Tour de France 2019 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Josh Di Falco 03.10.2019

Review for Tour de France 2019 on PlayStation 4

Based on the real-life sport, Tour de France 2019 is the annual digital-cyclist experience, centred around taking a team of riders through to the Champs-Élysées on the final day of the Tour. Developed by Cyanide SA, this latest instalment features improved graphics, as well as a bunch of features that is sure to keep cycling fans entertained. Unfortunately, beyond the love of the sport, there is barely enough reason to recommend this title. This is an uninspiring attempt at recreating the realistic experience of the sport that this title is licensed after.

The Tour de France events are split into different stages, similar to the sport it is based off - and riders can play through these stages both online against other opponents, and offline against the AI in the various modes that are available. The main modes of interest are the Pro Leader mode which follows the career of a created rider, and the Pro Team mode which is the more fun of the two - but only marginally. Race mode simply tracks the level progression of experience points gained from winning races, while Challenge focuses on the short and fast races of going downhill or sprinting.

In Tour de France 2019, the art of racing lies upon knowing the rider that is being controlled and understanding what tasks needs to be carried out by that rider. Riders don't win these tournaments alone, as their team members play crucial roles to achieve victories for their team. The riders have two energy gauges: a blue and a red meter, and depending on how much effort a rider puts into the race, these can deplete quickly or last for the entirety of the race.

Screenshot for Tour de France 2019 on PlayStation 4

As an old saying goes, it is a marathon and not a race, so, going all out guns-blazing from the outset will quickly burn a rider's energy, and cause him to "break" or burn out in a race. This mechanic works well, and there are ample moments during races when it is useful to preserve energy for a late charge, or to earn points for the team by placing during the mid-race checkpoints. The rider does get an energy vial for both the blue and the red bars, however these can only be used once. Some of the lengthier races does have a refill-point where both vials will be refilled for the latter end of the race, to allow for late-race charges to the finish.

The races are played out in a series of stages, and they come in three different types. There are the 'Mountain' tracks which revolve around steep uphill riding, 'Hill' tracks where there are the occasional hill-climbs and downhill parts and 'Sprint' tracks which favour those riders who are strong in straight-sprinting. Each rider is split into one of these three race types, however there is also a fourth rider type called 'Versatile', where those riders can perform well on all track types.

Screenshot for Tour de France 2019 on PlayStation 4

These types are pivotal to understanding which riders can perform best on each stage. In Pro Team mode, this is especially important when building a team and then ensuring the right riders are competing in the races that they have a great chance of winning. The difference between winning and losing a tournament can depend on the correct rider selections being made.

The different modes try to shift the focus of the tasks. Pro Team is a fun little mode of trying to build a team of riders over many years. Beginning with the lower-levelled riders, winning races and earning championship points for the team allows for better riders to be bought for future seasons. Beyond that though, this is still very much a racing game - and it still offers the same frustrations as the other racing modes on offer.

In terms of trying to be a realistic simulator of cycling, Tour de France 2019 does a fine job of it. Unfortunately, it does also mean that it can come across as a dry game. Luckily, the game does offer a "fast-forward" option to skip all the boring, menial riding and instead cut to the action-packed race finishes where all the riders try to sprint ahead. In fact, this game was almost passable because of this feature.

Screenshot for Tour de France 2019 on PlayStation 4

However, this feature also caused an incessant amount of game-crashes. For some reason, the in-game graphics were never able to keep up with the fast-forwarding of the race. The tracks would merge with the surrounding environment and spectators would end up on the race-track. During one session, turning off the fast-forward option caused the game to play frame-by-frame, until the PlayStation 4 had to close the game due to an "application error." There is even an in-game tutorial that was completed - however, the game failed to record the profile's progress. Completing it two more times still didn't work and as such, the game still displays its prompts to complete the training modes before delving into the racing modes.

Making matters a little worse, is that the loading screens to get through each race is lengthy and tiresome to sit through. For an "officially licensed" title, the long load screens and the constant game-crashing hurts the presentation of the Tour de France 2019 videogame product. The graphics themselves look fine, with nothing important standing out in the detail. It is par when comparing it to other racing games that focus all the details on the track, while leaving the surrounding environment as good enough. Therefore, it is mind-boggling what causes the graphics to break constantly, and why the game struggles to handle it with faster speeds.

Screenshot for Tour de France 2019 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

While Cyanide SA may have had the best intentions to ship a complete and fully-immersive racing experience that perfectly replicates the highs and lows of the Tour de France, it is evident that the 2019 edition needed a lot more time in the oven. The loading screens take way too long, the game constantly crashes mid-race, and the fast-forward option causes an obliteration of the in-game graphics. Of course, this was probably rushed out to try and coincide with the grand race that this title is based off, but it does ruin the overall experience. For cycling purists who just want a game to race in, this is fine, but its issues will test even those with a lot of patience.

Developer

Cyanide

Publisher

Bigben Interactive

Genre

Sport

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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