In The Game: Mat Langford Rides Through Tour de France 2018

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.

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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.

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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!

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One Reply to “In The Game: Mat Langford Rides Through Tour de France 2018”

  1. I got out of gaming after Post Secondary School. Since then only on the rare occasion do I ever play video games and on even more rare occasions buy a console and games. I had the first Nintendo the year it came out and was Duck Hunting and jumping little pits in Mario when I was very young.

    I do cycle and enjoy it quite a bit. I used to be a fan of many things but a culmination of events turned me off of being a fan and of consuming content in general. For the Tour specifically it was the doping! The doping the doping, all the time I wasted investing into following the Tour and year after year the Winner was caught doping. It ruined it for me. Similar to how music and comedy and movies and politics and sports all ruined it for me too.

    I say this because I was watching a YouTube video on how to fix my rear derailleur. In the side a video of last years Tour showed in the side. I eventually came back and watched a bit of the 2018 tour on YouTube since I had been cycling quite a bit. Sure enough there was a bunch of Videos in the suggestions of people on Twitch or just playing le Tour for PS4. So I watched a few videos of people racing. Definitely rather boring.

    That being said I kept seeing the thumbnails and with the cycling I was doing I ultimately just had to play the game. Playing games on PC sucks so I went to find a PS4 slim so I could get that game and try it. Sure enough I end up with a PS4 Pro, 6 other games and le Tour 2018.

    From a cyclists perspective who has been a fan I can say its really actually a Phenomenal game.

    Definitely it can get boring and its super long. Its even longer then F1. This makes it hard to really be true and play each moment of game without simulating or fast forwarding.

    I can say I would have hated it if you could just crash into other people or easily crash. While ultimately this can be done in real life, it doesnt hardly happen and its a lot different actually riding a bike then watching a screen and holding a controller. You do crash though. I wasnt paying attention and got caught near the end of a stage when someone right in front of me crashed. Ive also managed to crash going downhill.

    Overall its extremely life like, it really really gave me that feeling of being in le Tour. The Peleton is amazing, to have all these cyclists within this game doing their own thing, its quite cool. Its a lot at the same time and it runs real smooth. Its also fairly reminiscent of reality. The same sort of guys that do break aways in real life do so in the game and etc. etc.

    I certainly was able to get into it and feel like I was competing.

    The things I dont like all that much. The lack of diversity in commentary. The way the AI turns corners and the way you have to turn corners, so if you arent following someone you usually cant make the same turn. Certain things the AI doesnt do like take feeds. The biggest thing might be trying to accelerate especially uphill. Often everyone around you just starts going faster and it can take a lot to just actually make any moves, all the while youve used nearly all your red energy while they havent used any of their. Thats a bit screwy.

    Theres likely a few other things but overall its really well thought out. If you get in a break away and try and hang on the back many times the group will try and drop you, thats fairly in depth.

    But you really have to pay attention, the slightest thing and you are dropped from a break away or dropped from the peleton or climb. One tiny little slip and you miss an 1/8 of energy feed 1.3 kms out and you finish 2nd or 3rd at the sprint etc. You get caught in the peleton and arent able to get up and challenge for a Win etc. These little things happen all the time in actual cycling.

    Also yes many of these people are Pro Cyclists. A guy named Cavendish, used to be the best sprinter around, apparently wouldnt give them his name to use so instead they call him Civendash!!!! lol

    But theres tons of top pros in here that make it feel very much like le Tour.

    Theres no other game really like this.

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