Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’14 Review
After last year’s poor display of the best golf franchise in video games, EA Tiburon is back this year with Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’14. A lot of great things have been added to this year’s game, including the Legends of the Majors mode. However, those looking forward to the career mode and playing online, they may be a bit disappointed. Career mode hasn’t been changed much, just tweaked a little. The same goes for online play, just a few minor changes. All in all, this year’s Tiger woods is a strong step up from last year’s travesty.
Legends of the Masters
This year’s biggest and most advertised addition is the The Legends of the Majors mode. Just like re-living Tiger Woods incredible golf journey or reliving the greatest moments from The Masters, Legends of the Majors follows the same premise.
Players will begin a journey through the history of golf in this mode. Much like previous years, these game modes all follow the same setup. You will go through a series of mini-games before facing a “boss” level in which you play a golf legend and challenge to him to hopefully beat him and unlock him in gameplay. These ‘mini-games’ are quite challenging at times but are more fun than stressful. You will start all the way back in 1837 to start your journey and go all the way to Bubba Watson’s incredible playoff hole at the 2012 Masters.
This game mode setup seems pretty standard these days from EA Sports, but this year’s was definitely my favorite. Sure, it was cool to relive and recreate some of Tiger Woods’ greatest moments, or recreating some of the most memorable times at Augusta, but this year’s presentation was outstanding. You’ll play in black and white to start off playing with 1800’s style clubs and the presentation changes as time goes on, giving you a real feel of authenticity and feel of reliving golf from the beginning.
Check out the trailer for Legends of the Majors in this Years Tiger Woods 14:
Probably the most prominent feature every year of Tiger Woods is the ever changing career mode. Minor tweaks and turns have been made to perfect this mode and I believe EA Sports has gotten pretty damn close. This is the first year that players can compete for the Grand Slam in their seasons of the PGA tour. That is correct, this year you get The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open, and the PGA Championship to compete in.
Players will start their career as any other year has started, player creation. We all know that if you have a camera, Playstation eye, or Xbox Vision than we know you can make a freakishly similar looking golfer to yourself. After you have done that, players will play the one-round Amateur Championship. If you can’t win this event right off the bat your going to have a hard time with this game immediately. After winning the event, your player gets put on the Web.com tour before you actually get a PGA Card. From the Web.com tour, you have to win at least 3 events to grab your PGA card and start the real fun, getting new clubs and racking up attribute points to make your golfer hit 350 off the tee with no problem.
There are a few changes to this year’s career mode, some good and some bad. My favorite feature that was changed was Sponsorships. Honestly, I despised this the last few years. Instead of having to work through each sponsorship and having to worry about dropping one and losing some stuff you could have unlocked, EA Sports drastically changed the way you unlock equipment.
This year, players will progress their player through a leveling system. With each level you rank up you earn four attribute points, and earn certain equipment for that level. Currently, I am a level 80 golfer (It goes up to 100); and I have quite the arsenal of signature brands and my attributes are getting pretty powerful.
I recommend if your a novice to the Tiger Woods franchise, I would keep the difficulty on normal to get used to the few changes this year, and then take it up a notch to Tour Pro difficulty. If the AI is turned up to very hard, it makes the game challenging and quite addictingly fun.
While there is a lot of glitz and glamour in the new Legends of the Majors mode, the actual gameplay of Tiger Woods ’14 is somewhat the same. The swing stick and shot shaping is back this year and is unchanged. Honestly, this system works perfectly well so I see no need to change something that works.
The shot shaping and left stick system really relies on the rhythm you get from playing with your golfer for rounds upon rounds. It makes the game seem so realistic, you can be crushing down the fairway for the entire round and slice a drive into the trees on the 18th.
My favorite change, is that your caddie no longer exists this year. I thought last years feature of asking Caddie Tips was sort of cheap in a way. If you had gold mastery of a course you could shoot 15 under in one round with no trouble. Eliminating this really makes this game true to life. With the swing mechanics and some of the brutal courses, you can definitely shoot higher than usual which makes this so challenging and fun than shooting 40 under par for 4 rounds.
Finally, the biggest addition in my opinion is the option to choose what kind of golfer you will play with. You get the option to choose a ‘Power’ or ‘Control’ golfer. You also get to choose if your golfer is a fade or a draw player as well as what kind of trajectory your golfer will have (high, medium, low). Power golfers will obviously have more power attributes but take a hit on accuracy and recovery. Control golfers are the complete opposite, incredible accuracy but lacking in the power department.
The only major change to the online gameplay of Tiger Woods ’14 is the Online Country Clubs. These were little online ‘clans’ of golfers that could be maxed to 25 players. This year that has been upped to 100 players. When progressing in your career, you will get placed into a ‘Default’ country club that shows weekly stats and progress as your career plays on.
Just like in Tiger Woods 2013, this years game lets you create your own Online Country Club giving you the fun options to host a club tournament or go head to head with some of your best friends/enemies.
Tiger Woods 2014 is a more or less same game of 2013 but tweaked to make the game better for avid fans. With the lucrative ‘Legends of the Majors’ mode and the fun aspects of career mode that are loved, this game is definitely a must buy for golf fans and sports fans themselves.