I’m not a cycling expert, but I like to try different kinds of games, so when I got Tour de France 2018 for review, I though, “Why not.”
Well, as it turns out, there’s an answer to that question.
For a game about riding a bike through France, Tour de France 2018 from Cyanide Studio is exactly what I was expecting: It’s strategic and kind of good looking but unfortunately, quite boring. Now to reiterate, I’m not a fan of the sport, so while I may not have liked it, there are a lot of people out there who do watch the Tour and they may feel differently.
The game isn’t the best looking, some of the textures and scenery look more reminiscent of PS2 quality at times – but to the game’s credit, there are often hundreds of riders on the course, so I imagine that’s pretty taxing on the system. I was, however, excited to race and see if it felt competitive. I found out that Tour de France 2018 is less about actual bike racing and more about managing your health and stamina and using it at the right time. Find the perfect balance and you’re a winner, use too much too soon and you’ll find yourself like I did, getting sped past at the finish line at the last second to end up in second place.
As this is more of a simulation than a racing game, it means that the tracks are long and grueling. They’re up to 45 minutes long at times, and even with the ability to fast-forward to certain sections of the leg, the scenery doesn’t change all that often and I found myself bored about 10 minutes into each race. So I tried a few fun things to liven up my ride.
Turns out there are a lot of things you can’t do in this game. You can’t crash – on purpose or accidentally. You can’t run into other riders and cause a pile-up. You can’t go of course and run into a car, tree, etc. You can’t even pop a wheelie…Tour de France 2018 is bike riding at it’s blandest. Now I can already hear you saying, “But Mat, that’s not what the tour is about!” I know that, but like I said, as I wasn’t really invested in the game for what it was intended for, I was simply looking for some of that qualities that would be redeeming for me and, well, I couldn’t find many.
There are three modes to choose from, Pro Team, Pro Leader and Challenge mode. Pro Leader – the one I played – lets you manage your own rider through the tour, Pro Team gives you full control of your team through the tour and Challenge mode lets you earn medals for completing challenges. There are also a lot of names in this game, I’m sure they’re famous riders and brands, but I don’t really know enough about the sport to tell for sure. You can choose your wardrobe and bike and all that as well, so there is a level of customization that is sure to appeal to a fan of the sport.
One thing I will say about Tour de France 2018 is that it is kind of relaxing, the sound of tires and the ambiance of the countryside was actually soothing at times. I often found myself listening to the humming of the tires on the pavement as I coasted down a hill or through a town.
Again, this kind of game really isn’t what I like playing, but I’m sure someone who watches the Tour de France every year and really gets into it would get something out of this game that I’m obviously missing. I’m not entirely sure if the Tour de France needed a video game made about it and feel like only the hardest of hardcore cyclists will enjoy this one. If you’ve played it and do like it, let us know in the comments!