Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is a golfing simulation developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports for the Xbox 360 and PS3. This year the game has brought motion controls for both platforms; Kinect and Move are both implemented similarly but do have their differences. Unfortunately Online Play and Country Clubs are only accessible to people who have the online pass which was not included with the review copy.
There are various game modes available including; Legacy Challenge, Pro Tour mode, quick games and online play. As well as those you can earn and use boost pins which attach to your clubs, equipment and players to give them an edge over the competition.
The game brings a new control style to the series; the Total Swing Control uses the right analogue stick on the controller to control the swing. Pulling back raises the club up and pushing forward afterwards will swing the club and hit the ball. The way you do each segment of the movement of the swing will affect the way that you hit the ball. Pull back too much or too little and you’ll either over or underswing, push forward too quickly or too slowly and the tempo of your swing will affect the ball negatively as well. Depending on the direction that you make the swing, you will be able to add draw, fade etc with your shots.
On the Move the swing is really natural and you can do it either side on as you would expect or facing the screen. As you swing back, the club goes back and pushing forward swings the club but as with the controller the speed you make the movement. There seems to be less human error with the Move, as your movements tend to be captured and averaged out to be straighter. All the controls that are on the controller have also been mapped to the Move. It’s a little difficult to get used to but it becomes second nature and you’ll be able to make a choice between control styles.
Legacy Challenge is a mode which takes you through set challenges during important points in Tiger Woods life. This starts with toddler years; showing Tigers first movement into fame as he shows his golf skills live on TV. It then goes on to different times during his life; including his first championship, his entry to the 2012 tour and his breaking of Jack Nicklaus’ record. It is easily some of the most difficult challenges that there are in the game and if you aren’t familiar with Tiger’s achievements the there is much to learn from it.
The Pro Tour mode lets you create your own golfer and work your way up from amateur golfer to tour pro whilst taking various sponsorships and competing in various events. The different sponsors offer different equipment and each has its own tiers of unlocks. There are also many events to take part in during your career and you will need to finish them in one area before moving onto the next set. As you play with your custom golfer you will earn xp that you can use to enhance your characters stats as you progress.
Boost Pins are unlocked through various means but tend to be through purchasing them via coins earned throughout the game. Once unlocked you can add these various boosts to equipment and clubs; giving you stat increases in game. These boosts are mostly on a uses basis, meaning you have to rebuy some boosts after using them up.
The game looks really nice; the courses are close enough to photorealism and the players based on people look really close as well. The custom made characters are not quite as good but are still serviceable thought the facial mapping comes out with mixed results; usually with skin tones between the face and the rest of the body not matching up properly.
The audio is quite serene as you would expect from golf and it relaxes you. It doesn’t make you feel as though you need to rush your shots like many other games do. A lot of what you hear will just be swinging of clubs and the contact made with the ball.
Presentation and Audio
The games looks great, audio is very gentle and quiet though. It is a very peaceful game and is very relaxing in all aspects of its presentation. You are never overloaded with information on screen and can easily work your way to more info if needed. It is a game not to be rushed and the music tends to reinforce that through how calm it is.
Controls are simple on both the controller and the Move are simple but the Move feels much more difficult to play with; this is probably due to it being more realistic and it needing much more practise to use efficiently. Legacy Challenge is a nice but difficult game mode and the Tour mode is a good staple of the series but the introduction of coins to buy pins and other paid DLC feels like content was missing to begin with.
The game plays well and the motion controls work surprisingly well; the Total Swing Control is incredibly easy to use and offers a huge amount of depth. It is a very good package but it has DLC woven too deeply into it and suffers from a freemium system for the boost pins which is not really wanted.
Like the real game it requires a lot of patience; going straight into the deep end will make it difficult to progress. Taking your time to get to grips with everything helps to ease you in and will allow you to get used to making some of the more difficult shots. Hitting the ball as far as it can with a club is reasonably easy but making shots that aren’t as straightforward can be the difference between leading after a hole or being a couple of shots higher than everyone else. Putting is easily the most difficult part as the different layouts will cause the shot to swerve depending on the smoothness of the green.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.