Pro Cycling Manger 2012 is the newest installment in the Pro Cycling series. PCM 2012 is a hardcore micromanagement simulator that has you managing a pro cycling team .
The game breaks the micromanagement system down into easy-to-use function tabs accessible from the management dashboard. From here you can access emails, schedules, sponsor information and even your team’s equipment. The management dashboard (or screen menus) is where you will be spending the bulk of your gaming time.
Being a manager is a full-time job, and boy — do you sure feel it after a few hours of gameplay. No matter how much time you spend on training, equipping, and hiring staff to help with the caseload you partake in, things never seem to get finished. There is always something you could have done better or differently. This is where the replay factor comes into play. Things are never the same, no matter how many times you play.
Pro Cycling Manger 2012 is setup on a calendar system which doubles as a schedule planner. The calendar will display need-to-know information such as upcoming events, training sessions, and other important information. So it’s important to always check the calendar when scheduling training camps or other reservations.
Being a manger is a bit of a jugging act; sometimes you will get it right and sometimes you will fail. Starting Pro Cycling Manger 2012 for the first time can be a little intimidating at first. There isn’t much in the way of tutorials when you first start. You will receive a few emails giving you some key pointers, but other than that, you’re on your own. It’s not that PCM 2012 is hard; there are times when you feel overwhelmed by the endless options and features.
This is just my personal experience; I am not saying that everyone will feel overwhelmed by Pro Cycling Manger 2012 (especially if they’re familiar with this style of game), but some may. The game is a real pleasure to play once you understand the basic mechanics. The management system is only half of the enjoyment. Once you finally assemble your team with equipment – and after their basic training is squared away — you’re ready for your first race.
There are options for both quick and detailed simulations when beginning a race. Quick simulation is a fast and easy way to compete in a race/competition and receive the results in a matter of seconds. You can instruct your team before starting the quick simulation.
The detailed simulation is by far my favorite of the two. Here you can micromanage the cyclists in your team. You can direct each cyclist to attack, maintain, effort cursor and relay during the course of a race. You also have to instruct them to drink water or use energy gels because maintaining your team isn’t as easy as one might think.
Pro Cycling Manger 2012 is very realistic. You have to monitor your racers’ heart rhythms, endurance, and energy levels. If you ignore any of these, it could cost you the race. Just because you’re in the lead doesn’t mean you’re going to finish first. You have to be very tactical in how you mange your racers. Knowing when to attack and when to hold back could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Planning your attacks and counter attacks is important to succeeding. Everything boils down to managing your racers and using their abilities wisely. Training is key to modeling the perfect team. Training can become very expensive, but it is required for a strong team.
Your team is comprised of multiple racers that have their own strengthen and weakness. Not every racer is suitable for every course, so make sure you train multiple team members for every scenario.
Aside from managing races and dealing with team issues, you must also oversee staff hiring and firing. The staff section covers scouts, trainers and doctors. These three areas are very important. Without good scouts, you will not discover young, upcoming amateurs that could be an asset to your team.
With better doctors, your team members will not only receive better medical treatment, but help with management. Trainers will play a big part in how your riders develop in conjunction with their skills. Finding good staff for these positions will help greatly in team development.
You are also in charge of dealing with sponsors for your team. Some sponsors require certain standards before they are willing to sign on. This can be rather tricky; it ties into your staff’s popularity. These objectives must be met before the sponsor will agree to sign on with your team. Not all sponsors have the same requirements, so getting a sponsor can be either hit or miss. Some sponsors are easier than others to sign on. But once the sponsorship money starts flowing, you will be glad that you went through the trouble.
Your team is not always invited to racing events, so there are times when you will have to request an invitation to participate. This can be done via the Manger Dashboard within the schedule section. Upon being accepted or denied, an email is received updating you on your requests. Requesting can take a few days (in-game time) for a response to be received. It’s important to plan requests ahead of time before the events begin.
Pro Cycling Manger 2012 could be played a thousand times and never end the same way twice. Things are always different and you never know what to expect when starting a new game. PCM 2012 is a fantastic management simulator. Not being familiar with simulators of this type myself, I have to say that PCM 2012 is surprisingly easier than I was expecting it to be. A lot of people assume that simulators are boring games with endless menu systems. Well, this is not the case with Pro Cycling Manger 2012. Micromanaging your team will keep you on the edge of your seat and aware at all times. Cyclists can collapse, causing a big pile up that could cost you the race. You can overwork a cyclist, causing him to overheat and lose the lead. It’s important to watch your racers from beginning to end; you never know when one may slip up.
The graphics in Pro Cycling Manger 2012 are outstandingly realistic. The graphics are so detailed, you can even see the racers sweat as they begin to overheat and get tired. Every piece of equipment has its own appearance and unique style. You can customize everything from bike helmets to rims and from tires to frames. Plus, whenever you change sponsors, it will be reflected on your riders.
You can even see the motorcade of vehicles and motorcycles that drive in front of the cyclists; this really adds to the realism. Another nice feature is the ability to change the camera angles from up close to behind the racers. You can also view the race from an air cam.
Plus, the game gives you control over the in-game music selection; it can be changed on the fly. Even when you’re not in a race, the music continues to play while you make decisions in the Manager Dashboard. This prevents a feeling of disconnect between the management and micromanaging segments. There are so many simulators out there that feel like two different games have been squeezed together. This isn’t the case with Pro Cycling Manger 2012.
Pro Cycling Manger 2012’s online multiplayer feature is played via the Armada and also includes an online track racing mode. Armada allows you to make your own teams for the different events you register for. The online racing calendar contains plenty of races for you to enjoy with either your friends or other online players.
As you play online, you will acquire cyans (a virtual currency) that is used to purchase more gear, equipment and other online goodness. If you do not feel like working for cyans, real money can be used to purchase items.
With so many wonderful features, Pro Cycling Manger 2012 definitely offers something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re an online junkie or someone who likes to play his games offline, you’ll be burning the midnight oil once you get your hands on Pro Cycling Manger 2012 by Cyanide Studio.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Available on Steam)
Developer: Cyanide Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
|Realistic and beautiful to watch; it’s like watching a real race on television.|
|Great music that seamlessly ties the racing and micromanaging segments together.|
|No matter how many times you play, the game is never the same.|
|Pro Cycling Manger 2012 is not only challenging, but a lot of fun to play.|