First, I'd like to say that I have purchased Tiger Woods PGA Tour games every year going on 5-6 years. It's the best and kind of the only golf simulation that money can buy as far as console games go.
After reading IGN's review yesterday, I can see how some may shy away from this year's title. That being said, I really think this game might be the best that EA has put out in roughly 3 years. The completely revamped swing mechanics, realistic golf pace, and finely tuned graphics make this the best PGA Tour title I've played yet.
One thing TW 13 doesn't do is really explain how the new swing mechanics work. That being said, if you've ever swung a golf club using your left thumb, it's really not that much different from past titles. The trick here is that it's just more sensitive. In past titles, there was an emphasis on percentage. What percentage should I swing to make the ball go where I want it to go? This year, it's really more about "feel." As a real-time golfer I actually love this element. It's much more realistic to actually being out on the golf course! The new swing mechanics, along w/ the millions of ways you can shape a shot, single handedly force you to slow down and critique what you're doing before just getting up and hitting the snot out of the ball... For someone who plays golf and respects what it does to you mentally, this game comes as close as possible to that. If you make a good shot, you feel that you made a good shot b/c the game forces you to commit to it before hitting it. If you hit a bad shot, you can probably look back on it and realize WHY you hit the shot poorly. In short, the game gives you an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you finish a round at five under or even par on higher difficulty's. I've had a couple of rounds so far that after I completed them was just blown away at how hard I had to work at shooting 2 under!
Finally, the graphics appear to be quite a bit better. Despite some frame rate issues, the graphics are wonderful. It seems like everything is scaled more proportionally and finely tuned. The only part of the graphics that is still lacking is, of course, water...I'll save that argument for another day. But, seriously, EA, fix the water.
One piece of advice I'll give out to whoever is reading this...Spend the extra $10 on the Collector's Edition of the game. It pains me to say that b/c it seems to get worse and worse w/ EA every year, but the extra $10 in this case has proven to be worth the 6 extra courses alone. They want $30 for a 5 course pack and another $40 for the remaining 11 that are DLC only. With the Collector's Edition you get 6 more courses for essentially an extra $10.
So, if you're looking for an incredibly solid, sometimes frustrating, immersive golf experience, then TW PGA Tour 13 is for you! If you're looking for SPEED GOLF, then this game is NOT for you!