Tiger is back for another year of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. In this year of PGA Tour EA has introduced new players, new skill challenges and upload your game photo from easports.com along with many other new features. On top of all these features EA also promised the use of Sony's new Move controller which if not already included in game it should come as a future update. In other words this version of PGA Tour promises to be bigger than the previous installments and with the new features the game does look promising.
The game starts off with having to create your own pro golfer. There are 2 ways to do this: One way is to log on to easports.com and create an account to upload a photo onto their servers. This requires some time and some patience as it can get frustrating trying to get the service to work. The other way is to create your player in game which at this time is a lot easier since the easports.com character creator to upload your photo is still in Beta testing. You can always go back to and edit your player anytime during the game once www.easports.com is up and running properly.
After creating your player the game will run you through some quick tutorials to get you up and running. These tutorials are not required and can be skip anytime although it is recommended to complete them since the game does award you XP points which is required to make your character the best in golfing.
Picking up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 and playing it is very easy. I was amazed at how fast I got the hang of it. The game is so easy to use but at the same time challenging that it won't let anyone score Eagles and Birdies without practice. What's great about PGA Tour 11 is how it sucks you into the game. You don't have to be a Golf fan to enjoy this game although it does Help when it comes to the rules of Golf.
There are several game modes in TWPGAT 11. Play now allows you to choose your favorite golfer or your created character against 4 other players. The online pass allows you to use the online features of TWPGAT 11 such as online multiplayer and news about golf. This is activated via a code found in the back of the manual which if purchased new should already be included. If purchased used you will have to purchase another code from EA or you can get a free 7 day trial. One tip I can give you be wary of purchasing open boxed games from Gamestop because chances are people will go to the store and get the manual code and enter it online for free play leaving you stuck with the bill or having to go back to exchange the game for a new one. The Ryder cup allows you to compete in tournament with your favorite golfer. This is also available in Career mode with your created character and can be accessed at any time although Victory can only be achieved through practice and getting a low score. You read that correctly.
While there are several modes to Enjoy Career mode is where you will spend most of your time as you build up your character from a Rookie to a Pro and earn XP. Career mode will take you to through many golf courses around the globe. As you build up your character you can enter them into the Ryder cup championship to compete against Europe in a classic USA vs Europe clash of the titans. There is really nothing exiting about the Ryder cup other than competition but if you love golf and a challenge then it is truly worth the addition of this mode even if it only adds a few hours extra of gameplay, not to metion the extra challenges you can unlock as well as the trophies.
A quick way for your character to earn XP is to invite people on your Friends list to download the Demo. They don't necessarily need to download the demo but they will receive a message asking them too. Each invite gets you an Extra 25 XP from each person. Another way to earn XP is to download the Demo and transfer your XP earned from the Demo to the actual game.
There are many challenges to compete and if you're one of those gamers who must have the game completed 100% PGAT 11 has many challenges from: Career Mode, Online Mode and General. On top of that the game has several trophies and achievements to be unlocked. Most of them are Silver and Gold trophies.
When it comes to Visuals TWPGAT 11 could use some polishing. While the HUD isn't necessarily bad the golf courses can be better. Grass appears as if it's shooting out of the ground that if a golfer were to fall on them, the grass would stab through his body. The textures of the dirt can also use some improvement as the grass seems to be painted on the dirt. While not much focus seems to have gone to the Golf courses, character details were the focus of the game Although there is still always room for improvement.
Kelly Tillman and Scott Van Pelt do a good job in the commentary, but overtime it can get very repetitive with calling the same shots over and over again. It does add an extra effect to the realism as well as the cheering crowd. Every time the ball is landing you are waiting on the crowds reacting intensely cause it can change from one second to the next. The crowds reactions while repetitive do add a lot of depth to the game because it can suck you into the game and also tell you how well you did with you shot. The sound effects are clearly heard and very accurate, whether you hit the grass or the ball you can definitely hear the detail.
The controller is not your friend at first if you are use to right handed controllers. You must use The L-Stick to swing and it can take some time to get used to. There is only one control setup for the entire game and you either love it or get used to it because that is not going to change. It may take a while to get the controller hands on but once you do the game can be very fun and challenging. The game is set to support Playstation 3 new Move accessory but it is of yet to be released. Although you can expect it to play something like that of the Wii version of PGA Tour 11.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 can bring you hours upon hours of entertainment if you are an avid golf fan and hours of hours of entertainment if you're a casual player. Most of that time will be spent honing on your skills to challenge people online or friends at home. It is a great game to pick up anytime and play until next years' version comes to stores. Add-on content can also add to the experience if new game modes are released.
Every year Tiger Woods PGA Tour hits the store shelves with added features and improved controllers and visuals. TWPGAT 11 features new features as well as new improvements but can lack in a few areas of the game. One area that I feel needs a lot of improvement is the Visuals. The golf terrains look as if someone sprayed paint them and the water textures could use a lot of improvement. The career mode is great and the Ryder cup is also a great addition to this years' game although we hope EA can improve on them for next years' release. As for lasting appeal, the game can be picked up anytime and enjoyed for hours whether you're just training your player or if you're challenging someone online. It is also easy for someone new to the series to pick up the controller and start swinging as Tiger Woods.
While playing PGA Tour 11 I did notice a few bugs in the game. One very noticeable bug is a camera bug which if the player zooms in the game will shake. This can be very annoying and the only way around it is not to use the camera in the beginning of the course. Another very annoying bug is the GamerNet HUD which appears at the beginning of the course. This can block the players view for a few seconds so either let the HUD end of take a blind shot. Besides these 2 major issues there is really nothing in the game that renders the game unplayable.
Life Span: 9/10
Total Score: 86%