Title: Tour de France 2018
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Cyanide Studios
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: Slow and steady doesn’t win the race this time…
Price: Console – £40/$50
PC – £35/$40
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

It’s the time of year when the Tour de France is about to start and hundreds of riders jump on their bike in the hope of snagging the precious yellow jersey. Cyanide Studios has been developing the accompanying Tour de France games since 2009, and 2018 is no different as the latest instalment comes in the form of Tour de France 2018. Now, obviously, the game is aimed at cycling fans, but does it also appeal to the gaming audience?

The Tour de France is a cycling race that consists of 21 different stages across the various locales of France, with cyclists from different countries grouping up into teams to ultimately win the competition, and the coveted yellow jersey. If you are unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Tour de France games, like me, then your first stop should be the training option. Here you will be taught everything about the basics of riding a bike pretty quickly; pedalling and braking, but the aspects of keeping track of not only one rider, but a whole team, can be a little bit more difficult and daunting. However, the tutorial does an excellent job explaining the complicated ins and outs.

If you’re ready to try out some actual racing, you can do so at any point and across a number of different modes. There’s a good amount of content here, with the Tour, Challenge, Pro Team, and My Tour modes each differing just enough to make them unique and interesting, although the Tour mode is where you’ll be spending most of your time. If your heart is set on competing in the expected 21 stages of the official Tour de France, then you can jump straight into that. In the 2018 edition, experience a brand new game mode: Pro Leader, where you create your own rider and bring him to the top of his career by completing objectives to improve and gain new responsibilities from season to season!

Due to the nature of the Tour de France, there will be a lot of long stages, consisting of endless kilometres of cycling. This does mean you will spend a lot of time doing not very much except holding the square button to follow the competition, and the game will get a tad boring after a while. To make things even worse, there is no music to keep you occupied during those long stages either; the only thing you hear occasionally is someone shouting instructions or advice every now and again. Whilst this is helpful, it’s not as entertaining as music would have been.

In Tour de France 2018, there are various difficulties for you to try out. but unfortunately, even the lower difficulties can prove a challenge to a Tour de France virgin. Even though you feel you have mastered the mechanics of the game through the training mode, the actual racing can prove a challenge and be a tad overwhelming when you have the different team actions and cyclist swapping to contend with. I personally didn’t win a single race during my time with the game, although my teammates did.

Fans of Tour de France will be impressed by the number of teams and riders available; you can mix and match to play out your fantasy teams in the races. The backdrops of the French countryside are truly beautiful, gently pedalling your way through the vast beauty that is France. Honestly, I think the setting and soaking up the environments are the best parts of Tour de France 2018.

Overall, Tour de France 2018 is perfect for the avid fan of the series and the event itself, as the game is jam-packed with maps and cyclists for the fans. The graphics are just gorgeous and really bring those French countrysides to life, making this the perfect game for the avid fan. However, for the average gamer such as myself, the game can feel like a chore with the long stretched out courses and no soundtrack, plus the difficulty of the races.

The Good

  • Gorgeous French countrysides.
  • In depth team control system.
  • Lots of cyclists and teams to choose from.

The Bad

  • Long and boring races that seem to drag on forever.
  • Lack of music to keep the rides from being entertaining.
  • Winning isn’t easy, even on the lower difficulties.

Family Focus

Tour de France 2018 is rated E for Everyone by ESRB and PEGI 3.

This review is based on a digital code of the game provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review.