In Tour de France 2016 you play a professional rider competing in the “Grande Boucle”. Immerse yourself in this supreme challenge of professional racing, and experience all the adrenaline and thrills of the greatest champions of that sport!
Select one of the official teams participating in the Tour and embark on an amazing Tour de France 2016 packed with challenges: from the “grand départ” at the foot of Mont Saint-Michel, battle through the tough routes in the Pyrenees between France and Spain and challenge the best climbers on the mythical inclines of Mont Ventoux and the Mont Blanc massif to experience the excitement of the grand finale on the Champs Elysées.
Manage your effort efficiently, select the best trajectories and implement the best race strategies with your teammates to achieve the objectives set by your manager and sponsors. In single player or in multiplayer on the same screen, you can attack, defend your jersey and set the pace of the peloton… change riders at any time to adapt to the race events; anything is possible in Tour de France 2016!
When I was asked to take a look and review Tour De France 16, I have to admit to being a little wary as I had no idea how a cycling game would work on a console. If I’m being completely honest I had no idea how a cycling game would work on any format.
So I installed the game and went in blind without looking at any gameplay videos or reading anything about it at all. I wanted to enter into it without knowing what to expect, to be a cycle game virgin as it were.
The game launches with a pleasant little sequence that I presumed showed the various stages that I would soon be racing on. You are then presented with the selection screen as seen in the picture below.
As you can see there are four game modes as well as a tutorial and an editor. The tutorial is very thorough and takes you through all the things that you will need to learn and master should you want to do well in the Tour. The guide has an excitable voice and will not be happy until you show competence at each stage of the tutorial, I had to do certain sections of it many times until I could move to the next lesson ( I could have skipped to the end but then I wouldn’t have learned anything).
The editor allows you to change the name of your team as well as all the riders, so much fun can be had in there if you’re of the same mind as me ( I had a huge chunk of the Spongebob cast on my team).
So, suitably armed with all the knowledge you gained from the tutorial, it’s now time to pick a mode to play.
Tour is the main part of the game and allows you to take control of one of the 22 teams and gain experience points to unlock new races.
Pro Team is where you have to meet the needs of your sponsors and improve along the way.
Challenge is what the name suggests, there are 10 downhill stages that award you Gold Silver or Bronze medals depending on how quick you are and there are online leaderboards so you can see how you compare to players around the world.
For this review I mainly played the Pro Team and Challenge modes.
You can switch between any of the members of your team and also give team orders along the way . I didn’t really understand the orders so pretty much left them alone, as it turns out this was a bad idea (more on that soon).
So off I cycled……..you start each stage amongst around 180 or so other cyclists, which brings me to one of the things I learned whilst playing the game – a Peloton is not a large seabird that eats fish, but the name of the main pack of riders in a cycle race. Who knew !!!
The controls are quite simple, right trigger makes you pedal and left trigger makes you brake. Hitting the A button makes you pedal faster but results in you tiring out and risking blow out (the rider….not your tyre). The stages are very long and unless you FF through them they can take up to 30 minutes to complete. The aim as with any racing game is to finish first but in Tour De France it’s not about individuality, the team is the thing.
It is possible to just pedal like billy-o and make a breakaway from the peloton but you will soon run out of energy and whilst you can replenish your energy using edible squeezy paste thingies, they are not finite and the feeeding stations are few and far between. I found myself doing the breakaway thing and thinking I was King of road, only to hit the wall and run out of energy. It’s a humbling thing to be crawling along at 2 km/h and have 179 cyclists zoom past you and fade into the distance.
I’m only halfway through my first Pro Team season and I still haven’t done enough to get a sponsor (guess I suck). Another thing I learned is that no matter how hard you pedal, you will never catch the car in front.
The challenge mode is sort of fun, all of the stages are downhill and it’s possible to reach speeds of over 100 km/h and it’s the only place so far that I’ve managed to actually fall off my bike. It’s also the only place where the Forza-esque green arrows on the road come into play, brake when the arrows turn red or you’ll skin your shins.
Graphically I feel the game could be better, the stages themselves are long….very long and the only things to look at are the road, the trees, the fields and the sky. There are mountains in the distance but they are represented as grey shapes without much definition. The colours of the cyclists themselves are quite vibrant but the spectators leave a lot to be desired, there seems to be around 10 different models and that’s fine on the open road when there are very few along the way. However at the finish of the stages it becomes apparent when you see 3 or 4 of the same model in the same clothes in a short space. Also they only seem to be able to say ‘Allez Allez Allez’ gets tiresome after the first few times you hear it.
I can see the appeal of the simulation side of Tour De France for some people and I applaud the makers for all the effort that has gone into it, for me though there was too much to remember and I was easily confused by the whole team orders and attack, defend tactics. Don’t let my shortcomings put you off though, there are many good things in the game if you’re into cycling and all the intricacies involved in managing a successful team.
Deep cycling simulation that would reward you for time spent learning how to manage a team. Could be better looking but has longevity. Not my cup of tea but I can see how others would find it interesting.
I’m going to give Tour De France a 6/10.
Review Code provided by Developers.