Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters

Whilst I’m not personally a huge golf fan, one of the things I love most about the relaxing sport is the lush locations that it takes you, and whilst the sport lacks the adrenalin rush you get with many others, it can still be very competitive and fun.

Some games are easier for developers to improve than others; the PGA tour series is one that isn’t so easy. You can’t radically change the controls, concept, or idea. But, EA have to add enough subtle changes to ensure that golf fans will buy the latest release. Let’s explore what this latest edition of Tiger Woods has to offer.

One major change, which is easy to spot, is that Tiger Woods PGA Tour doesn’t just have a new number after it, this time we have the addition of ‘The Masters’. What does this mean? It means less focus on Tiger Woods, and all focus on The Masters tournament and the Augusta Nation Golf Club, and this is the first time that EA have secured the rights for this tournament and club.

The new career mode, named Road to The Masters, feels much more structured than before, you feel as though you are progressing, moving through the Amateur and Nationwide Tours, and working towards becoming PGA Tour champion. You can use your own face as the golfer by using the Photo Game Face feature, which is done by uploading your picture to the EA website, and downloaded back to the console. Using the customization options, you will quickly have yourself looking 3D, and ready for a game of golf!

The sponsorship feature plays a more crucial role in this year’s Tiger Woods. Each sponsor will have a different task for you to complete before you can progress to the next level of sponsorship. You will get access to better equipment as you advance.

A new mode is the Masters Moments, which contains nine historic events from The Masters, which you have to accurately reenact or beat with your golfer. One of these events is to beat Tiger Wood’s course record, which he accomplished back in 2007. Some of these events will have you tearing your hair out, accuracy and skill will be essential to completing them. Expect to spend some time in this mode.

Another new mode is Tiger at the Masters, and in this mode you get to play as Tiger in all four events that he previously won. You’ll progress from his first Master’s win, which was back in 1997, and progress towards his last win in 2005.

Golf courses are beautiful; the perfectly cut lush grass, tall trees, lakes, ponds, and nature. The Augusta course is no exception, and has clearly had plenty of time spent on it, resulting in a course that looks detailed, beautiful, and is a joy to play on. The visuals and presentation all appear improved and crisper.

You might think that a caddie has no real importance in the sport of golf; however, a new virtual caddy feature will show just how important they can be. The caddie will give you plenty of advice and tips about things such as weather, shot selection, what percentage to hit, lie of the ball, etc. Your caddie’s level of experience will increase as you progress through the various courses. This will make things much easier for you, but if you don’t like this new feature, then you have the option to disable it.

If you’re more interested in playing some online golf, then you won’t be disappointed or surprised with the multiplayer modes, which are similar to previous offerings including Skins play, Stableford rules, Bingo Bango Bongo, Match Play, and various other variations. You have the option of playing on any of the 15 courses, which come loaded on the disk, and you can also buy any of the 20 downloadable ones (playable in singleplayer and multiplayer).

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters needed to offer something new; EA’s golf franchise has had some disappointing releases in recent years. This title is far from a disappointment thanks to the new content, modes, mechanics and visual improvements. This is probably the best title in the series, and if you love golf it’s definitely for you!

Rating: 9 / 10

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