Winter is fast approaching and it’s time to hit the slopes. The digital slopes that is! Where the worst you can do to yourself is carpal tunnel. Steep is back with ‘The Road To The Olympics’ DLC. With the Winter Olympics fastly approaching taking place in Pyeongchang, North Korea. ‘The Road To The Olympics’ adds a brand new documentary-style story that follows the main character as they rise the ranks and eventually tries to be the first to win a gold medal in three unique snowboarding challenges; Half-pipe, Big Air, and Slopestyle.
One of the first things you’re introduced to in the DLC is in-game interviews with actual Olympians. This is a cool feature that I actually enjoyed a lot. As a kid, the Olympics really fascinated me, especially with the 2010 Winter Olympics being held in Canada, and being able to hear some professional snowboarders and skiers share their experience was wild.
In the ‘Road To The Olympics’ DLC, we’re given a brand new, decent-sized open map to explore. This means there’s a whole lot to do outside the main events, such as exploring the mountains and discovering new drop zones. The amount of stuff to do helps immensely when you get frustrated at an event or if you’re finding the course of things a little too repetitive. The camera mode included in the game is great too if you just want to relax and take pictures of the gorgeous scenery.
Speaking of the scenery, the game just looks fantastic. I mentioned this in my review for the base game and I’m mentioning it again here. The environments created in this game are simply breathtaking. With most of the game taking place in Japan (leading up to the Olympics in South Korea), a lot of the Japanese culture and influence can be seen in some of the courses (especially the more casual relaxation runs). The ability to change the time of day is great as well. I always tried to make it dusk as much as I could because the way the sun broke through the trees and mountains and bounced off the snow just looked incredible.
The soundtrack might just be my favorite thing about this game. The variety that the in-game music possesses genuinely surprised me as I didn’t expect much in the way of music from this game. Some of the more peaceful recreational runs will be accompanied by a nice, soft traditional folk-sounding Japanese tune with a nice shamisen (three-stringed guitar) lick thrown in. But then during some of the more intense, competitive run will get a heavy intense techno beat treatment. The music is a great pushing force to pull off some sweet tricks, but can also be a nice relaxing (almost therapeutic) ambiance to chill and slope to.
During the campaign, you’re practicing for three main events in the Olympics, Slopestyle, Big Air, and Half Pipe. I had fun with all three events but Slopestyle is the only one I had trouble with. Slopestyle is equally difficult and rewarding while Big Air and Half-Pipe are fun but prove little to no challenge. Slopestyle is easily the most fun and rewarding event in the game and I found it to be pretty addictive.
Not unlike the base game, Steep: The Road To The Olympics is hindered by its amount of glitches, bugs, and overall graphical issues. The biggest issue I faced during my playtime was clipping. You hit the ground hard enough? You’ll clip through it. That tree? Clipped through it. Clipping is a very dangerous thing to happen in a video game as it creates the possibility to get stuck in an object and ultimately crash the game. The number of times I clipped through something in the game was worrying, to say the least.
The $30USD is a little steep (no pun intended) for this DLC add-on. While there is a good amount to do and it’s rather fun, I think the $30 price tag is a bit too much for what you get. It doesn’t add too much new content to the base game to justify half the price of a full AAA game.
Overall I had a lot of fun with Streep’s ‘The Road To The Olympics’ DLC add-on and ended up enjoying it more than the base game. It had a more linear approach to the campaign which I enjoyed. The documentary storytelling style the game took was a good idea and I think it paid off big time. The interviews added nice content in between gameplay. At the end of the day, the game is one of the more successful snowboarding sims out there with a beautiful environment. Unfortunately, the gorgeousness of the game gets a little overshadowed sometimes by the insane amount of graphical issues the game throws in your face. All in all, though I had fun and it might just be the kick in the butt for me to get back and finish the base game.
[Reviewed based on the Xbox One copy of the game. A code for the game was supplied by the developer]