While the whole world is standing still due to the Covid-19 outbreak and playing sports has become increasingly difficult, we luckily still have some sport-related games that are being released. Cyanide Studio has given us the opportunity to get back on the saddle with the new Pro Cycling Manager 2020. It’s the next edition of Pro Cycling Manager games that have been around since 2001 when Cyanide Studio released the first edition called Cycling Manager. Luckily for us, they have given us the chance to check it out, so grab your helmet, hop on your bike and ride with me through this review.
What we liked!
- Game modes: While the game modes in the Pro Cycling Manager are almost the same every year, they are really fun and enjoyable to play. Especially the various playing options are what the game makes really fun. In single-player, you can start a career as a manager where you manage everything that has to do with the team, keep your riders happy, set out their training plan, sign new riders, manage the races, etc. But if you love another challenge, you can also play as a young rider who is about to conquer the peloton and you can guide him to glory. Or if you just want to play one race or the Tour de France, you can also do that in the one-off race option which has literally almost every course of 2020 in it. If this still isn’t enough for you, you can also do track races and sprint around on the oval course. So it’s pretty safe to say that there are a lot of different gameplay options and the game offers hours of content, which is a very good thing!
- Graphics: Another really good thing about the game is it looks absolutely stunning. Okay yes, maybe you do need a strong PC for it to get the best of the best, but it’s worth it, trust me. The riders and the scenery are really well done, and also the interface and menu are solid and easy to navigate. If you are mid-race and the weather suddenly changes from clear skies to really bad rain, there is no lag or whatsoever during the change.
- Aggressive AI: A big improvement that’s new in the 2020 edition, is the Aggressive AI. In this new mode, the AI’s are more likely to go on a solo adventure early on in the game and they are more unpredictable, which adds more challenge to the game. Do you follow the escapers early on and try to stay away from the peloton? Or do you let them ride away with the thought that you might catch them again later which saves you a lot of energy? This improvement adds another strategic layer to an already strategic game.
- Similar: While the game itself is really enjoyable, you should ask yourself if you really want this new one for € 40 or the edition from 2019 or 2018, which are slightly cheaper. Every year the game is basically the same. The things that change the most are the stages of races, the riders, teams, and a handful of new functions. Furthermore, the game itself is the same. For collectors, it’s a must-have but if you are new to the franchise, maybe pick up an older version first since you do basically the same thing.
- Commentary: Another thing that left me feeling kind of in the middle, is the commentary during races, which as with most sports games, is really repetitive and annoying after a few races or matches. Yes, it’s fun and it adds an extra layer to the game but on the other hand, the game will probably be more enjoyable if you put on your own music and just sit back and relax while playing.
What we disliked
- Nothing: While playing the game I didn’t discover anything particularly bad about the game. It’s a really enjoyable and challenging game when you get the hang of it.
Pro Cycling Manager 2020 is a very fun, good looking and challenging game. The wide variety of game modes in single-player keeps you going for hours on an end, and then you still have the multiplayer option where you can enjoy the game with friends. If you are a cycling fan, I would absolutely recommend this game. But, if you still have doubts about it, get one of the older versions, since it’s cheaper and basically the same, and then you can still get the 2020 edition somewhere in the future.