A review of EA Sports “Rory MCIlroy PGA Tour.” EA Sports most recent entry into the golf video game market has hit a hole in one.
By Ernie DeFalco
EA Sports has rebooted its golf series this year. After a short hiatus the new game has been created for new gaming engines sports new graphics, new swing controls, and a new featured golfer.
Gone is Tiger Woods, replaced by gold superstar, Rory McIlroy.
Added are beautiful landscapes, fast load times, and the shouts of “BaBa Booey” after a good opening tee shot. (For real).
The most frustrating part Rory McIlroy PGA Tour happens upon first play. After downloading the game (for those who do not purchase the game disc), the game forces the user to play a select set of holes from a “simulated final round” of golf between Rory McIlroy and another golfer. The prologue was slow moving and simply took too long to play. Rory McIlroy would interject stories from his experiences to further slow things down. Make the prologue an option fine, but do not force a gamer to play the entire simulation. Gamers tend not to have that sort of patience.
After the prologue concluded (you either win or lose the tournament), you are brought to the game menu. The game however was still installing so to compensate for the install time, one course was available immediately as was a list of pro golfers to choose to play as. Once the game fully installs all of the options become available. Players can choose from different game modes including “just play”, “career mode”, “online play”, and “night club challenge” which is a series of challenges set at night in neon, with music playing. Everything is always more fun in neon right?
Players can the choose from 12 courses, some real courses like TPC Sawgrass and some not so real like the Battlefield 4 Parcel Storm Course. The courses are beautifully done. There is a lot of detail in the courses. That detail is often lost though because players are concentrating on the task at hand, whether swinging or following the path of the ball, the scenery becomes an afterthought.
One of the better aspects of the game are the three levels of game play (difficulty). The main two are Arcade and Tour mode. Tour mode is difficult, but a lot still fun. Wind will affect play more, as will variations in the players back and forward swing paths. Putting is also more difficult as the player is really left on his own to read green breaks and distance. Like real golf, tour mode presents a real challenge, where the gamer may find themselves cursing just like on the real course.
Arcade mode on the other hand is much easier to play and still a lot of fun. The arcade mode offers the player a lot more “room for error.” While easier, players will still get penalized for poor shots. So it is not so easy that it makes the game less fun. No matter the mode, just like real golf, the player will make it or break it on the green.
Career mode allows the player to create their own golfers. The user can customize the look and background of the golfer including picking outfits, golf clubs, shoes, etc. Once the golfer is created the golfer then begins his pro career. Expect to hit short drives and lose in the beginning. During that time the golfer’s attributes will continue to get better. And little by little the golfer will become better. He will get better club options, better balls, and more skill. The user can create multiple golfers as well. Which is nice, because the player can use the created golfers in “Just Play” mode in lieu of choosing a golf professional. This is fun when playing with family. As each of you can have your own golfer.
The true beauty of Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is its simplicity. The ease of Arcade mode is a real hole-in-one. It is refreshing to be able to play a video game and not have to worry about memorizing and having the ability to manipulate 112 different button combinations. There are not a lot of sports games, or games in general, that can be played by the entire family. The grip and rip ease of Arcade mode with the “match play” option (quicker game) makes some perfect family time. Kids of all ages can play, they really can. Mine are four, six and right yet managed to get through multiple rounds of 18 holes. The developers also took the time to place random animals all over the courses, from alligators to rabbits. These little things keep the kids attention during other player’s turns.
Admittedly I am not a hard core gamer. I want games to look pleasing and offer a fun experience. While the game was met with a lot of hostility from many game reviewers, I disagree. It is a game. Games are meant to be fun. And this game is fun. It looks nice, plays fast, is easy to play, while still offering up enough of a challenge. Its customization allows the player to set how difficult or easy the game play will be. Players can pick and choose what settings they wish to use, making it fun and playable for all ages.
Fore! More like a 10!
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