Tour de France 2019 is the first game in the franchise which has been released after Bigben’s acquisition of the developer Cyanide. It is basically the same Tour de France formula but obviously adjusts the ratings and teams of the official event. However, there is more under the hood when it comes to Tour de France 2019 and in our review, we have detailed everything that is new to the game and how it is better than the previous titles in the franchise.
To begin with, Tour de France 2019 is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are a fan of the original event or you simply love cycling, then this game will appeal to you pretty much. If you not a fan of cycling or the real event, there is not much for you here and I will recommend that the remaining part of this review will not entertain you much.
The most important bit of the game is the recreation of the original Tour de France 2019 season and that I will say that the game does a very good at. The stages are recreated in the game with the utmost accuracy of the real deal and the visuals are also pretty decent. There is no real competition to this game so we can’t really compare the visuals with anything else. Overall, visually, the game will not disappoint you visually.
There is not really going on during the stages most of the time so you will be enjoying the serene French environments around yourself as you pass little towns and villages on your way to big cities. The game has pretty decent visual details and you will notice that the surroundings are pretty well made. There will not be a single point in any stage where you will feel like you are driving in the middle of nowhere.
There is activity everywhere with fans of the event cheering you up and telling you to do better if you want to win. The handling of bikes is pretty straightforward. There is no real sense of speed if you are expecting the things to blast past like you are driving a Ferrari. The only car you will see on the road is the Pace car driving at the front of the pack and that too if you near the front of the pack. Otherwise, everything else is parked on the sides.
There are some tricks however that you can use during the stages to ensure that you remain at the top of your game. Obviously, the biggest challenge in the game is to keep a balance between your stamina and allowing your rider a break when the stamina is going to run out. If you push your rider too hard, you will eventually burn out and you will need time to get back in the game once the stamina is built back up.
For this, you have numerous UI gauges on the screen that allow you to monitor different aspects of your rider. You will need to have a very good understanding of all these UI gauges and meters if you want to ensure that you are not out of the stamina at the end of the stage when you really need it most. Since the stages are pretty long, going fast is not really the key here. You will end up losing all your stamina early and in the end, you will not have any stamina when you need it the most.
The stages are pretty long and if you do not want to complete them all in one go, the game offers a pretty neat saving feature and you can save anywhere while in a stage. The race later resumes from that exact spot with the team management screen opened up as to pause the race and not just resume it right away. So with this handy feature, you do not have to sit throughout the lengthy stages in one go. You can jump in, complete a few KMs of a stage, save and then quit the game to resume later right from that exact spot.
The game offers a lot of complex mechanics such as using Feeds, managing your team and telling them different commands during the race and also using slipstreams. However, if you are lazy, you can simply press a button and continue following the leader until the very end and then just push a little harder and win the stage. I used this many times and mostly I ended up first. Otherwise, if you want to really experience the game, it will through at you a really tough challenge.
Tour de France offers a different number of modes as well. Apart from the Tour de France which features the complete tour across France with all 21 stages, you can also take part in smaller events such as the Criterium Du Dauphine, Euro Tour, Open Tour and more. This is considered as the main events of the game. On the side, you also have some challenges that you can complete in order to become the fastest rider in the world.
You will have a diverse selection of challenges ranging from Downhill Rides to Sprint events. You can start a custom Tour in which you can choose the stages, the number of team members in each event and different other settings. You also have the Pro Team mode where you can manage your team and move up the world ranks. Remember that this mode is a complete game on PC. Another mode Pro Leader will allow you to create a custom rider and complete different missions to progress it from one season to another.
It might sound simple that a Tour de France video game is just a video game about cycling and how hard can it be to cycle through beautiful France. However, if you jump in the game and start playing it, you will instantly understand that how many complex and advanced mechanics you will be required to use in order to manage your stamina and stay in the lead in the game. You will need to micromanage your stamina and the use of your only 2 Feeds to give you a last-minute boost to win the stage.
There are certain smaller sections in each stage as well such as mountain climbs and other iconic locations which will really test the mettle of your biker. However, reaching the top of these climbs will earn you some bonus points which will come in handy at the end of the stage and eventually the complete event of Tour de France. For some reason, you can begin any stage in the Tour de France official event right from the start which is weird because it would have made sense if you would at least play them once to unlock them.
The gameplay of Tour de France 2019 might look simple however with the added complexities, it offers a decent challenge to players and someone who is serious about cycling is going to love these features and the full game. Cyanide has also made sure that you are not cycling in complete silence. You will hear different sounds including other riders, comments from the crowd you pass by and sounds from your bike as well. Different sound cues will actually help determine whether you are in slipstream or not.
Overall Tour de France 2019 is a very decent title and if you are a fan of the original Tour de France event but cannot take part in the real deal, this game is your best option. The best mode in the game is indeed the Tour de France and it offers a pretty decent challenge as you try to maintain your lead while making sure that you have plenty of stamina at the end to make to the podium. If the Tour de France mode is the cake, the other modes and challenges are simply icing on the cake which enhances the game and offers you more to do in the game. These also serve as a decent diversion from the main event if you are looking for some. If you are a fan of Tour de France, the 2019 Season is your game to buy.
Final Score: 8/10