A series that may confuse some as to how it actually exists, and if anyone actually buys it. I’ve never seen anyone play any of the games, nor have I heard of anyone buy it. I admit I have the 2016 release after having reviewed that, so at least I have some sort of comparison to go by from previous titles. It wasn’t perfect by any means, and needed bringing into the present day. So after missing last years iteration, I was certain that it may well have been given an overhaul. I’m not always right you know.
By now, if you’ve never heard of Tour de France, then where have you been hiding all of your life? It’s an iconic race that has a huge following for the real world event, and you should have heard of it by now even if you’re not a spectator of the sport. So does the sport translate to video game format? Short answer is a resounding no.
Given the status of Tour de France, you’d be inclined to believe that a video game release would be up to scratch. But aside from the clean and crisp menu screen, Tour de France 2018 looks like an Xbox 360 game. Late texture pop-ins invade the course, robotic animation of the cyclists, and a dull, lacklustre visual of each tracks do little to help things move along. And they move along slowly as expected. I’ve watched Tour de France before, and it sure looks a lot more thrilling then the dull experience of the latest instalment of a series which has continuously dragged itself across the finish line to release a an almost yearly title since it appeared last generation.
The first problem I encountered was with the tutorial, whereby it kept me repeating the same section where it taught me how to use the breaks around tight corners. An easy part of the controls to learn, and the game decided it would have me repeating it no matter how good I performed at it. Needless to say, after getting nowhere I quit and tried my hand at the actual racing. Here’s a clue; it didn’t get any better.
The course layouts are authentic and accurate, as are the racers involved. This is about as good as it gets I’m afraid. One thing that bugs me, is the unfair advantage that the AI has from the word go. Seemingly unlimited energy to power on ahead of you leaving you in their wake as you lurk in the pack behind. Sure you can pedal faster, but with wind resistance against you, your blue energy bar shrinks quicker than you’d expect from an athlete that’s expected to have endurance flowing through their body. Not that I’m expecting to power it through the course for an easy victory, but a level playing field would be ideal, as it wasn’t long into the race when 5 competitors zoomed off into the distance never to be seen again. Riders clipping through my chosen cyclist, stuttering frame rate and a lack of realism plague Tour de France 2018 to the point it’s barely enjoyable.
It feels as though the game hasn’t changed much at all in the 2 years since I last played a game in the series, and given we are well into the Xbox One’s life cycle, it seems odd that a game that costs as much as it does, looks and plays so badly. I honestly couldn’t wait for my time to be up while playing it, and even though I’m not a massive fan of the sport, I do enjoy playing niche games like this just for something different than blowing enemies heads off in a shooter. There is little in the way of redeeming factors for it, and only hard core fans of said sport would possibly show any interest.
There’s not really much else to say, it’s a terrible game that hasn’t advanced with the consoles life cycle and it’s aged poorly since the 2016 release, showing flaws in the graphics, frame rate and animation. If you are one of those people that buy it, you’re no doubt a huge fan of the real world event, and that’s where the internet should stay. As a video game it offers little to anyone except an achievement hunter or a dedicated fan.
Tour de France 2018 should really be the last game in a series that has its own niche in the market, and retire as gracefully as it possibly can while it can limp over the finish line. It had a good run of sorts, but not it’s time to hang up it’s cycling shorts and focus on its twilight years in the local retirement home. Amazing that it’s the 7 th title in the series, and only missing a 2010 release.
Overall Score 3/10
Developer: Cyanide Studios
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: 28th June 2018
File Size: 14.77GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.