Tour de France 2021 – Review
Follow Genre: Sports, simulation
Developer: Cyanide Games
Publisher: Nacon
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Switch
Tested on: PS4 Pro

Tour de France 2021 – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: You can create your very own tour in My Tour
Bad: physics, gameplay, graphics
User Score
2.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 2.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The Tour de France has been one of the most popular annual cycling events for over a century, and with this event, the Tour de France games have also been a thing for many years now. This year’s Tour de France is in the middle of the event which makes it the perfect timing to take a look at the latest installment in the Tour de France games series. Will this title bring some innovations to the game, or will it just be more of the same?

Story

Like in most sports games, there isn’t a story mode where a whole story is laid out for you as you play. Tour de France 2021 is all about cycling in one of the world’s biggest cycling events and that’s basically it. You can create your own team or even create your own cyclist to bring him to the top of the world, but there is no story content to be found whatsoever.

Graphics

In terms of graphics, our opinion about this game is divided. The menus all look sleek and perfectly match the color palette of the Tour de France. The environments, roads, and cyclists all look very nicely animated and rendered while playing the game, but when looking at the details of the riders, this game could do a lot better. The developers didn’t really take a lot of time in designing each cyclist, as they all have the same face. When you’re a fan of this particular sports, you would definitely want your character to look like that particular (famous) person. Sadly, the only resemblances you’ll see in this game are the cyclists’ pictures in the menus. Also, after a race has ended, the winners of the races will get their colored t-shirts handed to them by very attractive young women. Sadly, with each reward, you’ll see the same girls but with another dress matching the reward.

Sound

The audio design is done quite well in this game. When riding at top speed or downhill, the sound of riding into the wind sounds like it should when on a bike. You’ll hear the fans cheering you on in multiple languages, just like you would when watching the Tour de France on TV. The commentary in the game is fine, but nothing special.

Gameplay

Tour de France 2021 is the one and only cycling simulator that comes out every year around the time the event will start in real life. With this new release they did add some new things to the game, but it mostly looks and feels the same as its predecessor.

The game offers a few game modes you can play. There’s Training, Race, Pro Team, and Pro Leader. In the Training mode, you’ll learn all the controls of the game to make you ready to race. In the Race mode, you can pick a team and one of the five tours available, including the customizable My Tour, and try to make the best of it with your team. In Pro Team, you can create your own team and try to win the Tour de France with your own team. In Pro Leader, you get to create your own rider, customize him and try to make him the best cyclist in the world. Even though the mode is called Pro Leader, you’ll first have to work your way up the ladder. This may be disappointing for those who thought they would immediately be placed at the helm of a team.

The physics in this game feel and look very bad. The riding itself, taking turns, riding in the peloton, it all feels just really bad. When you’re in the middle of a crowded peloton, you can push the sprint button but it will serve no purpose. What’s even worse, is that when you’re in the middle of a peloton, you’ll get pushed back by the other cyclists bit by bit while not even touching them regardless of your effort. Taking turns doesn’t even feel realistic due to its extremely static approach. You can say that this game is very realistic in its own way, as each stage will take as long as the real stage would take (approx. 4 hours). What really made us get angry was after a long time being in the middle of a race and managing just fine, our rider just suddenly decided to throw his handlebar and kiss a wall on the edge of a road, leaving us grounded and falling back to the last place.

Exhaustion is one of the biggest problems in the whole game. Whatever you do when you’re actually riding yourself, your stamina will keep getting drained with the result you’ll eventually have nothing left. You can reduce the amount of stamina used by closely following another rider. There is a command to automatically follow another rider, but this can suddenly just stop working, leaving you uncontrollable, making you end up hitting a wall and losing your position. The riders up front don’t seem to have any problems with stamina while riding fully against the wind for the whole stage, which feels a bit unfair. You can automatically fast forward the stage, and while doing this, your cyclist will fall back and ride behind other riders to regain his stamina, but he won’t really race to reach the finish first. Maybe it’s the knowledge of the whole sports itself that we missed to really perform well in this game, but it feels really hard to win even one single race.

This new installment in the Tour de France game series does have some improvements compared to its predecessor. For example, the behavior of the whole peloton has been improved, new races have been added to the game and more licenses are available this year. The My Tour option in the Race game mode has been adjusted as well, seeing you can create your own tour with 89 stages to choose from. You can now also edit the stats of all existing riders and decide which teams are picked for each tour in the editor, to further customize your experience. We’re not saying it’s a good thing, but in our review of the previous installment, we mentioned that the cyclists couldn’t fall. Now, however, when you drive straight into a wall in this one, you will fall.

Conclusion

While we may lack a bit of a connection to this sport in general, the game does feel a bit long-winded for casual fans of the Tour de France. Enthusiasts will have some content to plow through, but with each rider having the same face as the others, true fans will certainly be disappointed. All in all, it feels like they just updated the previous version with a few extra options. Maybe it’s because Cyanide has no competition at all concerning cycling games, but they definitely could have made this game a lot better.

 

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Rating: 2.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Tour de France 2021 - Review, 2.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

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