The official Tour de France 2018 video games are available today in retail stores and for download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Play as the greatest champions and live an exciting Tour de France 2018 on consoles, or step into the shoes of a sports manager on PC to lead your favorite pro team to victory.
Release date: 28/06/2018
Developed by Cyanide Studio
Published by Focus Home Interactive
Reviewed on Xbox One, also available on PS4 and PC
Being a follower of cycling and a cyclist (soon to be hopefully more so) myself, I was quite excited to be given the chance of reviewing the next incarnation of the Tour de France official game.
The game itself is more of a simulation rather than an arcade title so think of it like Forza Motorsport rather than Forza Horizon and you kind of get the idea. Cyanide has brought a fully licensed game for us so you have all riders, teams and bikes, as well as the beautiful France countryside. First off you are brought to a busy main menu with lots of options for you to choose from.
You have your standard Race Mode, where you can take part in stage races or classics and earn points to unlock more races. Challenge mode is where you descend from the mountains as fast as you can and trying to set the online leaderboards.
Training mode teaches you all the basics on how to control your rider, well worth a look if you are quite a novice at the game. Pro Team allows you to take over your very own cycling team, allowing you some basic customisation options such as a change of Jersey and the team. Once you have your name and team jersey, you are then taken to the Transfer screen allowing you to pick the riders for your team; here you need to pick wisely and pull together the strongest team to rise to the top of the world rankings. You also have the option here to play single player or split screen couch co-op style working together on the same team to build the points up.
Next, you have Pro Leader which allows you to create a rider complete various cycling missions in order to progress from season to season. Lastly, you have the Editor section, which allows you to make various tweaks and changes to rider’s names, ratings and the team lineups.
Moving on then to the actual game as you get started you get a feel of how intense the game is when you look at the overcrowded start line. As soon as the race starts, you immediately go for it hell for leather and try to get first but very quickly you find out that this isn’t the way and you see your energy drain fast; if you are not careful (like I did a few times) you will blow out, which means your energy is zapped and you must recover before you can hammer it again. The last thing you want to happen when you are in the lead is a blow out as you will see that lead go very fast as the other riders will zoom past leaving you in your wake, the method of this game is to keep your energy for when you really need it and be smart about when you attack.
Once you get to grips with energy management, using your gel packs as well, it becomes a lot more enjoyable all around. The race is split into days which in turn is split into stages. These stages are long… very long, but then so is the actual race so I guess it needs to be to stay true to the race, although the stages are long they never become tiresome or boring as you are constantly checking different things like keeping an eye on your energy or checking up on teams members via team comms, so you are constantly concentrating and checking behind you to see where the next rider is, couple this with the captivating scenery (yes I do get distracted by this A LOT).
The main challenge is aiming for the different jerseys, get enough points from a set point and the polka dot jersey is yours, become the leader in the points and you get the green jersey, become the race leader and you get the holy grail the yellow jersey or maillot jaune. Personally, I’m struggling on the polka dot stage but I’m making it my life’s work to get it!
Couch co-op or split screen is available on all modes and you have a choice of teaming together or going head to head.
This is where the game falls a bit for me (and I mean only slightly). The split screen co-op is very confusing as there is so much on the screen, it’s a lot for your eyes to take in and it’s hard to concentrate on your side of the screen. The versus mode is a lot of fun and really brings out the competitive side of you; my son and I had a lot of fun trying to outdo each other.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics of Tour de France are second to none, everything from the bikes to the riders and then the surrounding scenery are spot on, the sounds are great too with the helpful comms and in game sounds really add to the whole simulation.
To summarise my thoughts then, I had a great time playing this game and enjoyed the whole experience. It may come across hard going for someone that’s not a Tour de France or cycling fan, but it is a lot of fun and enjoyable all the same and if you ever wanted to tour the French countryside, what better way to do it.