The 2020 Tour de France may have been postponed from its original July start, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your racing fix until late August. Tour de France 2020 is now available for purchase, but should you consider grabbing? Let’s take a deeper dive into the game first.
Look Into Tour de France 2020
Tour de France 2020 includes several modes. In the ‘Race’ mode, gamers can participate in the 21-stage Tour de France, as well as other race through Europe. The Criterium du Dauphine (Switzerland), Paris-Roubaix (France and Belgium) and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Belgium) are also prominently featured in the game.
Gamers can also create and control their own rider in the ‘Pro Leader’ mode and race across Europe, or manage their own cycling team in the ‘Pro Team’ mode. Lastly, gamers can face their friends or others in the ‘Challenge’ mode.
Graphics, Graphics, Graphics
The graphics for this game are, in a word, remarkable. First off, let’s start with the race tracks. The stages for each race feature an authentic landscape, something reminiscent of the Forza series. Considering that I’m someone who notices details like this, this is a welcome sight.
Second, the game also features during races clean graphics that illustrate leaderboards, as well as energy gauges and a graph depicting the heights of the terrain. Not only are these graphics incredibly helpful, but the graphics are also well-placed and not in the way of any of the action.
The Gameplay Engine
Now let’s move into the most important of any game: the gameplay. For the most part, the gameplay works as it should. Let me explain what I mean. In cycling, it’s important to make sure that you, the racer, need to conserve as much energy as you can throughout the event. Sure, going as quickly as possible may put a racer in the lead during the early parts of the race, but eventually that will come back to bit him or her later on.
Rather, it’s important to find that balance between conserving energy and making timely attacks. That approach not only saves a racer energy, but is just smart strategy. Tour de France 2020‘s gamplay engine does a strong job of depicting this racing reality, as gamers must control their pace through Effort Control, as well as follow other racers in order to avoid exerting too much energy.
Some other important features that are a part of the gameplay engine include following other races and the ability of using aerodynamics. I mentioned this briefly in the last paragraph, so let me explain what it is a bit more. Following other racers allows gamers to not only avoid drafts, but also be able to ride at the same exact pace as the one that is being followed. In addition, this feature also helps your racer conserve energy. This feature is great for new players who don’t know all the ins and outs of cycling, as well as experienced players who want to save some fuel.
As for aerodynamics, racers can glide down steep inclines by using physics to your advantage. Just be mindful that if you do use this, choose your spots, as other riders may be more aggressive and attack down the inclines. All of these tools that I mentioned are very helpful, as all of the features I mentioned above helps riders control their pace. Also the ability to regain energy through fuel packs, players can feel what it’s like to actually be in an intense cycling race.
All in all, Tour de France does a strong job with its gameplay engine to simulate the cycling experience. It’s not perfect (and I’ll get into what could be improved in a bit), but it’s quite good.
What Could Be Improved
Tour de France 2020 gets a lot right, but here’s what could be tweaked. For one, I found that the drafting system can be a bit inconsistent. When cycling in the game, you can see a white line that’s on or around the arm of your rider. This line indicates whether your rider is dealing with the wind, which can affect how much effort that is being exerted. At times, I found that even when I was behind another rider, or even in a pack of riders, I could still see that white line. That seems to indicated that the drafting system could be tweaked up a bit.
Second, team communication could be improved. During a race, the cyclist can communicate with the other members of the team. Gamers can instruct other teammates to attack, change their tempo, or wait for other racers. However, it can be a pain to do this, as once this is activated, the race stops before getting to the menu to talk to your fellow teammates. A change that could be beneficial is to change the controls so that communication could be easier, rather than just stopping the race and then going through a clunky menu.
If you’re a hardcore cycling fan, there’s a good chance you’ll love this game. The game modes are rather simplistic, but the gameplay has the kind of realism that will appeal to the individuals who can’t get enough of cycling.
And if you’re someone who’s just interested in the sport, there’s enough here for you to have a lot fun with the game. Just be sure to get familiar with the controls, because each aspect of the game is unique and it takes time to learn the proper way to cycle.
Note: A license key for this game was provided by Nacon
Tour de France 2020, despite some flaws here and there, is a quality cycling simulator. And there’s a lot here for both hardcore and casual cycling enthusiats.