Pro Cycling Manager 2014 – Review
Follow Genre: Management/tactical
Developer: Cyanide Studios
Publisher: Focus Home Entertainment
Platform: Pc, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox360

Pro Cycling Manager 2014 – Review

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Good: Enormous amount of content
Bad: High learning curve for beginners
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

I knew there were management games around, but I had never heard of the cycling variant. Pro Cycling Manager lets you participate in races or gives you the reins to manage your team and train it. The game does more than let you sit on the side lines and watch as your team gets the victory or falls slightly short.



This game has two sides. One lets you play as the manager, which picks a team for a race. This can be an existing team or a custom built team. You train them and send out scouts to look for upcoming talent, whilst managing the funds for your team. Blowing all your cash on training might seem like a good idea, but is it worth not having money left for new talent? You’ll also command the racers during the races themselves. The other side lets you play as the racer, here you’ll just play to win, by using your skills to make it as the first across the finish line.



The graphics during the Management moments are quite minimal because you’ll have a lot of information to take in. There’s spread sheets with names of teams, every team showing off their jersey and their stats. Next to that, there are tabs for your incoming e-mail, a calender and the different graphs, portraying races and their difficulties. There’s a lot of information you’ll have to absorb, for example the individual racers strengths and weaknesses, which you can check by the statistics of their gear. This sounds like it is a hard job but the layout is clear and the tabs are easily distinguishable.

The game is not all about graphs and pictures of jerseys, there is a part of the game which lets you view the race in real time, as the manager, or in other game modes as the racers themselves. The models are quite detailed, although when they’re in a large pack, they all look the same, but the detail in the jerseys make it so you won’t mistake your racers for racers of another team. The landscapes are quite nice and though I can’t attest for how true they are to the real race, they depict the views quit nicely, with random fans at the side of the lines cheering and the cars driving in front. The camera pans to the front or back of the race with the wheel mouse, this makes it easy for you to have a view on how your racers are doing. Depending on what computer you are running this on, you’ll have several settings to change to maximize the graphical output, or lower it so it runs more smoothly on your set up.



The soundtrack is one that demands your attention: It has a very bombastic opening and blasted through my headphones, something I wasn’t quite prepared for, but after the first few seconds it slows down in tone and speed. Comments from spectators is given during the 3D reconstructions of the races telling you exactly when and if racers have broken off the main group and have taken the lead. They’re also commenting on the fact if taking the lead was such a wise decision and how the other racers might react to it. It’s a nice touch and the comments are given in a way which make it seem real and add to the immersion of the rendering.



Gameplaywise, there is a lot to do in this game. There’s the management part, which is a full game of its own, but the creators have gone beyond the management part. They’ve added loads of other stuff to make sure that there are more things to do than just manage your team. There’s a single player mode and a multiplayer mode. The singleplayer mode branches off in different sub divisions.

Firstly, we have the Career mode. This is the management part of the game. Here you’ll pick a prerendered team from a list of teams, or you’ll create your own team and manage the budget spent on trainings, gear and members, whilst making vital decisions on whether to buy a certain frame for your bikes or spend the money on getting a different racer.

Next to that, you have the Round mode. You pick a team and the gear they use, then you can either choose to have it simulated and give you the results or you’ll watch the 3D rendering of the race. This isn’t all though, you’ll do more than just spectate. On the left hand side of the screen there is a list of your team members and you’ll have to micromanage them. Which ones do you want to try and break free from the main body of the race? When do you start a sprint? All these decisions are vital to the outcome of the race and you’ll have to pay close attention to the little meters which give you the information on your racers behavior and their stamina. The rendering is quite fluid and beautiful but due to the comments of the spectators notifying you of events during the race and making sure which racers covers which and deciding whether to preserve the energy or go all out, you’ll pay little attention to the landscape.

Our next mode is the Stage. As a stage is a part of a round, this mode will be shorter. It has the same settings as the previous one, you pick a tour and the team you want to see. There’s the choice of a 3D rendering or getting the results via simulation.

The single player mode also has a Classics possibility: Same as the previous ones, only this time the choices of races will be limited to the Classics of the racing, for example Paris Roubaix. Again there’s the possibility of getting the results quickly or micromanaging the teams in the 3D rendering.


Last but not least of the Singleplayer campaign is the ‘Course’ mode.
This gameplay mode branches into 7 kinds of races, all on a velodrome.

Keirin: When starting you’ll define the rules of the game, picking the amount of races, 5 being the max. The racer which gets the most points at the end of te 5th race, wins.

Last man racing: 16 racers start, every 2 laps, the last one gets booted. Getting the highest place, wins you the game.

200m timed race: a race to get the best time possible in the 200m to the finish line.

Scratch: 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.

Race for points: Winner is 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 highert amount of points wins you the game, but don’t despair if you aren’t doing too well, the last rounds points are doubled.

Omnium: four parts: a race for points, Scratch, 200m timed race, and last man standing.

Sprint: 3 round race in which 2 racers race each other to the finish line. The first one to make it over, wins the round. The racer who wins 5 rounds, wins the game.

Doing well in any of these game modes depends on your skills to maintain the balance between perserving 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, racing at low speeds regenerates your energy. If you overextend your speed while your stamina is depleted, the meter will deplete even further, behind the amount of stamina is a grey bar, which depletes as you overexert yourself, 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.


Just when you think this is a lot, there’s the multiplayer mode. You’ll take on other players.
If you want other racers, you’ll need to buy packets which consist of racers and equipment. As you win races you’ll gain coins, with which you can buy packs, so as you play you’ll earn better racers, should a racers contract expire you can choose to renew it at the time of expiring, or keep the card and renew it later. If you don’t want to spend time on races, you can buy currency to buy better packs, so you can pick better packs like silver and gold ones earlier, giving you that extra edge early on.
Races against the computer might be challenging, but playing against another player is even more so. I’m not good at multiplayer, and I didn’t win any rounds, but I had quite some fun.

It’s a big game and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. You can pool several hours into the management part of the single player but with so many add ons and the 3D renderings there’s no shortage of gameplay. The tutorial is extensive, and quite a necessity, with so many things going on you’ll need the help if you are a newbie to the genre. It takes some getting into, but once you have the general grasp of it, you’ll be toying with numbers and dates, or managing your team during a race and making sure they come home with the gold.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Pro Cycling Manager 2014 - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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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