30th June 2010 - Another year, another Tiger Woods PGA Tour game. I bet you’re asking yourself what’s new with this one? Why do I want this when I’m still lightyears away from mastering the many nicks and tricks of last years? And finally, why is Tiger Woods still on the cover? Well that last one is easy; ‘cause he’s the best damn golfer around! But the others questions? Well you’ll just have to read on to find out why Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is a force to be reckoned with and without a doubt, one of the finest sports games on the market!
One of my issues with the game is the gameplay. Not the gameplay itself though, but more or less trying to figure out the whole picture that this game paints for you. And that picture is the most advanced and time consuming mastery of gameplay options in any sports game to date. Of course you are given a rather tedious tutorial about how to use the many, many features of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, but it will take a lot longer than this tutorial to actually be able to successfully use and win with these set of abilities and skills. Practically everything about the gameplay can be tweaked to personal choice from club and swing tuning and swing trajectory to the usual golfing simples of where to hit the ball, amount of club used, and spin. Honestly, its all a bit of a head ache, but once you get used to it (at least a little) you’ll be having a hell of a good time!
And now that I’ve got that off my chest, its time to talk about said good times! In Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, much like the gameplay itself, there are a ton of great and unique game modes to tryout and a very fulfilling and lengthy career mode. You can make your own character from the extremely detailed character creation system, and use him/her throughout any of the game modes, as well as a good amount of professional golfers from around the globe. Its safe to say that many of you (me included!) wont be familiar with the lot of them, so you’re given a statistical run-down of each one for your references and to help choose he who best suits your play style (but of course, Tiger just happens to have more skill points than any other golfer could hope for…).
This years installation into the fan favourite series see’s the addition of a fair few little offbeat additions that will most likely go unnoticed, but one of the major, gameplay changing factors of the game is the new, revamped XP system, which is used to both buy new gear and update your characters visual appearance, but also to update your created golfers statistics in any which way you see fit. This often forces you to choose between upgrading to a more awesome outfit (like the Metal head dude with spiked leather jacket and sunnies!), upgrading your base skill sets and buying that ever-important new club set which will let you really take on Tiger with bigger swings and more oomph! This all adds to the enjoyment and personalization of the already awesome career mode as you progress through the many seasons and stages to be the best you can be.
Another new addition sure to turn a few heads is EA’s take on making this game as authentic as possible. With the new True-Aim mode, you can play like a real golfer, and watch the game fly by as if you were really there. it’s a little tricky to get used to, but its pretty cool for real golfing fans and hopefuls. There is also a brand new online Team Play mode, which see’s two teams of 12 face each other to prove their skills and show one another who the best golfer really is! Can you be the best to beat the rest?
Like always though, you’re going to have to be pretty darn good at the game to go far online, as some players out there play like their straight from the PGA Tour themselves. Its crazy to see how masterful some players are at the game, but its also a good way to train and get your statistics up. You see, no matter what game type your playing, online or off, you are constantly getting more XP, as long as you stay as your custom made character of course.
Its easy to say that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 has some phenomenal graphics, but same could be said about any of EA’s yearly sport titles. Like a good wine, the games just get better and better every year. Where this years instalment gets its merits in this department is in the little details which have been greatly improved. Things like environmental effects, the stunning detail in your surroundings from grass to sand bunkers, all of it looks simply amazing and will no doubt take your breath away. More detail though, is found in the heavy customisation of your golfer. Not just the little iddy-biddy things like eye wrinkles, bags under the eyes etc, but the overall appearance and customization is more than you can take a hold of. You can customize your animations and all, it’s a great system but overall hasn’t come very far since the last Tiger Woods game. Sure, it has more detail, but overall it’s the same customisation system we’ve seen and played with in Tiger ‘10. Sad really, but there isn’t much that can be improved with this.
There isn’t much you can hope for in the audio part of things in a golfing game, that’s for sure. I mean, its not like there is much talking involved in the game, and there’s certainly no need for gun effects and explosions… Unfortunately. But what does make this special are the commentators. Try to listen to their comments at the start of each hole, as they often tell of ways of how golfers should go about what their doing and provide valuable information about the task ahead. Its almost a briefing of sorts, and often comes in handy. Unlike most EA Sport titles, this game doesn’t have any kind of awesome menu music from today’s hottest and upcoming bands, which is as unfortunate as the lack of explosions.
This is a hit and miss for most gamers. Sure, it’s a great title with exception execution in every field, but you really have to be a golf fan to get your moneys worth from it. I myself am not a golfing fan, but I do enjoy the easy going and casual fun of Tiger Woods games- it provides a nice change of pace to the usual games gracing my console. If you like a slow, albeit enjoyable sport game or are some sort of crazy golf lover, you will surely find enjoyment and a lot of gameplay hours in this title and the online multiplayer is good enough to keep the best players testing their skills against the world for months to come.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is surely nothing we didn’t expect; its another instalment in one of EA’s yearly sport titles, and adds only a few new features while trying to tame the good and rid the bad. And with wiping the sweat from my brow I can thankfully say this year was as good an update as any; Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 has successfully fuelled the fire beneath the series and given enough fresh options and gameplay features to keep the series teeing off strong for months to come. Good community features, better gameplay features and a ton of game modes will keep any fan happy and even turn a few new heads toward the game of golf both on and off a video game console.
AAG SCORE: 9/10
+ A great supply of awesome game modes…
+ … and the updated and fresh gameplay to match
+ New features add a lot of new options to the game
+ Visually enchanting, and detailed beyond belief
- Very steep learning curve, and an even longer mastering one
- Some parts aren’t updated as much as we’d like
Reviewed and Written By John Elliott