Road to the Olympics takes Steep from casual riding down idyllic mountain ranges to the big leagues. To the serious competition. To the Olympic games. Just don’t choose your nationality as Russian, because you’re barred!
The crux of Road to the Olympics is to take your character on an inspiring journey in the “Become a Legend” story line. This sees you begin as a newcomer eighteen months before the Winter games and, hopefully, finish by becoming the first athlete in history to win three gold medals in three different freestyle events.
Those events are all snowboarding challenges. With Big Air giving you one massive ramp to do as many tricks as you can off, Slope Style giving you a long obstacle course of grind rails and jumps to navigate, and getting as many points as you can in the Half-pipe. All these events are a welcome change of pace from the courses in vanilla-Steep, which were mostly all made up of natural ramps and obstacles. Not having to avoid a tree as if you’re Neo from The Matrix makes things a bit more relaxing, though the annoying commentator does his utmost to ruin even that.
Having a singular storyline to follow is also a nice change from the base game. As the fact that endless, time consuming wandering around in the snowy wilderness desperately searching for a new hill to ride down is gone. All your events are lined up for you so you can concentrate on what’s actually fun – riding really fast down a big hill.
While Become a Legend is nicely put together, with insightful interviews with real Olympic athletes and stylish cinematics accompanied with a narrator telling the story in grand fashion, it does drag a little. Once you’ve secured your seat on the flight to South Korea, the training and more competitions continue to come and things get a little repetitive. This disappointment was further compounded when I finally did get to the Olympics just to find that I’d already ridden down all the courses before in previous tournaments. I was expecting something a bit unique for the pinnacle of sporting achievement but alas I was let down. It didn’t even show my character getting the gold medal placed around her neck on the podium.
One thing that does steadfastly remain from the original game is its annoying, buggy moments. I lost count of the amount of times I tried to jump onto a grind rail and ended up falling through the map. Or the amount of time I attempted a trick in the half-pipe and ended up flying fifteen feet in the air. Or the amount of times my character would just crash and fall without any obvious explanation whatsoever.
When its in full flow Steep’s extreme sports can be a real blast to play, but far too often weird glitches will just rip you out of the moment and make you have to start your run once again. Thankfully the restarts are still quick so you can be back atop of the slope in no time. Road to the Olympics is a very nice addition to Steep. It adds a lot of fun events and different kinds of slopes to really test your skills and timing. It’s just a shame that the same old grievances stop it being great.
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