Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 Xbox 360 Review

Last year, on Tiger’s first outing on the then new and very shiny Xbox 360 many people complained of a lack of features and only 6 courses. It seemed the development of the ‘next-gen’ version of the game was rushed out the door at EA HQ to have it on shelves at the same time as the console launch. As a result, poor Tiger was a neutered, huddling in the corner “what have you done to me” version of his former self. Thankfully this year the devs had a much longer time to work on the game and things have gotten a bit better.

Offering a true realistic vision of the sport is always the big draw of the Tiger Woods games and this fact has never been more evident than in the 2007 edition of the game. EA have changed things up a bit by refining but not reinventing the Tiger Woods formula and as a result an air of authenticity surrounds the title. As you begin to play the game the first notable change is the inclusion of Dual Stick control to offer more control over the type of shot you want to take. Fades and draws are now controlled by the right analogue stick – tilting the stick up or down to hit the top or bottom of the ball. The next big change is the inclusion of a true aiming meter (a ring that shows you the area where your ball could end up if you hit your shot perfectly). This is sure to result in many an annoyance as players will no longer be able to place exactly where they want the ball to land. Finally putting has also been changed and you now only get a geometric grid that charts the slopes and a distance meter to guide you. All of these changes affect the way you must play the game. Every shot now seems like a risk and even some 3 yard putts need thought put into them. Of course, with practice it is possible to learn techniques to help your game and you will get better the more you play the game. All in all it offers the most realistic recreation of the game of golf ever, nothing is certain with any shot any more, just like it should be!

The game also boasts a selection of different modes to play around with. Tiger Challenge Mode is a one-on one set of challenges where you must beat a CPU controlled player over a selection of holes on a particular course. The further you progress the harder the players are to beat until you finally reach Tiger at the end of a long haul. This mode is a replacement for the Team Tour that is seen in no next gen versions of the game. The Tiger Challenge is all played via stroke play but of course there are some match play options too with the PGA Tour Season mode. A huge amount of time will have to be put in for anyone that wants to beat each of these modes.

It does not end there though as there a collection of mini-games to play around with should you not want to jump into the time consuming career mode option. The games range from longest-drive or a putting contest, play quick competitive rounds of T-I-G-E-R or 21, and race the clock in mini-games. All of these games listed can be played with your custom created golfer made using EA’s GameFace technology which can result in some fine looking creations.

In an interesting move for an EA branded game a good portion of the achievements are bloody awkward to get. In fact some may be impossible to all but the most determined player as the likes of “compete in 1,000 online matches” and “make 25 holes in one,” seem like a far off dream to me right now.

Graphically, the game is not pushing the 360 anywhere near its limits but thankfully the game still manages to look very nice. Each of the courses available have lots of detail and feel alive, real and are an almost perfect recreation of their real life counter parts. Lots of work seems to have gone into creating each hole to make it as realistic as possible as every bump, slope and undulation has been taken into consideration. You could almost forgive EA for cutting the amount of courses down for the 360 release due to the high quality of each course and the overall presentation of the game being so high. Menus are also very easy to navigate. There is not much to talk about it terms of audio but the little that’s on show is of an ok quality. The crowd on course react well to shots and let out boos or cheers depending on whether you hit the green or the rough.

If you love the sport of golf then there is no doubt you will love the latest effort in the Tiger Woods franchise. While the game does not have the pick up and play appeal of some of the more arcadey golfers out there like Outlaw Golf and Mario Golf it does offer a highly realistic and satisfying experience. If you choose to put some time into it and learn how the game plays, Tiger Woods 07 will give you great value for money as you will be playing it months down the line.

If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.

8.1 out of 10

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