July 14, 2019 at 4:41 PM #1387
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
Rating: 3.0 – Fair
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour Struggles to Make Par
EA Sports finally bring golfers a next gen golfing game after a long two year wait. EA started from scratch with the whole gameplay mechanics and title name. After dumping Tiger Woods, it was suggested that the game was just going to be released as EA Sports PGA Tour. After much debate online, they finally announced that Rory McIlroy would be their go to guy. Not sure how long this series will last with his name or if they will continue to advertise other professionals throughout the Tour.
One of the biggest notable mentions in this years PGA Tour was the addition of a new gaming engine called Frostbite 3. EA uses this for some of their bigger title games such as Battlefield. With this addition, they got rid of loading menus between holes, as well as bigger golf courses. Now if you hit your ball 50 yards left onto a fairway from another hole, you can still play your ball to your green. This was a huge addition to me because any mistakes you may have made on previous PGA Tour games you would just be penalized for an “out of bounds” when you hit your ball 10 yards past the green behind the fans? Also, getting rid of the wait times between holes has been absolutely magnificent. They estimated that this would save gamers an average of 10-15 minutes per 18 hole rounds. I have tested this out with over 10 hours of gameplay and it’s absolutely amazing. The wait time after finishing a hole is typically less than 7-10 seconds. This makes rounds go by much faster and makes the game much more enjoyable.
Also some minor new additions are rules integrated into your round. If you hit the ball into the water now you have an option on what you would like to do. For avid golfers like myself, I love this feature. A menu will pop up with three options (picture above) that allows you to decide what you would like to do. While many would suspect that you’d want point of entry because it’s closer to the hole, it might set you up for a bad second shot with trees or other obstructions. In previous editions, the game would automatically place the ball for you and this could hurt your score drastically if they place you in an awkward lie with a terrible next shot.
With this newest installment onto next gen consoles, they also added a totally new broadcast and fan base. Broadcasting will change for various tournaments, including Golf Channel, NBC Sports, etc. for bigger tournaments and then EA Sports coverage for smaller fictional tournaments. The broadcasters aren’t too repetitive and they seem more realistic now rather than a hassle to listen too. The fan base at tournaments will scream various lines after you hit the ball, as well as get excited when you hit a great shot on the green. Thankfully, for once, this sounds realistic rather than comforting. The sounds after you hit the ball are rather poor. Some drivers (such as Rory’s) will sound realistic but for some clubs like your 3 wood it just sounds like you chunked the ball. I’m not sure how realistic EA Sports got with the sounds of clubs but other than that all the rest of the sounds seem relatively nice.
Unfortunately, the excitement stops quickly in this newest PGA Tour game. With all the recent additions, I found myself rather happy and pleased with this newest game. With absolutely amazing and stunning displays of graphics on the golf course, new broadcasting, and rather difficult playing conditions this game has finally pointed towards a realistic direction. EA Sports failed to include content for their fans though. On initial launch they only had 8 real golf courses in the game and 12 PGA Tour golfers…excluding some of the fan favorites like Michelson, Woods, Watson…? I’m not exactly sure what their argument was for this but this was just absolutely absurd. They’ve released that they will include more players and golf courses after the launch at no additional cost but many fans are wonder how long that will take? The newest trend for EA Sports is to release sports games with new top notch gameplay but forget to include all the game features or game modes. Many critics are already slamming the game with terrible reviews about how awful this is towards fans. I agree with them completely.
The PGA Tour career has some small additions that I enjoyed, like your progress level on your golfer. Your golfer attributes will automatically go up which is nice so my overall rating seems to increase pretty fast. In just 6 hour of gameplay, I already had my golfer past a level 40. With the newest simulated rounds feature, it makes it that much more realistic and difficult to win events on tour as a rookie. They allow you play anywhere from 4-9ish holes each day. They will simulate the rest of your rounds…so you better do good when you have a chance or else you’ll find yourself placing lots of finishes outside the top 10 if your golfer is at a low rating. Unfortunately, with the terrible amount of golf courses, the PGA Tour events that are provided for you are absolutely absurd. EA doesn’t have a contract with Augusta National anymore, losing the rights for the Masters. They still include the other 3 major’s but without Augusta the Tour feels absent. Instead of showing a calendar of events to chose from you MUST play every event. The only way I’ve simulated around this was to enter the round and then just withdraw on day 1. I like to keep it realistic like a real PGA Tour pro would. Lots of events in your career are fictional events at the same golf courses you played a previous event at (because of the lack of golf courses). You’ll play lots of random events like the Boston Open, International Challenge, EA Sports Challenge, etc… which is a huge step back from their last installment that felt like much of your career was in actual real world PGA Tour events.
EA seemed like they wanted to target fans from various interests. They did this with adding challenges and fun golf courses, such as a Battlefield Par 3 course seen above. This newest addition didn’t bother me except for the fact that it seems the time wasted on created this feature could have been put forth to adding more golfers and courses. While having fantasy courses is a fun side game to play and the midnight challenge is fun to play initially, after time it becomes rather repetitive with the minimal amount of courses. It’s hard to tell what type of audiences they were trying to target because your golfer acts like a drunk immature professional on the course. After I hit the ball on the green I typically get annoyed by the display my “professional” puts on the screen. You can see your golfer imitate swinging a bat, doing the robot dance, swinging his club in a cartwheel, acting like a spaz, etc. While this seems more appropriate for the Battlefield play now course, it’s definitely annoying to see in your PGA Tour career mode. Talk about unrealistic way to keep your composure. I have not seen this display when you play with an actual Tour professional though, which is good.
The online interace seems somewhat decent. They included their online tournaments, but yet again due to the lack of golf courses they failed to include in the actual real time PGA Tour events…which was always fun to compete in with the actual pro’s on the same day.
After a long brutal wait, EA Sports finally produced a whole new golf game that we’ve never seen before. With the reduced wait time to play, newest golf engine, and beautiful displays around the course, it seems as though this game was a total hit. After some digging around the menus you feel as though you’ve been robbed of your $60. The game lacks content worse than any other PGA Tour game I’ve ever played. It’s missing numerous golf courses that use to be in the game and it’s hard to tell how long we will have to wait. Will they actually hold up their end of the deal and provide them for free or did EA, yet again, purposely do this to milk their fans dry of more money for 18 extra holes of golf. Either way, it’s a terrible display of content and makes the game seem almost unplayable after 25+ hours of gameplay. For avid golf fans, they will enjoy the addition of newest features like new broadcasting, bigger golf courses, and availability for how you want to take your penalty. For other fans, they will feel absolutely robbed and bored after playing this game. EA Sports is headed in the right direction with realistic gameplay, audio, broadcasting, and graphics but seems almost clueless when it comes to in game content. Hopefully this is just a building block for a juicier and bigger content game coming next summer. Regardless, this game could wait a few months and be bought for half it’s price. Hopefully EA learns from their fans and actually attempts to make birdie next time. It seems like they’re happy with their bogey effort. For avid fans you’ll enjoy the game slightly but have many disappointments. For typical golf fans, wait to spend your money. The mechanics are there, but the game needs a lot more features…
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