If baseball is a game of inches, golf is a game of degrees. The loft of a driver; the slope of a fairway; whether a ball lies above or below your feet; an open or closed club face -- even a few degrees’ variation in any of these respects can significantly alter a shot’s path.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3)
Once you enter address mode, a white trail that represents the ideal arc of your swing appears around your golfer. PGA Tour 13’s updated animation system works in concert with Total Swing Control to present realistic visual cues to a swing’s potential for success. The game now translates your exact analog-stick motion into a swing: if you pull back and to the left, you’ll notice your golfer’s arms and club follow a red trail that deviates from the white arc. Upon swinging, an on-screen graphic provides feedback on the accuracy, power, and tempo of your flicking motion.
New in PGA Tour 13 is a mode called Tiger Legacy Challenge, in which you follow the arc of Woods’ career from his toddler years all the way through the rest of this decade. You play as Woods at seven different ages in ten eras of his career, reliving some of his most significant golfing milestones and creating some future ones. Each segment of his career includes an audio clip of Woods talking about the challenges he faced and the memories he has of those special moments, and it’s truly endearing to see one man’s passionate, lifelong pursuit of golfing greatness.
The most irritating aspect of the career mode -- and indeed, the entire game -- is the pervasive intrusion of paid content. It’s painfully obvious that EA really wants you to spend money in PGA Tour 13, whether it’s the in-game currency of Coins or real money in the form of Microsoft Points. The disc includes 16 courses, and EA is selling another 16 downloadable courses; the six additional courses exclusive to the Masters Collector’s Edition are not currently available for purchase. Tiburon had the audacity to integrate DLC courses into the career regardless of whether you have access to them, so you’ll occasionally come upon an event that you can’t initially play because you haven’t unlocked or purchased the course at which it’s taking place. (Thankfully, you can at least change the venue to an available course.)
The best way to earn Coins more quickly is to join friends in an online Country Club, essentially a clan. You can compare in-game accomplishments with members of your Club and compete for Club Champion titles, or join with your teammates to take on other Clubs and make your way up the leaderboards. It’s a fun setup that encourages each member of the Club to play as well as possible, and since it incorporates offline progress, you can be a social golfer without ever playing online.
THE VERDICT - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
Reviewed by Samit Sarkar
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