Advertisement

Steep Hits the Olympics With New Expansion

Steep Hits the Olympics With New Expansion
From IGN - October 12, 2017
By Christian Holt

Living dangerously? asked the developer as my skier held his grab to the very last second, barely sticking the landing. Still, the judges at Pyeongchang were impressed, awarding my run with a top score in the Slopestyle competition. One more run like that, and the gold was mine. But in my next run, I got a bit ambitious on my double backflip and landed on my head, the ragdoll physics splaying my poor skier across the snow. The commentators were aghast. The crowd went silent. With such realism, I half-expected an ambulance to wheel onto the snow. I not only ended up knocking my skier out cold, but out of medal contention. Ouch. Such is the duality of going for glory in Steep: in attempts to reach new heights, youll either achieve Olympic glory or gloriously fail. In Steeps latest expansion, Road to the Olympics, the outdoor action sports simulator gets a surprising addition: a story. In the campaign, you get to make your mark as a legendary skier or snowboarder at the Pyeongchang Olympics across three freestyle events. But true to the original game, the expansion offers a new set of mountain playgrounds to jump, traverse, and plummet downplus ten new events to conquer.

Game Director Arnaud Ragot described Steep as a bet for developer Ubisoft. When Steep launched last year, there didnt seem to be a great deal of demand for an outdoor action sports open world game. While initial reviews were mostly positive, the developers kept pressing on with new content, and The Road to Olympics aims to be another milestone in the games climb towards action sports classic.

The expansion is both safer in some waysthe new rails and grinding mechanics are reminiscent of classic titles like Tony Hawk Pro Skaterand even riskier, giving the players a story centered around some of the most obscure and difficult alpine competitions in the world. Instead of limiting the player, Ragot sees the story mode as a way for players to get swept up in the specialness of the Olympics and put your skills towards a singular goal: Olympic glory. In the story, players train and compete in Big Air, Half-Pipe, and Slopestyle while getting training tips and track insights from Olympians.

The reverence for the Olympics translates to the gameplay as well. To my mind, I cant think of a game that has dedicated so many resources to capturing the technical feel of a diverse spectrum of action sports as Steep has. The developers interviewed Olympic greats like Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller to get a sense of how to translate their high-skill sports into video game form. The result is, the developers hope, a completely different way to play Steep. I lined up in GS suit at the top of a hill and plummeted down. Like in real-life, events like Super G and Downhill are about maintaining speed while trying to thread through the courses widely-spaced gates. Even with the larger spacing of gates, these courses are exceptionally challenging and my initial playthroughs were full of DNFs (Did not finish).

Advertisement

Continue reading at IGN »