EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR Reviews

893,774 (516,775)
TA Score for this game: 1,294
Posted on 15 July 15 at 15:03, Edited on 17 July 15 at 10:13
This review has 18 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Many people call for a break from EA Sports yearly iterations, with there seemingly being not a great deal in improvement year on year, so with the change in their cover star from Tiger to Rory, plus the move to next-gen consoles, and over a 2 year hiatus, do we actually get a game worthy of your hard earned cash, or is it more like a double bogey at the last?

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Announced at E3 a little over a year ago, I remember being struck by how gorgeous the visuals were, and have continued to be in each bit of news for the game. Having played all the 360 iterations I was a little excited to play the new version, but even from just having played the full 10 hour trial, so not even forking out for a full copy, I feel a little cheated.

Personally I don’t think the visuals are as good as what they could be. Along with most of the game, they just seem a bit unfinished. Whilst I can forgive that, because they are still nice, they are numerous other aspects I can’t forgive. Such as the commentary. The commentary is repeated so much I seriously nearly muted it. I can’t imagine playing this version for long simply based on that fact alone. And EA seriously need to work out that what isn’t said is as important as what is sometimes. Plus the commentary is also out of whack a lot of the time. Play an awful shot in the rough and get praised, play an amazing shot 2 inch by the pin and they may say you are playing badly. They talk about shots you aren’t even taking. And this carries on into the animations too. Your character will dance around by hitting the fairway, nearly have an orgasm when putting a par from two feet, but the final putt when birdieing the last to win a major? Doesn’t make a big deal out of it at all. This is also reflected in the crowd noises, and animations, of which there seems to be one baseline noise and the crowd jumping around all the time. It just doesn’t add anything to the drama and tension of playing championship golf, in fact it completely detracts from it. Like I said, unfinished.

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It isn’t all bad though, I’m just being a critical reviewer. The gameplay, along with the courses, are what make a golf game and as usual the swing mechanics from EA Sports are pretty much perfect, and the courses are glorious from a gameplay sense. The tees make a difference, as does the wind, and hole placement makes it so it can be a challenge, or a nice relaxing round to sink a load of birdies. Sometimes you can’t see where your shot will go unless you rotate the camera 180 degrees, which is a tad annoying but not gamebreaking. The career has changed whereby you can play just a handful of holes each round or the full round. Although you can’t change the settings to 1 round, you have to play all 4 rounds of a championship.

Customising your golfer is unfortunately poor, you get a handful of pieces of clothing, and occasionally unlock more by levelling up, but the choice is pathetic. There are no different shot styles, or celebrations, which again, is quite poor considering this content has been in previous games.

A selling point perhaps is the new night time challenges, a variety of crazy golf esque mini games so to speak, with boosts such as a sticky boost which you can use to stop a ball dead on the green, or nitro to really make your ball fly. Whilst a nice change of pace, occasionally the difficulty spikes unexpectedly, with no clue on what to do, and once they are completed I can’t see anybody going back to them. To be perfectly frank I think EA may have been stuck for ideas and added the mode as a way to attract casual players, but it does make the game seem unsure about what it wants to be, caught in limbo between a true golf sim and an arcade golf game. There are only 8 real life courses at present, and a few fantasy courses, (including a Battlefield one), so it is a bit thin on the ground for content. Augusta, home to the Masters, is glaringly omitted, due to licensing. In news that will surprise nobody future courses are expected to be added via DLC.

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Old favourites such as bingo-bango-bongo are also omitted, with online play restricted to ranked or unranked games, and daily and weekly tournaments. Offline you can still have 4 people play with just one pad, but choice again is restricted to stroke or match play. Not even skins is present which to me is unforgivable.

Achievement wise it is basically win through your career, complete all the challenges, and there are a few tied to online. I got just under 700 gamerscore in 10 hours, and would say the 1000 is easy and will take around 15-20 hours depending on your pace through the challenges. It will take a lot longer if you play full 18 holes through career and don’t skip any events. Pro tip: You can skip quite a few, just get enough points to get to the top of the rankings and fedex rankings, basically just play the majors and a couple of other tournaments.

The advent of EA Access means golf on Xbox is brought to a wider audience too, and in particular achievement hunters, as the 10 hour trial allows you to gain achievements in that time.

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So all in all is the game worth your money? I would have to say no. Everyone will have their favourite PGA game and their least favourite. This version feels to me like, (in my opinion), Tiger 10/11 when it wasn’t so good. I think I will rent to finish the achievements but unless something drastic happens will wait till next years to see improvement. However if you don’t usually play EA golf games you may think this game is great and it could be worth the outlay, the problem being that having played all the other versions it makes me critical and yearn for perfection. If this is the first golf game you’ve played you may very well love it. It’s all about perspective.

Overall it’s not that bad and I’ll give it 6/10. It is still nice to play, (perhaps with the sound off), and as a baseline for future Xbox One versions, if we see major improvements next time out I may look back and see why this one isn’t so great. I would recommend EA do what they do best, and that is make a real golf sim, and if they want to cash in on casual arcade sports players make a fantasy golf game for them. You can’t have it both ways. The game was released to coincide with the Open championship and you can tell it has been rushed out. So next time they should make sure the game is fully complete because this to me is an unfinished article. A bit like Tiger Woods these days. Perhaps they should have stuck with him.
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