Tiger Woods has had a facelift this year thanks to EA. We are not talking about the man himself of course, but the game of the now different name. EA Masters, or to give it the full name, EA Masters Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is back for yet another round, but does having a new name really make this worth paying attention to?
As the title suggests EA has used this year’s game to focus on golfing’s biggest event, The Masters. Everything about the game seems to focus on this, which you will soon discover as you load the game up. Basically your main aim for the whole game is to become a pro-golfer and work your way to that green jacket. Along the way you are given incentives and more as you try to complete sponsors challenges, win amateur tournaments and generally just try to work your way up the ranks.
Throughout the whole game you are accompanied by your caddy who gives you useful tips and generally talks at you while you try to keep the ball from going in the drink. The caddy is actually quite a useful fella, especially if like me you don’t know your birdies from your double bogeys. Making use of the caddy is actually quite a good idea because he will certainly give you plenty of useful advice, and beyond all odds he actually helped me to score less than the double figures that usually make their way onto my scorecard in golf games (yes I’m useless).
The gameplay itself is fairly simple, swinging your club (on the Xbox 360 version we played) is simply a case of pulling back on the analogue stick and then swinging up, to the side, or whatever way you want, in order to hit the ball in the desired direction. The beauty of playing in this way is that you control the power and spin etc, meaning getting the perfect shot shouldn’t be too difficult (although if you play like me it often is). All of the features from last year’s game, such as the ability to use focus to increase aim etc are still there, and as you progress you still have the opportunity to customise your character in the way you choose; therefore you can pick the areas of your golfers game you wish to increase stats on from the experience you have gained from playing. Players will also unlock new items such as shoes, clothes and clubs, all of which are branded. This is obviously great if you are a golfing enthusiast.
Moving on from the career mode there are plenty of other options to keep you busy, such as Masters Moments, a challenge Tiger mode where you need to play as Tiger Woods through his Masters Tournament wins and beat his scores, and of course you can get some multiplayer on, either locally or online. There are of course online tournaments to be played in, as well as the opportunity to play in the President’s Cup.
Altogether there are 16 courses for you to get to grips with, and more are obviously planned via Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. You also have the ability to buy new items via the online stores, so you will have plenty of ways to spend your cash if you really want to.
Graphically the game is as stunning as you would expect, the golfers all look fantastic, as do the fairways, greens and the courses in general. Being an EA Sports game the presentation elsewhere is also pretty much perfect, the menus are clean and easy to navigate, the atmosphere on the course is excellent and the commentary is as realistic as you get.
16 courses is a bit of a letdown considering the Wii version has 25, overall though, Masters 12 is as close to perfect as you will get without wandering down to your local course and cutting the grass up for real. Whatever version of Masters 12 you choose you are in for a treat, especially if you are a big golfing fan who longs for the smell of that green jacket.
You can order your copy Masters: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 here.