Tour de France 2021 Review

Developed by Cyanide and published by Nacon, Tour De France 2021 is a super realistic sporting simulation title. The game will challenge not only your gaming ability but also learning to master the tactical element as well as the time needed to master the game cause have no doubts, Tour de France 2021 is a time-consuming beast.

Any fans of the real TDF will know that these marathon races can take upwards of 4-5 hours and the game is no different! Whether it be the long flat stages or the gorgeous mountain stages, this game makes sure you need to play the full experience to get all the benefits of it.

One feature that Cyanide do add in for the casual fans of the game is the ability to fast forward to certain moments of the stage, be that a sprint section, a category climb or just to the final 10-15km when the race can really heat up.

Now I know what you’re thinking; why would anyone want to play a 3-hour stage with not much happening for large chunks of it? I agree, for the casual sports sim gamer, this might not be for you. The actual game is simple enough to play, you don’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of road cycling to understand the concept. You have 5 different modes to compete in: Race, Practice, My Tour, My Pro and Pro Leader.

The game features eighty-nine stages to choose from, a whole bunch of teams to ride and for fans of the Tour, plenty of your favourite riders that you’ll recognise.

Time to ride in the Peloton.

As a big fan of the TDF, one of the key elements that really stood out to me was the tactical element of the game. My main focus was to jump into the My Pro and Pro Leader sections to get the full TDF experience. As a fan of the Deceuninck Quick step team, I had to go with Julian Alaphilippe as the main man in my playthrough – unfortunately, the game doesn’t own the rights to all the riders, so I had to settle for the game’s version of him.

One thing that the devs have definitely nailed is the absolutely stunning visuals. One of the things that you can take time to appreciate on the huge gruelling stages is the beautiful landscapes as you blitz through gorgeous French villages or scale the peaks of the French alps.

The way the riders and the bikes move (whether that be in the peloton or as you attack an intermediate sprint) is incredibly smooth. My only complaint with this side of the game is the lack of crashing. If you decide to take a sharp downhill left at full tilt, the worst you’ll experience is coming to a complete stop instead of flying off the bike and resulting in a dislocated shoulder.

The audio side of the game is somewhat of a disappointment. Whilst at first the game seems to be ticking all the boxes regarding the sounds you’d be expecting from the race (crowd noises, atmosphere and in game commentary) when you listen to the audio closely, you realise it’s not great. The crowd just repeat the same things over and over and same goes for the commentary side of things. For a hyper realistic game, that relies on building immersion, this is a glaring misstep from the devs.

Conclusion

The Tour de France games will only really appeal to a very certain audience. Some people might jump in for a few stages to see if they enjoy the game if this game drops into something like Game Pass but fans of the real Tour will definitely not regret parting with their hard earned cash. Fans of the TDF will plunge a ridiculous number of hours into the game, whether that be king of the mountains, a sprint demon or even the chance to match the great Eddy Merckx! Sure, the game could do with having the full rider roster, a better in game audio or a more realistic crash mechanic but that doesn’t ruin the overall experience.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Good
  • Realistic graphics
  • Well-designed controls
  • Lots of replay value
  • Great for cycling fans
Bad
  • Stages take a long time to complete
  • Sound effects are repetitive
  • No crashing mechanic
7.5
Good
Gameplay - 7
Graphics - 8
Audio - 5
Longevity - 10

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