Pro Cycling Manager 2015 – Review
Follow Genre: Management/tactical
Developer: Cyanide Studios
Publisher: Focus Home Entertainment
Platform: Pc, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Tested on: Pc

Pro Cycling Manager 2015 – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Clear overview of what needs to be managed
Bad: At times looks and feels like a reskin.
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Every year, the Tour the France comes around and cyclists from around the world in various teams compete for the gold medal. For several years in a row, alongside the Tour the France, Pro Cycling Manager has been released. A way for players to experience the hardships and the glory on their way to (digital) success.

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Story

Pro Cycling Manager 2015’s story is all about getting your team to the top. There’s also a mode in which you train and supervise a new racer, on his way to the gold medal. Every choice you make affects your team and although you might not really grow an emotional bond with your teammates, but when you make decisions before and during the race, that gets your team or the career of your single rider on top, it is exhilarating. Other than that, do not expect that much in the ‘story’ department.

Graphics

What immediately caught my attention is that the resolution isn’t auto detected. The 2014 edition had this problem as well, and it makes the game difficult to play. If you are playing this on a big screen, you have to fiddle around with the screen settings before you can go on and play the game properly. When a game starts off like that, you wonder exactly how this problem got past Q&A, not once but several consecutive editions of the game, because upon looking further into the matter, the 2013 had the problem too as well as the 2012 edition. At that point the developers should at least have taken note of the resolution problem and taken steps to prevent the stated problem from happening again. There are ways to remedy the resolution cock up, but when you install a game, it should at least run properly without having to mess around with the aspect ratio of your pc.

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The fact that the game even states: ‘This is a new feature in Pro Cycling Manager 2014‘, makes the game reek of a redo. When this little demerit has been taken care of, you can finally enjoy the game to its fullest. Pro Cycling Manager 2015 has quite good visual, even though they haven’t evolved much from their predecessor, but then again, the previous iteration had some really nice graphics as well. Management games often don’t have top notch graphics due to the amount of data that has to be processed, but Pro Cycling Manager 2015 gives you something polished to look at. There is some texture pop in, but switching between camera angles and racers goes fluently without so much as a frame drop.

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Sound

During your preparations, negotiations, checking of your ingame mail, training schedule and agenda, there is no sound what so ever. No music to accompany you, seeing as this is the biggest part of the game, you’ll be sitting and playing in silence for a long time. During the races you’ll be greeted by a cacophony of sound in perspective to the planning stages. For example, the crowds will be cheering, the rumbling of the engines of the motorcyclists documenting the race will be heard and the droning of the chopper as it flies overhead. The voices of the commentators are really vivid and add to the genuine feeling of being in the race.

Gameplay

In Pro Cycling Manager 2015 it’s mostly about the management of your team or your new pro racer. In the single player mode you can start with your own team and as you learn and develop your management skills, you can look for extra racers, train your team and see if you can upgrade their gear. This will result in better races and stronger riders. This is what the career mode has to offer. It’s similar to the Pro Cycling Manager 2014 version and veterans to the series will have no reason to pay mind to the tutorial. Newbies to this game however, will be grateful to the addition of the tutorial, because there is a lot to take in.

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Apart from the vast ocean of teams you can pick, there’s management of your training schedule, management of your scouts, budget management, etc… Even then, when everything is as you think it should be and your team is ready for the race, there’s still more management during the race if you take the 3D rendition. You don’t have to, but not doing it might result in a bad ranking. So when you are guiding your racers, you have to pay attention to their energy, see that they are provided with enough drinks, and use the energy gel at the right moment, attack at the right time so you can break away from the group and take the lead at the right time. Too soon and they’ll catch up to you, too late and well… the race will be lost as well.
If you are looking for a less intensive mode, the neo pro rider is the mode you seek. In here you’ll be doing the same as in the career mode, only on a smaller level. Here you’ll be training one rider and things are less complicated. Still a lot to pay attention to, but less overall.

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If you want a management free mode then the ‘One Off’ race mode is for you. You can just dive into a race without the hassle of managing every single detail of your racer. What has returned from the 2014 edition of Pro Cycling manager is the ‘Course’ Mode.
All of the modes have returned and even though you won’t be making management choices behind the scenes or before the races, you’ll be making them in real time.

Every race takes place in the velodrome. When starting in Keirin mode, you’ll define the rules of the game, picking the amount of races, fivebeing the max. The racer which gets the most points at the end of te 5th race, wins. In ‘Last man racing’, the goal is to be the last one racing as in every two laps a racer is booted. Getting the highest place makes you the winner of the game. During the ‘200m timed race’, you’ll take part in a race to get the best time possible in the 200m to the finish line. Scratch isn’t something you do to satisfy an itch in this case but it’s a mode where 5 to 15 players race each other in a minimum of 5 km and a maximum of 15 km, the first to cross the finish line, wins.

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When you take part in the ‘Race for points’ mode you’ll be the winner when you are the one who accumulates the most points. The first four racers are the only ones who get points. 5 for the first, 3 for the second, 2 for the third, and 1 for the fourth. Getting the highest amount of points wins you the game, but don’t despair if you aren’t doing too well, in the last rounds points are doubled.

The ‘Omnium’ mode takes place in four parts: a race for points, Scratch, 200m timed race, and last man standing.
Last but not least is ‘Sprint’, this is a 3 round race in which 2 racers race each other to the finish line. The first one to make it over, wins the round and the racer who wins 5 rounds is victorious.

Doing well in any of these game modes depends on your skills to maintain the balance between preserving the energy and making a break for it on the right time. This is important because using up your energy makes you vulnerable for another racer to swoop in an get the better of you. Once your energy is depleted you can race at low speeds to regenerate your energy. If you overextend your speed while your stamina is depleted, the meter will deplete even further as there is a grey bar behind the stamina bar, causing the regenerating to only reach where it has depleted. This doesn’t really play part in the less long races, but in Scratch or Last man racing, managing your energy is the key to winning.
Don’t like playing against A.I.? Well there’s the multiplayer for you to enjoy.

Conclusion

Pro Cycling Manager 2015 doesn’t renovate or shake things up, it plays it safe and keeps most modes of the previous game intact. There’s nothing wrong with this, because the last game was solid. Veterans will be pleased upon their return and the tutorial in the game is extensive and helps newer players learn the ropes.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Pro Cycling Manager 2015 - Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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