lot like running any other event in Steep. You don't have to explore the mountain to find them, though. Once you successfully complete one the next event in the sequence will appear on the mountain. The Road to the Olympics adds four new mountains to the game in two, Japan and Korea, and you can explore the Japanese mountains like you can any other in the game. The new mountains are more than simply new terrain, the environments from the trees on the mountains to the architecture of the buildings in the villages is distinctly Japanese.
The Olympic events are a mix of ski and snowboard competitions: Big Air, Downhill, Giant Slalom, Parallel Giant Slalom, Ski & Snowboard Halfpipe, Ski & Snowboard Cross, Slalom, Ski & Snowboard Slopestyle, and Super-G. They're all well-executed in the game, but you'll undoubtedly have your own favorites among them. I found the trick events to be significantly easier than the speed events like the Downhill and Giant Slalom as the speed events are very unforgiving. In those you'll need to memorize the course because the turns will come at you so fast that you'll need to anticipate them rather than react to them. I used the Y button countless times to reset the race when running a course for the first time as I painstakingly learned each and every turn. I can see that this would be too frustrating a process for those of you who are short on patience.
The Steep game format doesn't fit too well with the pageantry of the games. You pick a country and a face for your Olympic athlete, but all that really does is set the flag that appears next to your name in the post-event standings. The events are naturally disjointed in the game as you hop from one to the next, so it's difficult to feel like you're in the midst of a global event that only happens once every four years. And when you return to the game after exiting it earlier, it puts you back into the normal game mode and in control of your default Steep character. You'll switch back to the Road to the Olympics mode as soon as you start the next event, but it's not always easy to find it. It's certainly annoying to fire up the game and then spend the next few minutes hunting for the new Olympic event on the mountain map. I also found the event commentary to be tedious ' the dialog was awkward, as if an old sportscaster was trying too hard to sound young, and also highly repetitive.
Overall, this expansion is enjoyable enough to recommend. You get more mountains to play on in the game and the events themselves are fun additions to the game. I wish more effort was put into making the whole experience more Olympic, though. The Road to the Olympics feels a little too much road and not enough Olympics in that regard.
Final Rating: 76%
Transmitted: 3/24/2019 7:15:48 AM