Each team has a set of goals they need to accomplish during the duration of the game. This game puts you in control of not only your chosen rider, but the entire team. You can send out orders to you teammates to attack, protect, relay, wait, or ride easy. You can even allow a team member carte blanche and let them choose how to race a stage. Use your teammates to help reach your team’s goals and save your energy You can even switch your player in the middle of the game and play as one of your teammates. This allows you to utilize all your teammates strengths to an even greater degree.
The on screen display contains a plethora of information including heart rate, speed, gradient, gear choice, time splits, distance, and energy levels. In addition to the on-screen display you have instant access to more information than you will know what to do with by navigating through the available menus. From food to detailed information on the riders who are in the break up the road, it is all there for you to make use of and plan your race. With a quick press of the T2 button you can access information about the riders around you. Learn about their strengths and weaknesses or how they are performing in the moment. Use this to gather valuable info and to assist the development of your strategy.
This game is pretty good at simulating real bike racing action. As riders approach critical points in a stage such as sprints, KOMs and the finish the action heats up. If a rider gets away the peloton may chase them down or could decide to let them gain some time on the road. On long flat stages, there can be long stretches of road where the is little to no action. The latter is a good chance to take the time and see how your opponents are fairing, learn more about the riders around you, or devise strategy for the rest of the stage. The game also allows you to fast-forward the racing action through any section of a stage if you think there is little risk of the current situation on the road changing. This allows you to get to the critical sections of the stage quicker.
The game also offers two multiplayer modes head-to-head and cooperative on a split-screen. You and a friend (on the same system) can choose to play together to accomplish the teams goals or you can compete against each other and battle it out for the top spot. Personally, we enjoy being able to sit down with a friend and work together to complete stages. It adds another dimension to the game.
Who Will Enjoy This?
We think the real draw is going to be for cyclists who are gamers; the true, hard-core cycling fan is going to really like this game. The chance to take their rider through each stage of the Tour de France and live out their Tour de France fantasy, even if it is from the couch, is really going to appeal to cyclists. The fact that this game allows so much control over each aspect of the gaming experience will appeal to gamers who like to delve deep into the information about each team and rider, peruse through the statistics, and then take complete control over their chosen team. Those gamers who are into sports video games will also find this title appealing and it offers an appealing alternative to the more traditional sports games that have been around for a long time.
We enjoyed this game. We feel it has enough action to keep players interested but also allows you to fast-forward through slower points in the stages if you begin to feel like the action is slowing down. There is plenty of realism to Tour de France 2013 which offers players a more immersive gaming experience. The player can delve as deep as they choose into the rider information, stats, and other aspects of the game or they can simply race. The controls and HUD are relatively easy to navigate once you get used to the system. We see many gamers getting countless hours of entertainment out of this game and we think it might just be enough to hold you over until the 2014 Tour de France next July!