I have to admit that in recent years I have ignored the quintessential golfing simulation because after playing it religiously for several years I just felt like the game got a little stale. Then this year as I was covering the game I decided that this would be the year that I gave it another shot and I am glad that I did. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 has taken the game of golf on consoles to new levels and that my friends is no easy task.
I hate to say this about games but in this case it’s not a dig, but the best thing about TW10 is the presentation. I have played several iterations of the game from year to year but never before have I felt so much like I was there. The new TV style presentation really adds a layer of depth to the game that was never there before. TW10 is also one of the first EA sports titles of the year and it really leverages the strides they have made as far as graphics because it looks gorgeous. There is nothing like the 18th hole at Pebble Beach as the waves crash against the rocks in the background, absolutely stunning.
But don’t get me wrong, because I don’t say that to imply that TW10 is at all a slouch in the gameplay department because it’s not. The gameplay in TW10 is fluid and focused. It manages to capture all the little nuances of the real sport but then really speed it up. The game runs at a nice speed allowing you to play 18 holes in no time. The controls are a little different than in past years but nothing drastic and it really gives you the ability to get extremely precise with your shots and with the all new dynamic weather feature that mimics in real-time whatever the weather conditions are like at the real course you are playing on you will need it. This was on prime display this past weekend at the U.S. Open with the crazy weather they had there and it was great because that same weather was replicated on the game. It was difficult to play through the conditions on the game so I can’t imagine what it must have been like in real life. The greens played slower, bunkers were tougher and getting a solid drive off the tee was more difficult but I definitely loved the realism.
This year they also brought the crowd to life a little bit. When you hit a ball towards the crowd they move a little and start yelling for people to get out of the way. In the event, that you actually hit one of them they react accordingly and I really beamed a guy right in the head with a rogue second shot on a long par 4. They also have huge digital screens that you can see whats going on at the top of the board and you get live in-game alerts about shifts in the standings, its cool because the announcers will actual talk about alerts as you see them appear on-screen.
Another great component of TW10 is its online features. The all-new EA SPORTS Live Tournaments mode lets you play alongside actual PGA TOUR pro scores during real-world PGA TOUR events or tee it up in daily and weekly tournaments. In Tournament Challenge you can relive key moments in tournament history through an all-new character progression mode. Hear Tiger’s strategy as he describes some of his most Legendary Moments!
So now the bad news and it’s not really that bad. There are a few times where the game will come up with some very funky camera angles and that can be annoying. They have an all new precision putting feature that is supposed to make putting easier but and this may just be me but I liked it the old way, I mean it accounts for distance but not for green elevation and speed so its only so useful to me. The biggest disappointment to me is the character progression system which is based on how you play, so your skills increase the better you play but by it being like that it becomes much tougher to become competitive faster and you basically have to rely on equipment upgrades to really help you really progress. Now after every round they will tell you what you did well and what you didn’t and give you the opportunity to complete drills to get a minor boost and this is great but to me it isn’t enough. The bottom line about this is that it will take you longer than you would like to be competitive with your created player and that might affect some people spending more time on career mode because nobody likes to be at the bottom of the leader board every round simply because they can’t get their skills up fast enough. But if you never play career mode then that’s not a problem for you.
On the final scorecard though, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 isn’t a hole in one but its a heck of an eagle and for that we give Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 4.8 out of 5.0 stars.