Most of the games Ubisoft has released recently have been utilizing an open world perspective and encouraged nonlinear gameplay. This isn’t too noteworthy for titles like Ghost Recon or Assassin’s Creed, but having the open world playground in games that focus on racing cars and winter sports is a bit unusual. Steep is the open world extreme sports game in question, and since its release about a year ago, it has continuously grown and evolved as developers listen to the player base’s feedback to improve the experience. The newest batch of changes come in the form of Steep: Road to the Olympics, which add a new area for players to freely explore along with a more structured story mode.
Like Alaska before it, a massive new map has been added to the snow covered world of Steep and the newest landmass to assert one’s cryogenic dominance is Japan. Decorated with pink and red leafed cherry blossoms and jagged uncovered rocks, Japan adds a dangerous playground that is well suited for any seeker of thrills. The unique Japanese topography is able to bring a new experience to the familiar game along with the new winding paths for players to traverse. Additionally, Japan is home to many volcanoes that are simply asking to be conquered as the player travels through snow that is approximately waist deep. Fans of the game’s mountain stories will be pleased to know that new characters can be found in the mountains to impart tales unique to Japan.
It would be silly to name this expansion Steep: Road to the Olympics and not have any Olympic games included. To cover this portion of the expansion, the player can hop on over to Korea and take part in many different events including Downhill and Super-G, Big Air, Half-Pipe and Slopestyle. These events are based on real courses and Olympic events and the approach to successfully competing in them is more in line with what one would probably think of in a traditional extreme winter sports game. Failing to go through checkpoints and stay within the boundaries of the event will disqualify the player and mastery will not come overnight. Completing any of these events requires a certain level of finesse, but being victorious is a matter of combining that finesse and precision with speed. Most players should not expect to receive the gold medal on their first or second try, but there wouldn’t be much satisfaction if they could.
To add a layer of authenticity to this new portion, pro athletes were interviewed about their sports and what it takes to succeed in them. Their interviews are candid and unscripted, giving a realistic look into what being a real athlete is like in these sports. An important thing to note is Road to the Olympics is that it remains true to the open world freedom provided in Steep. The Olympic story line is there for players who wish to engage in it, but there is enough free range activity in this expansion so players who enjoy Steep’s freedom will have plenty of new experiences to have just in exploring Japan and Korea. That being said, the Olympic events are actually a lot of fun, especially if you can compete against a bunch of other people.
Steep: Road to the Olympics aims to expand on the open world freedom of the base game with a massive new area but also adds new events and story mode. Steep was an ambitious game when it was released since it combined several different activities such as skiing, snowboarding and wingsuit gliding to a vast open world platform. Since its release, the developers have listened to player feedback and continuously worked on fine tuning and crafting the game into something even better. Road to the Olympics is scheduled for a December 5 release and looks to expand on the open world model that fans have come to enjoy while adding new events and game modes to help make Steep a more rewarding and diverse experience.