Analysis of Steep Road to the Olympics. The fantasy of competing

Written by Kamran Haider

When a professional athlete is about to start the competition, when snow is both the obstacle and the vehicle for his prowess, the descent becomes the most important part of life. What separates him from success or failure. That feeling Steep looks for Road to the Olympics. In this analysis, we value if you get a medal.

There is something we sometimes forget about video games, and it is that they generate a fantasy, things that we would not do in real life. Steep does not move away from this principle. Only a few dare to descend a snowy slope at about 100 kilometers per hour. The news about the death of the skier Matilda Rapaport, shooting precisely a clip for the video game, makes clear the fragility of the human being against a rival as fearsome as a mountain.

The best thing about Steep: The way to the Olympics is that he is perfectly aware of what he is dealing with, and that is why he applies the utmost respect. The trajectory mode that it includes invites us to place ourselves in the role of an athlete who looks for an improbable achievement in real life, almost impossible: to get three gold medals in the freestyle disciplines. We are that person, creators of a fantasy articulated through the tests included in this downloadable content.

The price of the DLC is currently 30 euros (does not come with the season pass) and requires the base game Steep. Without going into the always questionable value for money, the content is based on adding the massifs of Asia (specifically, South Korea and Japan), with new challenges and mountain stories. Considering that we were facing a fairly complete title, Camino a las Olympias does nothing but contribute to improving the existing. Perhaps the best conclusion is that we are faced with a great way to expand the experience – for lovers of the original – or a good time for new ones to dare to take to the snow.

Life on a decline

Steep caught my attention from his ad: a video game of extreme sports in the snow, a genre is forgotten from great classics like SSX or 1080º Snowboarding. Maybe its finish was not the best, with a fairly unreal physical system and a technical section that, despite its strong commitment to the open world, left many inconsistencies in the detail of the environments.

However, I always ended up focusing on the experience, and I enjoyed it. The playable flow could be made really satisfying, with a level of control that -although it could be improved in depth- allowed you to connect acrobatics to show your skill. The answer was not only at the controls, but the music itself became more rhythmic to tell you how you were doing, as well as the commentator, who despite sometimes making mistakes, also helped you get more into the role.

And that’s what I wanted to achieve, that at Ubisoft Annecy they seem to be very clear that the most important thing is to offer you that fantasy that I was talking about at the beginning. They do not want you to be a simple user who came to do some tricks to earn points and get the best result. They want you to feel like a competitor. For that reason, I was surprised that on the Road to the Olympics interspersed interviews with Olympic medalists as we progressed. They explain what it feels like to go down, the hardness of the training, the pressure of a final … They are details that make the difference.Life on a decline

There is more variety than in the original game

Sometimes making a video game depends not only on the internal systems but on everything that surrounds it. You could think that it is an artificial resource, that the game should not change to put some videos, but remember that the important thing is to create the fantasy of putting yourself on a board or skis to star in spectacular performances. For something the first message that is shown is the classic “do not try this in the real world”.

The pity is that if it had not cost me so little to get up with the gold, the fantasy would have been more credible … or at least interesting. The difficulty curve is not especially worked, or rather it is practically non-existent during this trajectory mode. Although, yes, then there are many challenges, some really crazy jumping between high mountains, and even a tour of the roofs of a Japanese snow town. There’s more variety than in the original game, and that’s good news.

We have the long jumps of Big Air, halfpipes in which to perform a thousand tricks, dangerous but exciting descents, the giant slalom, or the Super-G, a sort of tour that combines speed and precision when turning. But if I have to stay with something is Slopestyle, obstacle courses, with jump areas and handrails where you can choose different acrobatic options. It is the freest test of the game, and probably the most fun.

I have not stressed it too much, but this DLC is integrated into the Steep experience, with its open world and all that it implies. This means that challenges can be fought outside this kind of Olympic history, as well as exploring and discovering new zones of descent. The same goes for online bookmarks and online play. Nothing changes. Not even the scratches we have experienced in PS4 Pro. They are not serious or frequent, but they tarnish the experience slightly.

For these reasons and the others that we have commented, we can not talk about a DLC that changes things a lot. It makes them more interesting, yes, due to the use of the official license of the Olympic Games of Pyeongchang 2018 and, above all, for the great work done to make the fantasy of inviting us to win those three medals so coveted. Something has a video game when, after getting them, the curiosity wakes you up if someone can do it next year when the real competitions take place.

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Road to the Olympics is an interesting DLC, oriented to continue improving the base of Steep, which little by little is acquiring a greater variety. The best thing about this content is that it manages to represent the fantasy of participating in the Olympics, becoming a work of passion towards extreme sports on snow. A good option for those who want to continue exploring Steep, and even for those who are attracted by the proposal and consider it a good time to start their descents.

  • Add variety to the Steep experience
  • Successfully recreates the fantasy of becoming an Olympic medalist
  • Certain challenges are interesting and original
  • Music continues to be one of the brightest aspects
  • The trajectory mode becomes something simple to overcome.
  • Despite the efforts, a greater effort is needed to justify the DLC.

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Kamran Haider

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