Review | Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
The Best Yet…
Format: PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii | Genre: Sports | Publisher: EA | Developer: EA Sports | Release date: 02/07/10 | RRP: £49.99
IT’S JULY and for EA Sports that means another Tiger Woods PGA Tour title, sporting a few additions over last year’s iteration that absolutely form a better game. However, does it provide enough to justify an upgrade?
Tiger Woods 11 is almost identical to Tiger Woods 10, and the experience is beginning to feel a little stale as a result. The presentation remains the same, with decent commentary and smooth animations, but the visuals are beginning to age and the textures are looking less convincing. It’s not an ugly game by any stretch but its visual flare is running low on fuel and will be extinguished entirely before long.
All the standard game modes and options return, with the addition of the prestigious Ryder Cup making a welcomeappearance to an already extensive list of competitions. It’s not perfect, in fact the limited team based gamemode and having to watch your A.I team mates and opponents take their sweet time is a bit of a drawback, but its addition is still a step in the right direction for the complete golfing experience.
Indeed, Tiger Woods 11 offers a great deal of golfing content, ranging from the aforementioned competitions to skill games that concentrate on accuracy and power. It all comes together to form a comprehensive and impressive collection of modes both online and off. Returning are the online Daily and Weekly Tournaments, the Play the Pros mode which allows you to take part in the tournament that actual golfers are playing in, as well as standard online and offline rounds and team based rounds. The online team based mode has been improved slightly with an increase in potential teammates up to 12 per team, which – if you can find enough players – is a terrific mode that benefits greatly from the player increase, providing a more competitive focus.
Tweaks to the tournaments aren’t the only new additions. Whilst the excellent analogue stick controls remain unchanged, a Focus Meter has been introduced which changes the way you control the ball. You can no longer power up your shot or spin the ball mid flight to your heart’s content. Instead you have a focus meter that is filled by performing good shots whilst actions like ball spin and adding additional shot power drains the meter. In addition, putt previews also drains the Focus Meter, potentially offering you several chances at pull up the preview rather than just the once which was the case last year. As a result, the Focus Meter adds strategy to the game while doubling as a great balancing tool, especially online.
New and improved
Another new feature is the True Aim option, which removes the targeting circle for your shots and replaces it with a GPS view of the course, leaving you entirely at the mercy of your skill. It’s an interesting addition that veterans will no doubt be intrigued by; however, it’s unlikely to gain more than passing interest in the long term.
Lastly experience points replace last year’s “out of ten” system for levelling up your custom golfer. Experience points are earned by playing rounds, with your player earning more for good performances. It can then be spent on whichever attributes you decide. Refreshingly there are no longer penalties for doing badly on a round, encouraging you to take greater risks for a potential treasure trove of Experience points.
For the newcomer – or those who have missed the previous two years worth of updates – Tiger Woods 11 provides the most comprehensive golf game to date, but for owners of Tiger Woods 10 – or even 9 – the additions are praise worthy, although the fundamentals remain unchanged and thus the expense is difficult to justify as a result.
PS3 owners, however, have an additional allure in this year’s iteration with the Move functionality due to arrive in September. It doesn’t add much- and for Wii owners it’s downright standard now – but the addition of motion controls gives Tiger Woods 11 on PS3 a little more longevity, and if the experience is anything like what E3 suggests it will be, then it should be a great addition to an already strong title.