Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 Review
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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 puts the legends of golf in the forefront by allowing players to travel through time and compete against the sport's biggest names. Subtle changes to gameplay and the inclusion of the LPGA tour are welcome additions, but it may not go far enough to draw casual fans back for another year.
- The authentic Legends of the Majors presentation
- The Great tweaks to gameplay
- Deeper online options
- The overall changes are too subtle
- Legends, and all golfers, lack personality
- The long loading screens
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Elsewhere in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, the game has received numerous subtle upgrades and changes. You'll discover the most notable when you create a new golfer, and that's the new Swing Style. All golfers, even those Legends, have unique Swing Styles. When you create a golfer, you can pick your focus between power and accuracy, how your player shapes the ball (fade of draw), the trajectory of your shots, and your dominate hand.
Swing Style works extremely well and really puts players in unique situations. As you take your created golfer through his or her career, you'll really notice the impact of an accuracy focused player over a power-centered player on tight fairways. This all helps make your created player feel unique and special and someone you can grow with throughout your long career, both offline and online. Have a player focused on fade? They'll have a much easier time fading their shots around a dogleg than a player focused draws. The fade player's sweet spot is much larger and they'll even get more distance out of these shots.
Other subtle changes include a more realistic swing meter and ball impact. If your ball is lying against a steep hill, your swing meter will reflect that need for your player to have kind of a crooked swing. Similarly, you'll need to position where your club impacts the ball on most shots.
This all has to do with a new level of difficulty found in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14. Longstanding fans of the series know that default settings are far too simple. Those little tweaks mentioned before add a layer of realism to the game, but they also make it potentially more difficult. Want an even greater challenge? Try the hardest settings to essentially remove any assistance in your swing and putting grid. Yup, it's appropriately difficult and well worth a try for veteran players.
The online modes have been reworked a bit, as well. You can now play online with 24 players simultaneously. It's a blast to watch the trails left of virtual balls flying around the course as you play in a twentyfoursome--a term EA must have coined. In addition, Country Clubs have been expanded to allow for up to 100 players and you are also automatically placed into a club so you can join up with complete strangers without having to do too much.
There is a landmark change to PGA Tour this year that this review hasn't discussed all that much, and there is good reason. This year EA Sports has included the LPGA Tour, signifying the first inclusion of a professional female sport to a game. In the past you could create female golfers, but this year there is the actual LPGA Tour, complete with a career just like what men do on the PGA Tour side. And that's the problem. The two tours are mirror images in many ways. There isn't anything unique about playing on the LPGA Tour instead of the PGA Tour--outside of the ladies' major. It's still worth noting you can play in the LPGA Tour, but just be aware it has no unique flavor whatsoever.
It is also worth noting that the disc comes loaded with 20 courses--more if you get the Historic Masters Edition. This is a fair amount of courses but you only get five new ones: Royal Troon, TPC Louisiana, Oak Hill Country Club, Missions Hills, and Muirfield Village. Since this is really what videogame golfers want each year, these new courses are welcome additions, but it's hard not to feel greedy and want even more. The good news is many courses from previous editions are available to download but the bad news is not all tour mode events are on disc--that means you'll have to buy extra courses to finish your tour. The inclusion of all majors playable for the first time on disc is definitely a welcomed addition and hopefully a tradition EA can secure the rights to in the coming years.
Presentation and commentary are once again top-notch, though commentary in Tiger Woods is never really a strong point. The same is true once again this year, but the gameday-style presentation is simply awesome. All the courses are wonderfully recreated ... (continued on next page)