Steep: Road to the Olympics

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Steep: Road to the Olympics Game Poster Image
Extreme sports game showcases drive, tenacity to win gold.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Could spur interest in physical activity, including snowboarding, skiing, but also sensationalizes dangerous extreme sports such as wingsuit flying. Warns players not to emulate stunts they see in the game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Real-world Olympians talk about what it takes to excel in snowboarding, including physical training, mental preparation, drive. Virtual athletes shown as good-natured, determined, but also very willing to take risks with their lives for the sake of thrills.

Ease of Play

Controls for each sport are intuitive, but mastery required to win medals at the Olympics may take new players a while to achieve.

Violence

Athletes crash hard against trees, tumble down mountainsides. Lots of grunts, yelps, occasional bone-crunching sounds. Avatars never die, aren't permanently injured, but are occasionally rendered unconscious by falls.

Sex
Language

"S--t" is heard in dialogue.

Consumerism

This is a paid expansion to Steep.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Steep: Road to the Olympics is a paid expansion to the extreme sports game Steep, which is required to play (the base game and expansion can also be purchased as a bundle called Steep: Winter Games Edition). Players take on the role of a professional athlete who spends years training for and eventually competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Players will see real Olympians talking about the dedication and physical and mental training necessary to compete at the highest levels, which might inspire kids to engage in winter sports. They'll also witness how dangerous extreme sports can be via bone-crunching crashes that sometimes render riders unconscious, though no permanent injuries are depicted within the game. Parents should note that this game contains the word "s--t" in dialogue.

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What's it about?

STEEP: ROAD TO THE OLYMPICS expands upon the existing alpine world found in the original Steep, adding fresh slopes to explore and events to enter. It introduces new mountains in both South Korea and Japan, allowing players to discover more free-ride runs, challenges, and online events across all of the game's extreme sports, including wingsuit flying, paragliding, snowboarding, and skiing. But the core of the experience is a curated series of events based on the 2018 Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This new story mode tasks players to train for and then eventually compete in a trio of freestyle Olympic events, aiming to win gold in all three. It's set over the course of several years, taking players through training, seasonal events, qualifying, and eventually the Olympics themselves. Video clips between each event show interviews with actual Olympians from around the world talking about what it takes to excel at the highest levels. Throughout the story, players are free to jump back to free-riding mode to keep exploring the mountains and competing in discrete events, Olympics-themed or otherwise.

Is it any good?

The structured nature of the story-based portion of this expansion makes it stand out from the original, which was conceived as a free, ongoing extreme sports experience. Steep: Road to the Olympics' narrative delivers a more traditional, linear play with a beginning, middle, and end that should take most players about four hours to complete (depending on skill), and it simultaneously serves as a surprisingly informative introduction to the world of professional snowboarding, thanks to its interviews with real athletes. It's a little rough in some areas -- the announcer is extremely repetitive and often inaccurate, and the reward for finally completing your goal of winning a trio of golds is underwhelming -- but the core mechanics remain both accessible and empowering. Tricking your way over huge jumps, half-pipes, and freestyle courses is a blast.

And once you're through with the Olympics, you'll have vast and gorgeous new mountains waiting to be explored. As usual, you can jump between areas at will, discovering fresh runs and new challenges along the way, including some absolutely fantastic downhill skiing. This is where the base game was at its best, and that remains the case in this expansion. Tearing down a narrow chute at breakneck speed using the (optional) first-person view is nothing short of thrilling, especially when hitting a hidden jump or trying to weave through a stand of trees. Chances are most people will buy Steep: Road to the Olympics with dreams of Olympic glory, but will end up spending the bulk of their time doing what they did in the original: Enjoying the freedom of discovering a massive mountain range full of secrets.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. In Steep, activities flow almost seamlessly from one to the next, which can make it easy to just keep going and going, so how do you know when you've had enough play time?

  • Talk about sports safety. Sports are meant to push us to our physical limits, which can be dangerous, so what precautions do you take to stay safe while still trying to perform your best?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
  • Price: $29.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (If you don't already own Steep you can buy the Steep: Winter Games Edition, which bundles the base game with the Steep: Road to the Olympics expansion pack for $59.99.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: December 5, 2017
  • Genre: Sports
  • Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
  • ESRB rating: T for Language

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love sports

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