Connor
Jun 16, 2017
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Focus Home Interactive
Review platform: Xbox One
Release date: Jun 15 2017
When I first started up Tour de France 2017, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Tour de France popped my cycling sim cherry, this niche game’s dedication to realism through mechanics and emphasis on resource management mid race made it a pretty decent introduction to the genre with far more depth than I was expecting.

For those like me who’s game library is lacking a cycling section, Tour de France 2017 feels like the lovechild between Forza and Football Manager, with a fancy biking paint job to boot. Both the management and racing segments of this game are well made, they maintained my interest throughout the hours I’ve played and at times where races were close I caught myself screaming “C’mon! c’mon c’mon” at my screen. In stark contrast, I spent dozens of minutes staring at the management screen in an attempt to figure out which cyclists to use next.

The racing segments were my favourite part hugely in part because of the focus on resource management, you can’t just hold down the right trigger and gun it to the finish line, you must manage your energy, speed, exhaustion and how much delicious gel paste you have left. If you can maintain these, you’ll fly through the races like dust in the wind.

In races with teammates you can give orders to help you get a faster time on the track, which is the sort of feature I couldn’t have pictured being in this game. It goes to show how far the developers were willing to go to provide deep and realistic cycling game their fans want.

These racing segments are made even better by the nice locations available to race on, including the French mountain ranges, the middle of a German city and the beautiful city of Marseille. Despite the game’s substandard graphics, these areas have clearly been recreated with attention to detail.

There are three playable modes available, the Tour mode where you can customise your own tournament by picking out which routes you’d like and the racers you want participating. The game also allows you to simulate the races, so those who want to relax and watch get what they want while those who enjoy the first-hand experience like myself can do the whole thing start to finish.

There’s also a pro team mode where you can manage your team throughout multiple seasons, alongside a time trail mode where you aim to set the best time possible down specified routes. These two modes give both the racing and management minded players something to dig their teeth into, and mean both types of fans get what they paid for.

Speaking of what fans paid for, the price of this product, is, for me at least, what stops me from recommending Tour de France 2017 to everyone. It’s currently selling at £40 on the Microsoft Store, which is in my opinion too much for this game despite how well made it well be.

Summary

Overall, this game should absolutely be your introduction to the genre or a new addition to your cycling game collection; just wait until it’s a wee bit cheaper or until it’s on sale.
Our score: 7/10

Decent - A game that may have niche appeal, flawed but enjoyable.
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