Nowadays there’s a game for everyone. There are open world adventures that suck you in and make you feel like part of the story. There are fighting games that test your finger dexterity against those of a friend or a computer controlled opponent. So many different sports I can’t even count them. Some people are into simulation games like farming or building theme parks. I’m fine with all that, different strokes for different folks and all that. However after playing Tour de France 2017 I’m baffled figuring out just who this game is for. It’s stuck somewhere between a racing game, a sports game and a simulation but does none of them particularly well. Read on, but be warned this is about to get real ugly.
Tour de France 2017 may hands down be the worst game I’ve ever played. I’m not even entirely sure where to start on this dumpster fire of a game. So I guess I’ll address graphics first since it’s probably the game’s strong point, that’s not necessarily a good thing however. While speeding by on your bike during a race everything looks good at first glance. It’s when you stop that you notice that you are basically playing a biking version of Outrun that was made 25 years later. Tour de France 2017 looks like they took the leftover character models from Heavy Rain (which came out in 2010 for PlayStation 3) and watered them down but added Ps4 motion blur. Had this game came out back then it would have been a graphical marvel, not so much today. When you are not racing everything looks kind of flat and grainy. Which is a shame considering how much time they spent in the physics.
The physics are where this game is supposed to shine. They spent alot of time and money to get them down. If you ask me they wasted both. While the cyclist is riding everything looks good. The way you lean into a curve or lean forward to accelerate, the way you lean back to take it easy and even the motion of your rider’s legs and muscles. There was so much detail put into that it’s really a shame that they didn’t concentrate on the rest of the world. You see, if you run into the side of the track your character automatically straightens out and grinds against an invisible wall even though there are people and cars parked alongside the tracks. The game does not acknowledge their existence. Now I’m not condoning that you be able to hit the spectators but it would have been alot more interesting of a game if you could. The collision detection flat out doesn’t exist. There were many times when another cyclist and myself would collide and the game just ghosted us through each other or it pretended there was another one of those lovely invisible walls. You physically cannot crash into another player at all. In fact it’s hard to crash at all. I had to make a straight run at full speed into a guard rail in order to actually crash. Even then the response time was handled with the reflexes of a coma patient. The rider would stop upon impact and then several seconds later just fall over still attached to the bike. They just kind of pop back up. This is extremely lazy on the developers part. I say lazy because even though I cannot design a game you can bet your ass if I spent a lot of resources on making my physics engine tight I’d actually use it everywhere. As far as I can tell they gave up part way through. Which again is a shame, because they should have gave up before they started so no human being would be subject to playing this monstrosity.
The controls were technically responsive but it is 2017 and input shouldn’t be an issue for anyone anymore. The problem is that the game play itself is rather boring. You hold down the R2 button at different levels of sensitivity. Speeding up and slowing down are controlled by squeezing the trigger with various levels of pressure which works fairly well. This comes in handy considering that the game only allows you to speed so long before you get tired. This makes sense since it is supposed to simulate a very endurance heavy sport, but the races go entirely too long. There were far too many coarses where I’d race for several minutes only to look at the map and see I hadn’t even made any headway yet. I love a good marathon gaming session as much as the next person. However 20 minutes to complete a course is way to long especially when you take into account it’s just pressing a button at various levels if pressure while steering slightly towards the right or left. While in with the large group of other racers it’s a total cluster F#*k. I found it similar to watching a group of geese migrate across a parking lot bumping into one another. A more reasonable explanation of it would be similar to walking through a crowded area such as a concert or a sporting event and being stuck behind slow people shuffling like a hoard of the undead. Suffice it to say, it’s very frustrating until you get ahead of everyone but then it becomes just boring. Before each race you are given the opportunity to do a quick race where it plays for you. However when you select this, it shows a bar graph of a dot racing towards the end of the race in about 3 seconds rather than an auto pilot of the actual race. What I’m saying is that the game is so boring and unplayable that even the computer won’t play it when asked to do so. This became my preferred play method unfortunately.
Overall I struggle to find reason to recommend this game to anyone. During my time with it I had to stop and play a few rounds of Spelunky in order to enjoy playing video games again. I named several games throughout this review and I can highly suggest you play any one of those older games rather than subject yourself to this crime against humanity. If someone made Fidget Spinner the licensed game it would have turned out to be more entertaining. This game is literally the interactive version of an Uwe Boll movie. I think I actually heard my Ps4 cry when I downloaded it and I shudder at the thought that one of my friends saw I was online playing this and judge me accordingly. I’m sorry guys, my boss made me do it. More importantly I’m sorry to my PlayStation for subjecting you to the software equivalent of an STD. I reviewed Everspace a few months back and panned the game horribly. I say this because I apologize to the developers of that game. Congratulations! You only made the second worse game ever. Tour de France 2017 developers, you win! Excuse me, I need scrub my Ps4 and then take a shower to get this shame off of me.
Score .5 out of 10, that’s right half point. Seriously F this game.