Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 Review
Just in time for Tiger to make his comeback.
It seems like a bit too much of a coincidence that I’m reviewing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 on the same night that Tiger wins his first PGA Tour event since 2009. While his EA Sports namesake series hasn’t had the troubles that Tiger has had in recent years, it has been struggling to stay fresh in the face of yearly releases. This year, EA Sports turns to the Kinect to freshen things up and we’re ready to get off the couch and give it a go.
Whether you’re going to use the optional Kinect controls or not, we’re all going to benefit from their introduction. The interface, when on the course, has been simplified in a number of ways to accommodate players using the Kinect sensor but it’s easy to see how players using the controller will enjoy these changes as well. I’ve never had an easier time selecting a new club, changing my golfer’s stance or even getting in and out of replays than I did with this year’s Tiger Woods game.
While using the Kinect sensor I was astonished by how easy everything was to do. You have a number of voice commands available, but if you don’t want to yell at your TV these can be selected from a floating menu on the right side of the screen. I thought aiming a shot down the fairway would be tricky with the Kinect but I simply put my left hand up to my eyes as if shielding them from the sun and the view zips down the course. To aim, I say “aim shot” and drag the cursor around with my closed right fist. It’s that easy, and no matter where you, in the interface, are you can always clasp your hands in front of you like your’e gripping a golf club and the game will bring you back to the tee, ready to swing.
While the in-game controls are fantastic, the Kinect menu controls are not. In fact, they are absolutely terrible. Trying to select a game mode while using the Kinect is futile. The gestures used for scrolling and selecting are often not recognized, while the game often behaves like you’ve made a gesture that you haven’t. It’s like a completely different company developed the menu controls while the experts were making the game itself. Not only is it very hard to navigate but once you select a game mode there will be a number of menus for which you’ll have to pick up the controller again to navigate through so make sure you have something to set your controller on or you’ll be back and forth across the room a number of times before you get down to business.
Once you get into a round of golf, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is fantastic. The tandem of the swing meter pictured above and the analog stick path meter that shows you the path your swing took on the controller make up the best swing feedback system yet. The new, accessible stance controls and club head placement controls allow you to have very tight reign on every shot while casual players will still be able to bang through a round with ease.
With a huge number of game modes and courses, both veterans and new players will have a ton of rounds to play in this year’s entry. From reliving great moments in Tiger’s career, to playing your way onto the tour by qualifying for the Masters, your career with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is sure to be long and storied.
Much like the new online leagues in EA Sports other games, this year, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is adding ‘Country Clubs’. These are leagues you can start with your friends, or the public, that you can join to compete against only those in your club. Where, in the past, you were just a ranking in the worldwide field, and you still can be, Country Clubs give you a more intimate feel to the competition.
EA Sports also offer online tournaments that have you trying to post the best round among the many entrants, over a few days. Rather than playing head to head in real time it’s your score against theirs. There are also still a number of options for real-time competitive matches as well.
I had a lot of fun using the Kinect sensor to play a few rounds of golf in this year’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour game, the trouble was getting out onto the links while using the Kinect. Navigating the menus using Kinect will make you want to wrap your imaginary 4 Iron around a tree. Once you get past this, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is one of the most fun, and tight, Golf experiences yet. Whether you’re playing with the Kinect, the controller, or both there is a ton of content to experience. Precision golfers will love the new in-game layout and controls while casual fans are still able to jump in and have a go with relative ease. This may be the best Tiger Woods game yet.