In past incarnations of Tiger PGA, the presentation has always been well done. This year, EA looks to reinvent the in-game presentation to closely mimic the real broadcast. In a blog released today by developer Christian Brandt, he speaks of the focus on the upgrade of the presentation. Christian states, “This year, we put a lot of work into making the game look and feel more like a broadcast tournament than ever before. Some of the improvements we’ve made include in-game statistical updates, new tournament introductions and branding (including all four majors!), a new broadcast camera setting, time of day, new major specific tournament structures, and updated commentary from Jim Nantz and David Feherty.”
I can most certainly say updated commentary was needed as it has gotten stale over the past few years. The additions of sponsor branding to the tournaments is not needed, but helps to make you feel closer to what is represented on television. The new introductions will feature the branding (Honda Classic, Zurich Classic, etc) and Jim Nantz will comment on the pairing in the Quick Matches. Also included will be banner updates with live scoring from what’s going on in your tournament, both online and offline. The stats shown will consist of tournament, season, career, and country club as well.
Christian includes, “Compare Banners will compare your golfer vs. another (AI or another user), round vs. round scores, Country Club scores, and top players in a given stat category.” This is an excellent way to prove your worthiness against your friends. Christian also adds, “We also track weekly and lifetime statistics for your Country Club. At the end of each week, you can check your Country Club’s Hub to see how many stats you led in a given week. It’s always a nice bragging point when you lead in birdies or even aces at the end of the week. Check out how I stack up with my Country Club teammates in Greens Hit for the week.” He goes on to state a third type of leaderboard is just a mini-leaderboard that shows top six golfers.
Shot comparison views and graphics will be part of the experience as well. Players will now see tournament-specific information, including your golfer’s performance and even season updates like the FedEx Cup Rankings Money List, rather than the scoreboard load screen. Also, you will see first see your updated scorecard and score for the round/tournament right after sinking a putt. The focus is going to be to keep the round fresh, as there are 100 different loading update screens. There will also be a preview of the next hole to see how well the other golfers have done on it that day, so you know what to expect.
Christian goes on to conclude, “As if that’s not enough, we’ve also added a new Broadcast Camera setting that can be turned on in the Presentation Settings. We have over 3,3000 new cameras that were placed after our team did extensive research on where camera are placed on real world golf courses and how they track the ball through the air. You will see all-new blimp views, fairway cameras, green tower and greenside views, close ups, reverse angles, different spectator swing angles, and many more. If you prefer the classic Tiger follow ball camera, it still functions as the default camera mode. But if you want to get the full broadcast experience, I would recommend the Broadcast cameras.”
One thing I want to add that was announced late last week was the return to traditional DLC. Course Mastery has been removed for this title, and I do not think it’s a good call. This gives the player something to strive for and unlock, but the option is there to just purchase the course as well. I am not a fan of that approach, and I think this should be reconsidered.
Other than that, the new presentation upgrades and broadcast cameras look to make this game feel different. Couple this with the new custom swing animations, historic golfers and golfing, and lastly night golf, and this is the incarnation to get if you have been holding off. This could be the last major update this generation for this title as well.
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 releases on March 26th for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and March 29th worldwide.