Amid the controversy that has surrounded Tiger Wood's personal life in recent times, EA Sports continues the golf-gaming series with the latest release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. First introduced in 1998, the Tiger Woods game franchise has grown in popularity in recent years. Whilst my golf gaming has been limited to Microsoft Golf 2.0: CD-ROM version 2.0 (circa 1996), I decided to see how the age-old game of golf has been carried into the HD era.GAMEPLAY
While this year’s edition is available on PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and the iPhone OS, my weapon of choice is none other than the almighty PS3 (no fanboy!). Whilst the game has been patched for the new Playstation move control, there are some obvious flaws
. It is clear that the move control was not a design feature from the start and the game play suffers significantly as a result. Using the Dualshock 3 control, you have the option of draw and fade (in non-golf terms, hooking your shot left or right), adding extra power (100%+) on your shots, and adding spin to the ball mid-flight. The use of the move control removes all of these features, leaving you with just the basic aim and swing controls. Furthermore you cannot navigate menus with the move control and a Dualshock 3 control must always be on should the user wish to use the Move control at any stage of the game. As many PS3 users are aware, the PS3 has an option to turn off the Dualshock 3 if it is inactive for 10 minutes. As a result, every 10 minutes I had to turn the Dualshock 3 back on. This led me to eventually turning the power saving option off, and later ditching the move control for the Dualshock 3 altogether.
Having never played a golf game, I didn't know what to expect. However I was not let down. This game is VERY addictive and I found myself playing round after round in the quest to get a better score every time. The realism of the game is exceptional, and the difference between using Tiger Woods and a virtual character is very evident. The effect of wind and rain also mean that each shot needs to be thought about carefully as a strong winds often lead to your ball ending up in the dreaded water. Rain results in slower greens, meaning the power of your putt needs to be significantly more than normal. All these factors mean the game is not static and a multitude of scenarios can change the game in the blink of an eye.
Putt preview mode and the focus meter
The game uses a focus meter, sort of like a boost, which can be used to increase the power of your shots past 100%, increase your approach shot accuracy and give you a putt preview, a view of exactly where your putt will go. However the focus meter is limited and only regenerates as a result of a good shot, so saving your putt preview for a crucial putt is often a smart decision.GRAPHICS
The man himself
As the game is not graphics intensive or graphics focused, it’s difficult to compare visuals to other games with ground-breaking graphics such as Uncharted 2 or Gran Turismo prologue. The crowd seem to have that cardboard cutout feel about them, however pro players such as Tiger Woods himself appeared very much life like. The game also allows you to create a virtual character using pictures taken from the Playstation eye camera or uploaded online. The results of creating a virtual player were also highly impressive, and I received alot of comments about my characters likeness. Player customisation is also present in the form of shirts, pants etc, and physics attributes such as height and weight can be altered.
Sandals and thongs - yeah, I did it.SOUND
The game features no licensed soundtrack, instead featuring in-house tracks made by EA. No lyrics, just some modern, electronic sounding tunes. Definitely catchy, but nowhere near as good as other licensed soundtracks in other EA sports franchises such as FIFA or NBA. In game sound is good and features birds tweeting, the crowd cheering, and everything else expected of golf. Commentary is present in the form of a male and female team, who do at times provide some witty comments. I have been on the end of "that has got to be one of the worst rounds I've ever seen" a couple of times.VALUE
Having been out for while, prices will only decrease as the year comes round. The game itself has a very long life in the form of career mode, where a multitude of different courses can be played over a golfing calendar year. In addition there is a challenge mode, sort of like a series of minigames, where you are set specific tasks or goals to complete, extending game life considerably. There is of course online mode where you can play in teams or directly against friends. Multitudes of Playstation network trophies are also on offer for those that enjoy collecting them.CONCLUSION
Playstation Move: So much potential, end result dissapointing
The game is fun, even for those that have never played the franchise before, however you cannot help but think that next year’s edition, given full Playstation move support from the start will be epic. John Daily’s prostroke; another golfing game with move support is set to provide stiff competition in this niche market. Playstation move control issues aside, the Dualshock 3 provides an enjoyable experience that leaves players just wanting that one more round. AAG SCORE:
+ Easy and fun game play
+ Player personalization
+ Multitude of courses and weather conditions CONS:
- Playstation move support disappointing