Fancy donning the yellow jersey without the hassle of cycling 3360 ever so slightly arduous kilometres? Then perhaps playing the PS4 version of Le Tour De France 2015 may just be for you. Although it will probably involve less sweat and saddle-related problems (that is, a sore bum), it will not necessarily take you any less time. This is a long ol’ journey and I feel that the game-makers want to make you feel every last second of it – this is a game for true Tour de France fanatics who want to get as close as a gamer playing a simulation of the race can get to the real thing.
So, you’ll need to know how best to use your rider’s position to your full advantage. You’ll need to know which gear will give you best progress. You’ll need to be prepared to use your team as riders will inevitably tire so you’ll need to switch them around to get the best performances out of each of them. If you’ve got a good sprinter, for example, you’ll need to strategically time when you play him as opposed to your team’s best endurance cyclist. You’ll need to be prepared to spend up to an hour on each stage of the game and be ready for the pitfalls which could face you at any given moment – don’t fall over with wobbly legs seconds before you finish the penultimate stage, for example. You’ll even need to watch out for pesky little spectators who step out into the road to get a look at the racers. How perfectly true to life!
So, this game isn’t about fast-paced, all or nothing races – it’s technically challenging and demanding and you should be aware of this before you buy it. It won’t be for everyone. If it least appeals, however, then you should also know that the surroundings are stunning and the other riders and their bikes are really rather well-modelled, thus making it easier to immerse yourself in the pain/pleasure of the ride you have ahead of you. The graphics are, in short, a major improvement on last year’s efforts and you will even get some variety in the faces of the spectators instead of the blank-eyed stare from the same three or four visages.
As well as racing the Tour de France, there are other options with this game such as playing in professional mode where you attempt to take your team to the top over the course of a number of seasons. You can also compete in short, sharp challenges such as competing in downhill races – perhaps just the perfect balance which is needed to contrast with the weighty responsibility of competing in the main game.
There are those who feel this game is designed and suited only for cycling enthusiasts, and it is easy to see why. There is just a chance, however, that others will be attracted to its depth and challenge – as long as they can reconcile the fact that you will be sitting on a bike for the duration of that challenge.