Tiger-Woods-13---Tiger-Wood.jpg © EA Sports

In this week’s Red Bull Gaming Blog, Glen Ferris gets into the swing of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 before digging out some information about PlayStation 3’s potential successor and EA’s download-only Euro 2012 tie-in…

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 – Review

The clocks have gone forward, the daffodils are out and the new Tiger Woods game is in the shops ahead of golf tournament season – looks like spring has well and truly sprung.

The latest in EA’s evergreen golfing series marks a major departure from what’s come before, as Tiger embarks on an odyssey to rescue a princess, slay a dragon and save a kingdom… Nah, not really, it’s business as usual and by that we mean hitting a white ball across a lot of grass in search of a tiny hole.

To say the PGA Tour games have always followed a tried-and-tested formula is something of an understatement. That said, the 13th iteration has had the good sense to come up with a few new ideas that inject some much-needed vitality into the old dog. Chief among the changes is the introduction of the new Total Swing Control (a control system that intuitively lets you take your shots with incredible precision) and the brand-new Kinect capabilities for Xbox 360 (PlayStation users have been able to play the game with Move for a good few years now). Now, the former is undeniably the better way of playing the game but the Kinect option, inaccurate and fiddly as it can be, does work well as a distracting novelty.

Also new to the series is the rather weird Tiger Legacy Challenge, an option that allows you to live out Mr Wood’s career from a toddler, knocking balls about in his parents’ back yard to a near-future scenario featuring a be-goateed Tiger and possibly a hover golf buggy. If you’ve always wanted to walk in the links legend’s footsteps then you’ll love this. For the rest of us, however, it’s all bit disturbing, especially when you notice the digitised Woods The Younger looks a bit like Diff’rent Strokes-era Gary Coleman.

Happily, the good old Career Mode makes up for this bizarre distraction and the combination of the new control system, an attractive digital makeover and the inclusion of some famous players (including Red Bull’s very own Rickie Fowler) makes for a very satisfying game. XP points and virtual coins are given out as you proceed through the various challenges and rewards are unlocked accordingly, but they’re not easy to come by and players may well be tempted to say a virtual ‘Sod it’ and shell out for the downloadable content - something EA may well be hedging their bets on by making some missions damn tough to complete.

If you’re happy to stick with the selection of courses and modes on offer out of the box, you’ll find a quality game that has the good sense to squeeze in enough updates to make a purchase worthwhile. If, however, you plan on playing the game to death and are likely to get irked by the prospect of having to pay above the odds for extra content that should really be available from the offing, you may want to think long and hard before taking a shot. 

 

Byte-Sized Bits

  • Despite the official announcement that there will be no official announcement at this year’s E3, interesting tidbits of information about Sony’s next-gen console are still leaking out of the wholly reliable cauldron of information that is the interweb. Kotaku tells us they are reliably informed that the PlayStation 4 is likely to hit shops at the end of 2013. What’s more interesting is that the super console may in fact not be called the PlayStation 4 (the name Orbis – Latin for circle or ring – has been bandied about with some authority) and it will probably not be backwards compatible (that means the games you already own will no longer be playable because of new measures to halt the trading-in of used titles). What’s more, you’ll apparently require a permanent online connection, have to log into PSN every time you want to play (even if you stay offline), games will be non-physical (bye-bye trusty discs) and you’ll need a TV that’s futuristic enough to handle the mooted 4096x2160 HD capabilities. Of course, this has all yet to be officially confirmed (and that’s looking like being a way off), so don’t go fretting about upgrading your home entertainment set up just yet – still, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start saving just in case.
     
  • While we’re on the subject of download-only titles, EA have confirmed that the official UEFA Euro 2012 tie-in game will not be for sale in shops and will only be available as a downloadable expansion for FIFA 12. Traditionally, the big football tournaments have been given a dedicated games release, but not this year it seems as EA tries out something different. If you already own FIFA 12, then the download (which will set you back cost 1,800 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360, 2,500 FIFA Points on PC or £15.99/19 EUR on PlayStation 3) will include all of the 53 UEFA member national teams and feature the eight official stadiums. How much you’re excited about this news depends on 1) If you already own FIFA 12, 2) That you can afford the relatively hefty download price tag, and 3) That you give a toss about football in the first place. We’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
     

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