Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

If you ask one thousand random people to name a professional golfer, you can pretty much guarantee that the majority answer received will be Tiger Woods. There may also be a few confused people adding Jack Nicholson. Even after it was revealed that Tiger was putting on a few greens he shouldn't have been, his popularity is largely undiminished, and Tiger Woods games continue to appear. This time, with new control methods peeling away the assists, a revamped online arena and even motion control, there's a lot of potential for the 2011 title to improve on the previous games in the series.

Tiger Woods 11

One area of success is indeed the control area, allowing players to switch between the standard system of flick control, ball spinning and green reading, and a mode with all buoyancy aids completely removed, freeing players to guide the ball entirely by eye, from the golfer's perspective. Though you might want to play the game with the normal assists on, it's a refreshing choice to be able to make. Once you've made a choice it's time to take to the courses, either as a pro golfer (Tiger Woods and all the usual suspects) or your own creation, a character whose stats you can build yourself by gaining experience. Points, in both the offline character evolution and also the online challenge mode, can be gained by beating particular targets or playing particularly accurate shots. Offline, in particular, small amounts of experience are gained for a successful first shot to the fairway (FIR - Fairway in Regulation) and shots to the green two under par (GIR - Green in Regulation).

The core of any Tiger Woods game lies with the golfing mechanic, and it's something that has almost reached perfection here. Taking to the courses, which are nicely varied and quite bright, avoiding dreary, brown, repetitive holes, is tremendously addictive for players of all skill levels. As a new player, there's great satisfaction meeting par, and then gaining your first birdie, while experienced players will relish the chance to continue bettering their scores, smacking shots reliably down the fairway with every go. Offline multiplayer, a feature sadly overlooked all too often in the online era, is particularly good fun, since you can help or tease your opponents and invent your own challenges as you go. It's a shame there's a shot limit on each hole, otherwise golf tag would be a lot more fun! The other areas of the game, like the character models, commentary and other sound effects are all quite solid, and shouldn't interfere too much with the experience.

Tiger Woods 11

Sadly, Tiger Woods, as in real life, has a few flaws that tarnish the overall presentation. Firstly, EA's online attempts with the game feature a lot of great ideas, including an enjoyable challenge mode where players can post single shots, holes or entire courses with certain win criteria, allowing other players to try and beat them. It's amazing when you post your first hole in one, only to see it beaten the very same day. However, the online matching is deeply flawed. There appears to be a bug where some players will simply be unable to join any game (with the clue apparently being an inability to see the country flag of other players at the team select menu). One night, it may at random work, while others, players simply won't be able to play, no matter how strong their internet connection. This is particularly disappointing given that EA's online pass implementation is present. You'd suppose that, given the pass method involved (only those that purchase the game new get the online pass for "free") that the online would be somewhat stronger, but the bugged experience quickly dispells that belief. Most frustratingly for many, there is also a trophy requiring 24 people to enter a game together. It may sound simple, but it's the one trophy that will probably stand in most gamer's way, simply because the online infrastructure just isn't up to the task.

A possible selling point of the game is the inclusion of motion controls to support Sony's new Playstation Move. While great in principle, and no doubt to be implemented well in future Tiger Woods releases, coming as a late addition to the 2011 iteration, the motion-control implementation is clunky, inaccurate and intolerant. Though it possesses the capability to blast Wii golf attempts out of the water completely, it sadly fails, leaving players to revert to their normal controllers more often than not.

Tiger Woods 11

A dodgy online setup and poor motion controls aside, Tiger Woods 2011 is still an awesome game, and goes unchallenged in the world of golf. It's the sort of game that doesn't seem worth purchasing as often as it's released, but perhaps buying alternate releases will allow the gameplay mechanic to evolve substantially. As a result, for those who don't own Tiger 2010, or aren't massively bothered about Playstation Move, this game is highly recommended. Otherwise, it might be worth waiting to see how well the 2012 version turns out.

Game details

Game logo

Publisher:

EA Sports

Developer:

EA Tiburon

Players:

1-4

Online:

1-24

Release:

2010-06-08

Trophies:

24

Review summary

Gameplay:

Great with the controller; motion control needs work

Graphics:

Spangly greens and fairways, stupid spectators

Sound:

Reasonable commentary and effects

Lastability:

Lots of tournaments and online modes to try

8.4

Pulsar

Post a comment

Comment:

characters remaining.

User comments

MeteorStorm Random Quote Picker

QuoterQuoter

John Marston

It's you, or me. And the way I see it... it might as well be you.