by Jeff Gates, reviewed on
Leave it in the Past
Recent Tiger Woods games have essentially been a copy/paste of the previous year’s edition, with the addition of a couple of new courses and a handful of interesting yet minor tweaks. This year, the folks at EA Sports have revamped many of the mechanics in the game to deliver a more realistic golfing experience while still implementing fun video game essentials.
I’ll take a cheap shot and open with how Tiger Woods famously cheated on his wife with 11 women. Could it be that the “11” in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 isn’t an indicator of the season? It might really be a tribute to Tiger for juggling 11 women without his wife being any wiser. Until she beat his ass with that golf club of course. Irony is a gift like no other, but I digress; let us get back to the pressing matter here: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
One of the first things that you will notice when you begin playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is a disclaimer that tells you that you will need a code to use many of its most interesting features. I find this to be outrageous. What if you rent the game? Electronic Arts does give players a 7-day trial period so people renting the game have a chance to enjoy multiplayer, but still... I understand why they do it though. EA is in the business of selling new games not in the pre-owned business, nor are they in the rental business. Yet for many people it means a bad start with the game.
If you are familiar with EA’s skateboarding franchise Skate, you will likely discover an overlap between its latest installment and Tiger Woods. Both games are putting a lot of focus on implementing team features into the game, getting friends online together to compete against other teams. In Tiger Woods this means the introduction of the ‘Ryder Cup’. It is a great deal of fun to team up with some mates and play the annual USA versus Europe team-based tournament within the game. It also makes what normally is a ‘lonely me’ kind of game a far more entertaining experience. Remember though, that choosing the right teammates - both offline and online - is just as important to winning as choosing the right club for each swing.
Focusing on the Links
The game puts a great deal of emphasis on the career mode and starts you off creating your character which is done through a very detailed interface. After that, it is on to the tutorial that explains both old and new mechanics in the game. One new mechanic is a cool feature called Focus. Focus has become the main… well… focus of mastering every round and winning tournaments. You must strategically choose when to use it because adding spin, boosting power on the back swing and using the new ‘Accuracy Boost’ feature all costs Focus. In case you were wondering, ‘Accuracy Boost’ does just what it says: it boosts the accuracy on your shots when you need a swing to be as precise as possible. Changing clubs from what the game chooses for you is more important than ever before. Choosing to use a more powerful club to get more distance is a good alternative to wasting Focus on boosting shots. Your Focus is better spent on the green. And if you are anything like me and use the ‘Putt Preview’ feature more often than not, then you are in trouble my friend. Using ‘Putt Preview’ will cost you a substantial amount of your Focus. However, it’s not all bad. You can also gain Focus by making strong drives down the fairway, sinking birdies, hitting accurate approach shots and more.
Focus and team-play make this the coolest Tiger yet
Very dull sounds and menus