I find myself in the unusual position here in the UK of writing this humble review in the midst of humidity surely equal to the level of New Orleans at the height of summer. Nearly. Anyway, the thought of lifting a pinkie even to type never mind steer a character round the gruelling requirements of the Tour De France (never mind the thought of actually getting on a bike myself) currently fills me with utter dread. This review must be written, however, and you perhaps feel like that about getting your characters through the challenges brought by this game – but the show must go on. Therefore let us all stop our moaning (yes, okay, I know it’s just me doing the moaning) and see what Tour De France 2015 has to offer.
The first thing to note about this game is that it is not a quick sprint – you will be required to get as close to feeling the strain of every sinew and the grind of every bone as your team wends its way round the 21 official stages of the tour. You should allow around 40 minutes to an hour to complete each stage of this game. Your legs might not ache but your fingers, hands and arms probably will. You must also bear in mind that this is a team game, and so you must tactically and strategically choose when to switch team-members, to maximise your chance of success. So, if you have a rider who is adept at the sprint finish you may wish to hold them in abeyance until the end of a stage and then call them into action. Likewise, utilise your better endurance players in those stages which call for their skills the most. Skill as well as fitness, then, are called for. How very Tour de France.
Visually this game is stunning, and the graphics are indeed much improved from the last incarnation of this game; the one question is, will you have enough energy to take in the scenery as well as avoid the spectators who step into the road for a better view of the racers, as well as navigate the aforementioned toughness of the routes required? It does all add to the experience, however, and this game should appeal to all those who want to gain at least a taste of what it feels like to compete in such an endurance test as the Tour de France.
If chasing the yellow jersey isn’t sufficient, the game also offers the option to compete in challenges which require you to complete downhill races as quickly as possible; that could be a nice cool-down exercise after one of the main Tour stages, no?
This game has a lot to offer, if you have the time and determination to allow it to show you what it’s got. It’s probably not for the faint-hearted, and if you fear you will quickly lose interest in it then do not spend your money on it. If willing to see it through, I have a strong feeling you will emerge on the other side prouder, stronger and perhaps walking just that little bit taller. Go on, have an ice-bath; you’ve earned it.