In the past, Fans of the Tour de France have been very disappointed with the re-creation of the game for console. With the cycling endurance challenge arguably one of the hardest sporting competitions in the world, people believe that the game should reflect that. Well, in its ninth edition, Tour de France 2019 shows the creators listened as the game has been improved tremendously.
For cycling video game novices, you may not know what to expect. The training should get you a feel for the game, and once your comfortable, it’s time for go to the first race of 21. Yes, twenty-one races for the twenty-one stages in the actual tour.
The first race of the tour takes an hour if you see it through. Don’t worry, you can fast forward parts of race, so you can get yourself into a good position, and pick it up again in the crucial phases.
If you love the Tour de France, you will enjoy this video game no doubt. However, if not a die-hard cycling fan, then it might be hard getting into this game due to its complexity and length.
How to play
The controls and ideas of the game are simple.
Follow/free ride another cyclist: X/A
Coast downhill: R1/RB
The challenge of the game is working out when to should conserve energy and follow versus when you need to make a push and use lots of energy. If you can master this one simple idea, the game itself will not be hard to play. There are additional elements like attaining different types of energy gel (fast release and slow release) to help you in the gruelling races.
The creators of the game have made an effort to improve the game, especially the alternative game modes. First, they added new sprint challenges (see below) that are are quicker than a Tour de France stage.
Game developers Cyanide have developed both the Pro Team and Pro Leader to have a World Championship as you look to represent your nation.
The editors have also allowed the users to enrich their tour races by fixing the number of competitors as well as their jersey colours.
Finally, the game has improved trajectories meaning that the riders and the opponents follow more realistic trajectories and take bends in a more natural fashion, leading to improved immersion inside the peloton.
The big concern this game should have is simply who is going to play this? The idea is there. The gameplay is there, and it is great, however, it is quite tough to draw a crowd who wants to sit down and place a cycling video game. Not only is it hard to draw fans to play, but it is even harder for these people to sit down and play one race that takes an hour. If they just fast forward the race, then they could be dissatisfied with their results, with the computer playing most of the race.
The game is complicated in terms of the technicality of how to conserve energy. It is very much figure it out for yourself, but with 21 stages, you have time to get ot grips with it! For those who truly enjoy the Tour de France and want to play this game, there should not be any real concerns as the game is very well developed and very realisitc.
There are two different challenges with varying difficulty and levels. One challenge is downhill where the cyclist is by himself and you have to get down to the bottom and through the finish line in a certain time for either a gold, silver, or bronze medal. Plus, you compete against your previous high score which gives an added incentive. It is great fun and goes by very quickly (under a minute).
The other challenge is simply a sprint, competing against the other AI competitors. This challenge is our preferred of the two since you get to compete against other racers. The goal is simple. Finish fist among everyone in the final 4-7 kilometres, however, you cannot use up all your energy at the beginning or else you will blow out! There are some tactics to winning these sprints and it is good practice when it comes to the actual racing stages.
The Pro Team feature is exciting for the people who are very passionate about the Tour de France. This game mode allows the user to manage a team starting with a budget in hopes to bring them to the top. You get to sign six riders of varying types which are mountain, hill, sprint, and versatile. To improve your team, you need to do well in races and then buy and sell players to improve gradually.
Pro Leader is similar in terms of it being like a career mode, however, you are one of the players trying to make the national team for the World Championships. To do this, you start at the bottom and work your way up gaining points which you then spend to improve your stats to compete at the highest level.
As well as the Tour de France, players can experience other iconic races from the world of cycling. These include the Tour of Flandes, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine.
All in all, it is very simple. If you love the Tour de France, you will love this game. The design and detail that goes into it are truly brilliant. If you are not a big fan, it might be one of those games that you randomly play with your mates I do suggest trying the challenges and definitely do the training before you start your first race.
RealSport Rating: 7/10
Tour de France 2019 (or Pro Cycling Manager 2019 on PC) is out now. You can purchase it from GAME for £44.99 on PS4 and Xbox One.
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