Over the last three years EA has released an annual installment to their Tiger Woods PGA Tour series. For 2009 it’s PGA Tour 10, and in this game EA intends to resolve many of the franchise’s big recurring issues, namely the game’s ability to determine the players’ draw and fade they put into their shots. The game is also seeing an improvement in graphics and gameplay. I’ll explain how.
The visuals in past PGA Tour games have been, to say the least, bland and lifeless. So it’s good news that EA has developed an almost complete graphics system overhaul. The result is that the atmosphere is surprisingly more immersive, as every in-game object(such as trees and bushes) has animations and movements, and it all just feels much more alive.
Another surprising feature that tends to shake up the visuals is a weather system that makes use of the Wii’s Forecast Channel. PGA Tour 10’s experience can correlate with current real-life weather conditions, such as sun, clouds, rain, and even specific wind speeds. In fact, the system is so accurate and responsive that the weather conditions can alter while you are in the middle of a round. If it starts raining outside or in your area, it’ll start raining in PGA Tour 10. This feature isn’t simply there to look good, either, but can affect gameplay significantly. For example, rain can moisturize the ground and often reduce shot distances.
But perhaps the biggest issue, as I have mentioned before, that of the game’s inaccuracy when it came to detecting the player’s movements. EA has been able to solve this thanks to the new WiiMotionPlus peripheral, which allows for better accuracy and player immersion. This is made possible because the WiiMotionPlus peripheral allows the game to be able to read the remote’s movements in 3D space. As a result a player’s rotation and orientation can be read by the remote. In fact, in terms of draw and fade, EA representatives have gone so far as to hail it as 100% consistent.
The fact that this can be pulled off using the Wii is both impressive and promising, so while it may be true that it may very well be a golfing game cash-in that uses Tiger Woods’ name to draw in buyers, it appears to be a very worthwhile and intuitive one. Tiger Woods PGA Tour games have proved substantial in the past, and 10 looks like it will be the best one yet.