Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 Review Review
- Total Swing Control is a great addition
- Exquisite golf courses
- Lengthy career mode
- Tiger Legacy
- Not enough help for beginners
- Can't custom save
- Online features costly
Tiger Woods 13 is the definitive golf simulation game to play, no doubt. Total Swing Control and a long, satisfying career are sure to keep enthusiasts hooked. But it isn't the best game for beginners and has a few chinks that makes the overall experience fall short of being great.
The Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has always been the best golf simulation game to play either on your PC or a console. While the player is down in the dumps, struggling to find his legendary touch, the Tiger Woods series seems to be running into some problems as well. To use a golf analogy, it’s like a wayward tee shot that lands in the fairway bunker. It’s essentially a golf game meant for fans of the series who don’t need a lot of explanation, but a beginner who’s new to the Tiger Woods franchise may find the game difficult to enjoy.
Not much has changed as far as life inside Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is concerned, it is still comparable to its predecessor (Tiger Woods 12) on various levels. Sure the odd blade of grass on the fairway looks more real and the game looks a lot more crisp and polish, but then wouldn’t you expect it in a game with a yearly progression? The game is still the same, and therefore so are its tools -- tee it off on your favourite golf course, start an extensive career campaign, play at the prestigious Augusta course in The Masters tournament, and so on.
Yet, not everything is the same old. There are some improvements in both gameplay and addition of special game types. Take for example Tiger Legacy, a special career mode that lets you relive some of the important milestones in the early life and golf career of Tiger Woods from a young child till an established pro. New swing mechanics are in place under the Total Swing Control feature, letting you control the swing of your club subtly and entirely from the left analog stick. Country Clubs is an online multiplayer feature which either lets you create your own country club (add members by recruiting your friends) or join an existing one for a race to top the weekly leaderboard and unlocking special courses. These are some of the prominent new features in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13.
The pace and tempo of a round of golf in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is much the same as its predecessor. The fundamental change to a player’s swing mechanics, the new Total Swing Control system, is an excellent addition to the game. Just like this year’s Grand Slam Tennis 2 introduced players to the sheer range of shots just through the left analog stick, so does Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. There’s a new swing arc around the player which gives you a visual representation of your swing, as you pull the left analog stick of the controller down and up in a straight line -- at least that’s the idea. But it’s seldom as easy as it sounds. Subtle variations in the analog stick’s travel directly impacts your shot and its follow through on the screen -- you can check this on the bottom left corner of the screen. Gone are preset shots and hitting the right power to sink putts in the older game, Total Swing Control really puts you in control of your golfer’s destiny. As a result, sinking a 30-feet putt or playing that pin-point shot from the bunker leaves you with a great sense of achievement. This heightens the overall experience of the game, at least for enthusiasts -- beginners have a considerable learning curve to get around.
Simply put, the Total Swing Control is probably the brightest spot in this year’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. But I’m someone who’s been acquainted to the EA Tiger Woods franchise since 2003, playing every iteration ever since -- the best Tiger Woods game ever has to be the one released in 2007. But I am aware that Total Swing Control comes with very little help and a short, hard-to-follow tutorial to get newcomers accustomed to the swing mechanic, and this may be frustrating for first-time buyers of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise.
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