Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters Review

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is the next in the acclaimed Tiger Woods series. Considering the recent Tiger Woods fallout, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters will be a welcome release for not only him, but for golf fans around the round. Although, imagine if there was playable story mode feature in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters. Now that would make for some interesting gaming! Anyway, back to what Tiger Woods does best (well in the gaming genre at least) time to dust off those golfing gloves and call your caddie as this could be a vintage year for the Tiger Woods franchise.

It’s quite an involving start, as you begin as Tiger Woods on the 18th hole, it’s the final round and you’re playing at the Augusta National, giving you an opportunity to win the green jacket for a fifth time! Personally, I like these introductions but some of you might want to have the option at the beginning to choose how you start, but where’s the fun in that? You’ll soon realise the usual EA gloss and professionalism is present again early on as you’re treated to an easy to navigate menu system and a whole range of game modes/options.

For the first time in the franchises esteemed history, you are able to play on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National to experience the tradition of the Masters tournament. For golf fans this is a big inclusion, but for everyone else, it’s just another beautifully depicted course to harness your skills on. There are several other courses to get to grips with such as St Andrews, East Lake and Pebble Beach. You can play these courses, or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous with your clubs, then you can also try out some of the downloadable fantasy courses which includes The Highlands and Emerald Dragon. All the real courses are based on their real life counterparts, so for every golf obsessive or budding groundsman, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is a joy to behold.

Like any EA game, all the names are here whether it’s Bubba Watson, past Masters champion Zach Johnson or Phil Mickleson. Their relevant skill set and appearance reflects their real life counterparts. This is something EA does well, and in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters they have delivered once again.

The career mode concerns itself with working your way to qualifying for The Masters. You start off in amateur tournaments, go through a qualifying school and a series of further tournaments to turn into a Pro. Once you’ve turned Pro you’ll be able to compete in professional tournaments which hopefully will lead to an invitation to The Masters. This career mode has more depth to it compared to previous Tiger Woods games and is a step in the right direction. When you eventually get the invite you’ll feel all the hard work and frustrating early bogeys were worth the effort. There is also a Masters Moments option where you get a chance to recreate history, whether it’s with Gene Sarazenin 1935 and “The shot heard around the world’ or Jack Nicklaus in 1986. These moments are a great addition, especially for golfing aficionados, whilst also adding further depth to the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters experience.

The courses are all very detailed and give a very real sense of relaxation, especially if you’re using the Move control. Of course, practice makes perfect so you will need to take the time to hone your skills whether it’s getting the most power out of a shot or applying a little bit of fade. The caddie element is a clever addition to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters. In essence they act as a help system recommending shots. The caddie gives a lot of good advice and options during your career, they also are able to level up which means their advice becomes more in-depth and less generalised. You don’t need to listen to them, but for the most part it’s in your interests to do so.

Jim Nantz lends his voice to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, which adds further polish to an already excellent game. Like previous games, the commentary is engaging at the start but the longer you hear it the more repetitive it becomes. You’ll also begin to get annoyed when the commentators seem unaware of the current circumstances, i.e. you’re on the last hole and a birdie away from winning the tournament, or you’ve got to par to stay in contention. The commentators at times seem to treat the hole as any other run of the mill hole.

There’s lots of fun to be had multiplayer-wise, whether it’s online or against friends. Luckily you can transfer over experience points from the previous Tiger Woods game to give you a jump start, a tad unfair for new players but it gives old players a boost they thought they wouldn’t have. There’s the usual Match Play, Four Ball, Greensome etc alongside some mini-games such as a longest drive contest or a closest to the flag match up. These modes offer much more longevity in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters because they are so simple to pick up and play.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is an excellent game but just needs a little more time and effort to confidently wear the green jacket. It’s a thoroughly polished and professional product, but that’s part of the problem, a sporting simulation that ticks all the boxes tends to lose a little bit of soul and this is the case with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters. If you’re a golfing/sports fan then Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is a fantastically detailed and excellent addition to the Tiger Woods series which you will play for hours, or at least until you get cramp.

Bonus Stage Rating - Very Good 8/10

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to press@4gn.co.uk.

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