Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 review: The most wonderful thing about Tiger is, he's the only one
29th Mar 2012 | 10:27
Remember how you'd take a swing in every Tiger of the last ten years, and just slam the left stick up hard enough to snap the bloody thing off? Yep, turns out you've been wasting your time; Tiger never took the speed of your swing into account until now. Stop. Hang on. This changes everything.
Skate feels like skating, Fight Night feels like boxing, but Tiger's games never really felt like golf in the way the old Links games did. The swing was too forgiving, the HUD was too busy, and gimmicks - like Tiger 12's detested caddy - took precedence over immersion and ambience on the course.
Tiger 13 replaces the power bars, the caddy, and the buttons for everything control scheme with a slimline HUD and controls driven entirely by the sticks and triggers. The new swingometer exists in the game's world and follows the arc of your club, a tap on the left stick lets you scout the course ahead or check the lie of your ball, and the right stick lets you adjust your draw and fade and what loft you'll apply.
Once you've set up you'll swing your club to match the amount of draw and fade you chose - pulling back a little to the left or a little to the right - before swinging through the ball. In Tiger 13 you'll actually want to take a few practise swings as you feel it out, testing the rumble in the pad for the sweet spot and looking for the millimetre-wide gap where your swing feels just right. Once you find it, you'll want to strike the ball with a steady tempo, swinging slow for a shorter hit or absolutely twatting the ball if you want a monster drive. As we've already noted, it changes everything.
It's prettier too, with new depth of field effects and spectators who animate independently of the guy standing beside them. It's harder, with more room for skilful stick work and strategic play. You can relive Tiger's entire career, from the age of four right up to a point in the near future. You can set up your own online country club with friends. You can unlock DLC courses using in-game currency. But none of that would have mattered if it weren't for that new swing.
When you nail it, it feels perfect. You know. It feels like golf.