Tour de France 2014 comes fast pedalling down onto PlayStation 4 and the world’s largest annual sporting event certainly brings a different racing experience our way. With the peloton whizzing past at great speed, you need to take a closer look at Cyanide Games and Focus Home Interactive’s latest gruelling marathon.
You may have thought a near 2,500-km-long road race would only appeal to the unhinged, but think again. The first uphill struggle is bridging the gap between creating a game that will appeal to the avid cyclist and me. Thankfully Tour de France does a fine job and along with its official teams will emerse you in a different world with all the terminology, stragities and structure that the famous road race conjures up. You can either duck or take it full on. While this may be a shock to the non-cyclist system, it’s rather refreshing to be educated and pushed to actually learn and understand that there is so much more to Tour de France than simply hurtling past dry stone walls.
Graphically it’s time to pick up your jaw as the sight of hundreds of cyclist on screen is staggering. The power of the PS4 shrugs off any doubters, with each heavily detailed bicycle riding so smoothly and with no hiccups. Vicious climbs through beautiful dales, iconic landmarks and even terrace housing create the ultimate tour. It’s only as the race continues further that bleak moorland and forest stages become a lonesome ride as onlookers and supporters unfortunately don’t line the entire routes.
The first few minutes of each race is elbow to elbow as the peloton gathers momentum, each rider waiting for an attack or counterattack and ready to follow suit. The right trigger is your accelerator, coupled with gear change rations, rider’s fitness and adopting an aerodynamic position. This is where Tour De France becomes a tactical game. It doesn’t stop there either; using your comms you are able to issue orders to your team mates. Selecting ‘protect’, ‘attack’ or ‘go lead the peloton’, gives more of a chance of gaining that elusive Yellow Jersey. Tour De France is like a game of chess and changes with each move.
Each of the 21 stages provides a staggering long ride and because of the sheer length, the entertainment can dip. The game does offer a fast forward option however, which is helpful. Different gradients, long sweeping downhill sections and vertical hill climbs make life interesting and really test your fitness levels. It’s mid race where the action is slightly off pace. Here it’s more about conserving energy by tucking up to a leading pack or easing off the pedal power. Going into aerodynamic mode as you sail down a hillside will always brings a smile to your wind filled cheeks. Avoiding a blow up (overexertion) and having enough stamina to keep up and win a stage is no easy ride. Yes, the race can be slow on action in places, but the feel Cyanide Games have created along each stage is a breath of fresh mountain air. Long straights give sprinters and attackers alike the opportunity to express themselves while the cautious rider saves energy for the uphill slogs.
Cyanide Games have also notched up the gears by offering Pro Team mode which is a single player game, or you can race on the same screen against a friend. Additionally a 2 player multiplayer mode is also there to be had. Tour de France played via PS Vita remote play looks breathtakingly beautiful. Seeing the peloton rushing by on the small screen really is a sight to see. Cyanide could not have crammed anymore bicyles in with a shoe horn.
Tour de France 2014 delivers some spectacular racing backdrops and super slick fininshing line action. While mid race, action can be off the pace, but Cyanide Games have bridged the gap and given the more open minded PlayStation gamer something new to roll to. Your next bike outing never looked so good.
Lizard Rating 7.5/10