EA SPORTS HAS has been leading the way in several genres for many years. In terms of golf, there is little to no competition for the Tiger Woods series and yet the publisher goes out of its way each year to top the previous offering.
For its 2010 offering, EA has given the game a complete overhaul, adding in new modes, features and controls that will not only satisfy long time Tiger fans and golfing aficionados but also newcomers to the franchise. The Wii version, in particular, has been positioned to appeal to a more casual gaming audience.
As with previous editions, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 will revolve around its tournament mode, in which players take part in real-life golfing events in the hopes of becoming champions.
This year, fans will get to take part in the US Open for the first time in the series’ history. Inviting them to the Bethpage State Park Black Course, Tiger Woods 10 challenges them to take on one of the toughest courses in America. Only by honing their skills will they be able to take the trophy.
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There is also a new character progression mode that allows fans to relive key moments in the history of various golfing tournaments, including some of Tiger Woods’ most famous plays. Players can either recreate the moment or take their own approach, and Mr Woods himself is even on hand to offer his personal insight and expert tips.
Other courses also appear, appealing to the series’ international fans, including that of Turnberry, Scotland – the venue for this year’s British Open. This not only provides a fresh challenge once players have conquered the US Open, it also keeps the game relevant for UK and European audiences who may not be too familiar with the annual American golf tournament.
The competitions are presented in the style of a television broadcast. The course will be introduced with hole overviews with up-to-the-minute updates popping up on screen, reporting on the player’s progress and other events from the tournament. The game even features a full commentary team with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.
The presentation isn’t the only aspect that has been given new attention to detail. The in-game environments have been enhanced to make the player feel even closer to the course. Crowds have been expanded and will react to the golfer’s performance, and real-time weather effects recreate the current real-world conditions in game. This will even affect gamers’ performances – for example, putts will roll much slower on wet greens.
Each version of the game has its own unqiue features and additions that take advantage of their respective platforms. The Xbox 360 and PS3 editions obviously tap into the competitive nature of their audiences with online leaderboards and live tournaments available in three forms: daily, weekly, and Play the Pros. While the first two are self-explanatory, Play the Pros sees gamers posting their scores against the real-life scores of PGA Tour golfers during the actual professional event.
The Wii version has special significance as it will be the third title to use the new MotionPlus peripheral, offering more accurate controls and arriving ahead of Nintendo’s own flagship title, Wii Sports Resort. Golfing fans will be able to recreate their real-life style more effectively as the MotionPlus picks up subtler motions and angles, and calculates how these will affect the ball’s trajectory.
The game also includes a Frisbee Golf mode developed exclusively for Wii, which will tap into the multiplayer mentality many Wii sports games boast.