With all of the different individual sports, whether it was tennis, golf, bowling or extreme sports, only the best of the best gets a game named after it. Tiger Woods has been the signature name for EA Sports’ golf franchise for a long time, and for good reason. There is no doubt that Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world right now and has been for the past ten years. However he also has been the name of a very successful golf franchise that continues its success this year in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 for the Playstation 3. Does this game have what it takes to continue the prior success of the Tiger Woods franchise? Read our full review to find out!
There is no doubt that the thought has come across many fans of the Tiger Woods franchise, what possibly could they do to expand their games? Add more courses? Sure, that’s a given. Add more players? Well, yes that seems like a good idea too. However the game of golf in essence is a simple concept, you have a club and a ball, and your job is to put it in the hole. However each year EA seems to find new ways to gain interest on their new Tiger Woods game. This year it was the inclusion of the new Gamer Net interactive community which hopes to bring the Tiger faithfuls together again! So was the new content enough to warrant another purchase?
In general, the biggest change you’re going to find in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is not necessarily any huge changes to the gameplay mechanics, but instead they did offer up a bit of expansion to how you play the game, mainly in there new Gamer Net setup. What this basically does is throw up these challenges onto the net, whether it be long drive, best score on nine holes, or even hit the crowd and go into the hole. The idea is really quite simple and it works really quite well. You login, check out what some of the latest challenges are, and have a swing at them. In general, the mode actually does exactly what it sets out to do, brings together a community.
The other feature, and the one I had the most fun with was the Game Face technology, which has been attempted before, but Tiger Woods 08 puts you into the game like no other game has in the past. You have two options, you can either use a USB camera (Eye Toy, not a digital camera hooked up via USB) or upload your picture over the Internet. There have been some serious server problems during my times with this game. Uploading pictures of both the front and side view took me over an hour to get working, and then many times I tried to go back on and the servers were down. However after getting the pictures uploaded to EA’s servers, and manipulating the pictures in Tiger Woods 08, they setup a virtual you, and it looks amazing. The amount of detail that the game grabs from two pictures (side and front view) is just absolutely unbelievable. This is just such an amazing technology that EA brought into Tiger 08, that we hope they begin to put this feature in other EA products!
The only real big gameplay change was the addition of the three click swing, which is good if you don’t like the analog swinging. The one thing I noticed was that the developers seemed to have made the analog swinging a lot more touchy this year, and more than last year, I found myself hitting the rough more often then I would expect. However both control methods work great, and compliments the confidence flow of the game, which basically states if you’re doing good you will build upon it and the opposite if you start going downhill as it can now go downhill real fast.
Tiger 08 still holds the stellar career mode and Tiger Challenge, and they even included the highly pushed Fed Ex Cup in this game as well. Outside of what we have talked about thus far everything else is pretty much status quo in this game. This is not a bad thing by any stretch, the game actually just seems to be coming together quite nice, and the PS3 handles the game very smoothly. Although there wasn’t any major changes to the way you play Tiger, the inclusion of the stellar photo Game Face, and the new Gamer Net community really pushed this game to the next level, and just gives so many more areas in which this game can expand for years to come.
Visually Tiger Woods has always been thought of as a great looking game, and this continues on the PS3 in 08. What impressed me most was the photo game face, which really added a new sense of depth to the game and just looked amazing. The courses in the game have even more of a life like feel to them, with a much more detailed and at times lively environment. There are still the occasional rough spots, and areas which probably need more work, but overall the game really does keep a solid look and feel that has been with the game for quite sometime.
More so then many of the years past, Tiger Woods 08 really seemed a bit more frustrating on the course. It just seemed like the developers wanted to tighten the strings just a bit over last year’s game, where making consecutive hole’s in one on Par 3’s was not all that unlikely. In this game the analog swinging definitely has been tweaked a bit to be a little more challenging. However the challenge actually helps the game be even more enjoyable, and combine that with what can be a very addictive online community in the Gamer Net, and you could be playing this game well into next year.
I was a bit underwhelmed when I first got into Tiger Woods 08, I just didn’t feel like there was enough new in the game to make it worthwhile. And then I kept playing, I got into the Gamer Net and was addicted, and then played more into the Career and once again was hooked. And of course the Photo Game face is not only a fun thing to do for yourself, but bring a friend over and show them the new technology and you instantly have an engrossed fan of the game as well - it is that impressive. If you are into Tiger Woods and have always wanted to see yourself in a video game, now is your chance with this title.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.