There’s no denying that thisisxbox.com was definitely not a fan of last year’s ‘Le Tour de France’ title having rated the game a well below-average one out of ten, but this years 100th Edition has a brand new graphics engine, more dynamic gameplay with “Races More Realistic Than Ever” blazoned across the back of the box as it entices you to take on the prestigious 21 stage race. We shall now just cut to the chase and be brutally honest with you; for another year we are going to use the same line in that Le Tour de France 2013 “has more in common with riding through France with a flat tire and a broken leg than enjoyment”. Despite the noticeable visual improvements, it doesn’t feel engaging, exciting nor captures the adrenaline rush of a full-on-cycle-race of this magnitude.
One thing that I feel has been delivered (yes there is at least one positive) is that all 21 stages of the Tour de France route has been accurately reproduced with the highlights of this being the double ascent of Alpe-D’Huez and a decent climb up Mont Ventoux, but the scenery feels lack-lustre and cheap – you just can’t have it all! Cars, objects and people on the roadside as you do nothing more that keep hold of that RT button, only reminded me of background extras in the EA Sports PGA Tour Golf games as everything looked completely out of place with a mannequin appearance. As accurate as the route may be, the whole journey is none the less a bland view all the way. To add a little variety to your boredom you can select what boring routes across France to take by choosing your own stages, coupled with the annoyance of hearing a Tour Manager in the background to make sure you don’t fall asleep at the wheel!
Spreading the sheer crap even further afield you can show a friend how awful the game is by allowing them to play with another controller cooperatively on the main Tour de France race or separately via the Versus Mode on the Main Menu screen. I didn’t get to try this mode, but it could be fun with extra players – sadly I might never find out, nor want to come to think of it!
The only way I can describe the gameplay mechanics of this year’s cash ‘n’ grab on the famous Le Tour de France annual race is that the whole process of cycling feels automated. You simply hold the RT button to cycle and direct the cyclist around bends. There’s no sense of speed, no noticeable changes with gear switching and each chapter feels as though it’s a predetermined outcome dependent upon whether you choose to eat a banana or biscuit during the race. That literally is the most thought-inducing moment of pleasure, choosing what your cyclist should eat and watching him slow down a little to chomp on his digital food substances to increase energy levels once more. I have come to the conclusion now that cycling as a videogame just cannot become enjoyable no matter what title or franchise. The alternative is that maybe developers Cyanide Studio’s and Publishers Focus Home Interactive should cut their losses. Not that I’m aware how the game fairs on sales on a console, but only ‘Le Tour de France 2012’ could rival the sheer boredom you get as a bonus for playing the 100th Edition.
I can’t even think of a reason why you would want to buy this, not even used! It is in short a game that takes a well-known race and lives in the hope you’ll buy it if you’re a fan of past Tour de France games, might want to take a console alternative over the ‘PC ProCycling Manager’ from Cyanide Studios – or just take a stab in the dark that you might like what you see on the back of the box in a game shop and impulse buy. It is not all that different from last year’s ‘Le Tour de France’ with repetitive CGI videos, repeated intro music, poor presentation and a lack of licensing for real Le Tour de France famous names.
Do not waste your money on this!