It is now September and we have all found some way to return to post-Tour de France life. Though we still wake up on occasion with the voices of Phil and Paul ringing in our heads. You spent the first three weeks of July watching the amazing racing action and the beautiful scenery of the French countryside as the 100th edition of the Tour de France snaked its way across France. Now you are fighting off the shakes and an unshakable sense of loss as the inevitable Tour withdrawal sets in. You are wondering, “What am I supposed to do until next year?”
We might have the answer for you; how about trying your hand at leading your own cycling team in the Tour de France? Cyanide Studios has released the Tour De France 2013 – 100th Edition. Step into the shoes of your favorite Tour de France athlete and take control of the race, the team, and the action as you race through France on your way to Paris. This game will take you right inside the 100th edition of the Tour de France. You will compete in the same stages, with the same teams, and the same riders that took part in the 2013 Tour. Take absolute control of your team and riders and develop your own strategy as you try to reach your goals. Do you want to win stages? How about the yellow jersey? Maybe you want to test your mettle against the top sprinters in the world and go for the green jersey. This game will allow you to take on whatever roll your choose.
The game opens with some terrific cinematic sequences. Some of the shots were so realistic we weren’t even sure if they were CGI or shots taken from the Tour itself. The scenes are very reminiscent of the flyovers and racing action seen while watching the TDF on television. Tour de France – 100th Edition allows you to take total control of your team. You control every single detail from the foods they eat to who will chase down an attack. Every choice you make ultimately affects the outcome of the race, so choose carefully. Each team has their own strengths and weaknesses and each rider has their own specific set of abilities. Choose your team based on your own goals and desired gameplay. If you want to tangle with the worlds fastest riders in the sprints and fight for the green jersey you can play as Mark Cavendish or Andre Greipel. Want to battle it out on the mythic climbs? Then your team choice should reflect this goal. If you are going to vie for the Maillot Jaune you will want to look at teams with overall contenders such as Froome, Contador, or Rodriguez.
For those who are not as familiar with cycling strategy the games offers lessons from the cycling coach. As the developers put it, “This acts as a tutorial, explaining all of the subtleties of pro cycling, and enables you to better understand the different race tactics and when to use them.” This will assist gamers who are not familiar with the sport of cycling and the terminology.
You choose which rider you want to compete with during the game. You have total control of your rider and free reign to ride as you see fit. Each rider has strengths and weaknesses which will come in handy in different situations. If you want to make multiple attacks and work on establishing a breakaway you will want to find the rider whose strengths lend to repeated all day efforts. If you want to wait and fight it out on the climbs find yourself a climber who fits your desired riding style. All the players stats, strengths, and information can be found in the rider menu. You will choose what foods your rider will eat. The types of food you choose to bring along for the ride can go a long way to help your rider win. Different types of foods affect the riders in different ways. Some foods are great for repeated efforts while some are better for one great burst of speed. Choosing the foods to eat and then decided the proper timing are vitally important in this game just as they are on the road. Each rider has a finite amount of energy during each stage. You must dose your efforts and ride smart in order to make sure your character has the right amount of energy at the right time. If you spend too much time chasing attacks early in the stage you won’t have enough left for the final climb or to hold the other riders’ wheels in the final few kilometers for the sprint finish.