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Review: Tour de France 2017 (PlayStation 4)By devidise At 08.10.2017 15:09

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Tour de France, for those unfamiliar with it, is an annual race that sees teams of cyclists traveling cross-country. Tour de France 2017 simulates the experience beautifully, allowing the player to customize a team, give teammates orders, manage which cyclists are enlisted, and slowly become a bicycle legend. Unfortunately, those who haven't played the series before may find themselves a bit overwhelmed. Gamers have been taught, subconsciously, to find the tutorial, and this goes a bit farther by reminding you the tutorial hasn't been completed yet if any normal race is selected.

The problem is that the tutorial feels more like a refresher course, and that may cause some people to turn away without getting into the game properly. As early as the lesson on braking, it can be a weird learning how pushing down on the brake and pedal work based on how hard they're pushed. The tutorial functions fine, but it will be much easier for those with some experience to grasp than those who are new here. Honestly, you may be better off just jumping into a race.

Do not misunderstand, though, you will probably lose the first couple of races. Managing stamina, speed, and learning when to attack and when to hang back come more naturally when just jumping in. Solo races are great at teaching stamina management, where team races do a good job of showcasing why, for instance, following is good before breaking out and attacking during specific stretches. Even if there seems like a lot to manage, Tour de France 2017 loves to remind the player of the controls during the loading screen from time to time, though this doesn't help much when you're in race and trying to remember how to coast or give orders. It won't be a problem for long, but at first it definitely is.

It's a shame there's no "Leisure" mode where the player can just bike around the various locals, because this title is really nice on the eyes. It isn't going to rival the visuals of some of gaming's more impressive feats, and the people look more like mannequins than human beings, but this wins visually because of the environments, which are stunning and vast. Europe's a largely gorgeous place, and Tour de France 2017 manages to showcase that splendidly.

There is another option, however, for those who want the thrill of winning without all that nasty participation. The race can be completed simulated, like fast forwarding TiVo to get to the end of each segment. There's also a quick race option, where the player is treated to the flow chart presentation of their riders racing to the finish. This allows for management of the team, regardless of whether one wants to actually cycle for themselves or take a more managerial position.

The Pro-Team mode adds sponsors, who set specific guidelines for each season, and the ability to essentially build the team from the ground up. This is relatively enjoyable, but doesn't feel all that much different from the base Tour mode. Additionally, there are challenges, but these are just time trials. Really, Tour de France 2017 will definitely pique the interest of series fans, but everyone else might not find it quite as endearing.

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Final Score
[i]Tour de France 2017[/i] is a competent and exciting cycling game that may not be the most inviting to newcomers. While players more experienced may enjoy this right out of the gate, for those giving it their first try, expect to put some time in before it starts to be really fun. Most of the modes feel like they don't add very much to the basic Team mode, but what they do add manages to justify their existence. All in all, this is a fun title that fails to be inviting, but manages to be engaging once you're in deep enough.



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