Could Electronic Arts have picked a better time to bring out their latest installment in the Tiger Woods franchise? In the past two years there has been almost nothing positive coming out of Tiger Woods professional or personal life. Now Tiger Woods looks to be back on his game and won his first PGA tournament in over two years. Does this spell good signs for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13? Read our full review to find out!
I review a lot of sports games and of course the big question that comes up with annual outings is it worth investing in this years game. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 probably packs the most bullet points on a press release when it relates to new stuff, but does that actually translate into a fresh experience or is this just a bunch of rhetoric?
The biggest new addition to the series in my opinion is the new Total Swing Controls. As you may have noticed EA has a huge love affair with the analog sticks and this is apparent with the new control scheme. Every movement on the left analog stick is extremely important to your golf shot. The momentum of pulling back and pushing forward as well as the trajectory has direct impact on your golf swing. For those that want to draw or fade a shot pull the stick a few degrees the right or left to make this happen. More then any past Tiger Woods game the new analog stick controls are fantastic. They aren’t necessarily all that different then years past but the subtle changes really do offer up a great sense of control over your golf shot.
EA has been touting quite a bit about the Kinect support for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, which makes its first appearance in the franchise. I among probably countless others would love to have a reason to use my Kinect more often but sadly this just isn’t the case with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. My biggest problem with it is aiming your shot which I almost always had trouble getting the Kinect to recognize. I would love for a game to help me with my real life golf swing or to be able to just easily play a round of golf without a controller. Unfortunately that is just not the case here as it seems the Kinect support is more trouble then its worth.
Each year there seems to be a new mode to sink your teeth into and this year that mode is the Tiger Legacy Mode. In a nutshell this mode is a chronicling of Tiger Woods from a toddler to the future Tiger Woods when he will inevitably (according to the game) in 2019 pass Jack Nicklaus 19 Major Championship record. Sadly this mode is just a weird and often frustrating compilation of challenges recounting many moments in Tiger Woods illustrious career. The first few stages that are the younger years of Tiger Woods are downright bad finding you hitting balls in Tiger Woods backyard. My biggest gripe is there is no connection or antic trying to get you to push forward. There is just some very random objectives spread out over a timeline for you to complete.
The Tiger Woods package as a whole has a ton of content. There are so many options and paths you can take to get your golf fix in. However I am still waiting for a truly integrated experience. Whether it be a better version of the Legacy Mode or an actual career mode that has you doing more then just playing tournament after tournament. We have seen other sports franchises do career modes far better then this before and its time the Tiger Woods franchise caught up.
At first glance I would say that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 looks a lot like last years game. But if you’re like me and put a lot of time into last years game the differences actually are pretty impressive. The big change I noticed was the fluidity of both players and their animations. Tiger Woods among the other professionals included in the game look great, clothes manipulate appropriately with the different weather conditions, and their swings don’t stutter like they have in past versions.
On the other side of things the golf courses look too pristine for their own good. For example there are several challenges in the Legacy mode that have Tiger Woods battling on Sunday to win a tournament. The courses for the most part appear as if they have never been touched. Where as any even casual golf fan knows by Sunday at any tournament there are divots and wear and tear all over the course. I would love to see the transformation of courses not only from wear but also from weather. Sure it’s raining but nothing looks wet. It’s subtle touches like that I find missing from the experience.
I spent a lot of time with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 and for the most part I enjoyed my time with it. The new Total Swing Controls are actually a lot better then I was expecting. It was a natural progression from past games controls and I think it works particularly well. I am always in favor of being in control so if I mess up I want the game punish me for it and vice versa. Where the series is loosing me is on the engagement factor.
I feel like as a press release Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is a great next step, but there never is that factor that says wow this is really pretty neat. It reminds me a lot of a Tiger Woods press conference where he answers all the questions but you know there is a lot he also isn’t saying. Like Tiger it’s a great game of golf but it leaves you wanting more.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is a good game of golf. The new controls will freshen things up a bit and of course there are modes up the wazoo to try out. Kinect support is included but after a few holes probably won’t get much in terms of playtime. I can’t say it’s an easy buy recommendation to make but if you have missed a few years of Tiger Woods games then this one is a good one to get back into.