Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 Xbox 360, PS3
First of all I have to say I am not a big fan of golf, so it’ll probably come as no surprise to you then that I’ve never played a Tiger Woods game before. This review is intended to offer a newcomer’s perspective on the series.
I’m sure most of you reading this have had experience with the franchise, but for those like me who haven’t, I’ll run through the basics. You play golf, using your left analogue stick as your club, pull it back to lift and flick forward to start the swing. It’s all very straightforward and easy to get to grips with, but will take you some time to master, especially when it comes to putting.
There is an absolute multitude of game modes to play in, on your own or with up to 3 friends, online and offline. The game modes available range from a straight 18 holes of golf, through all sorts of variations, and a shed load of mini games. On top of this you get online challenges to test yourself against other players, and the good thing about this is you don’t even need to have a gold Xbox Live account to play them. I can honestly say I’ve seen very few games with such a comprehensive range of online and offline game modes, and there’s no doubt you certainly get your money’s worth content wise.
There are loads of pre-made players to choose from too, ranging from the world’s top professionals to some more comedic characters. These can all be used to play on any of the game’s numerous golf courses, once you have unlocked them all. An area in which the latest addition to the Tiger Woods franchise excels in is its create a player mode. You get an exceptional range of options to create your player’s physical appearance, including the game face mode, where you can use a photograph of yourself, or anyone else, to create your facial features. With this you can create some very realistic looking character models. When you take them in-game you are given tests and drills by your coach ‘Hank’ to gauge your ability and adjust your stats accordingly.
If you are familiar with the series you’ll be thinking this just sounds like last year’s game – what’s new this year? Well not a lot apparently, as with previous yearly updates changes are minimal with Electronic Arts obviously working under the work ethic “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. But there have been some small tweaks, most notably with the putting system; now you have only one putter, and a new meter which shows you just how hard you need to hit the ball. It doesn’t take in to account green speeds or sloping, so you get one chance – a put preview – to make changes for conditions.
That’s all there is in the way of gameplay tweaks, but there are a couple of new features worth mentioning. One that is entirely cosmetic is the Live weather system; if you are hooked up to the internet the game will contact weather websites to pull up the weather conditions of the course you are playing on. Nothing major, but a nice touch nonetheless. One big addition, particularly for fans, is the option to take part in the U.S. Open Championship for the first time.
Finally, you’ll find a couple of new game modes. Offline you’ll find tournament play mode, which allows you to take part in memorable moments from golfing history, and see if you can do better than the professionals did. The new online game mode is far more extensive though, with loads of tournaments available to take part in, and again these are all available to play with an Xbox Live silver account. Here you can play against any and all players from around the world and test your mettle against the best.
If you’re a newcomer to the franchise, like me, you may find this all a bit daunting, but for veterans it will be a welcome feature. In fact newcomers will find the whole game quite daunting, as it does take a fair bit of practice and stat building to get get good at the game. You’ve really got to be committed to putting a fair bit of time in if you want to get the most out of it.
That’s the only problem with this game really, it’s as perfect a golf game as has been seen so far. But unless you are serious about golf, or video game golf at least, then you may find it frustrating. So, if you are a fan of the sport, or the Tiger Woods franchise, the only question you want answered is is there enough added this year to warrant a purchase? I’d say so, the new additions are perfect for the hardcore players that have come back to the game year after year, allowing them to further prove themselves against the online community.