Let me get this out of the way first – no, Tiger Woods 07 for the PC is not next-gen. Period. Ok, now that I’ve talked about what this game isn’t, let’s discuss what it is.
What it is would be a great, but not perfect, golf simulation. I’ve been playing this series since the 2004 iteration and I have to say that this is by far the best golf game EA Sports’ has churned out so far. The graphics are still the same as they’ve been for a few years now and the create-a-player has gotten virtually no upgrades from last year. However, the gameplay itself has been streamlined and feels, for some reason, more like real golf then before. I’ve picked up the actual sport in the time since TW06 came out and when I went back to that game I felt it was somewhat underwhelming. TW07, though, feels more like what I’ve experienced out on the course. The swings feel more fluid and it gives a better sensation of coming out of tough lies. I’m still disappointed that the ball never seems to bury itself in the sand, though.
I’ve noticed that the game is less forgiving of bad swings, as well. Whereas in TW06 I could get away with a poor shot on Novice, in 07 there is a more strict level of difficulty, which I like allot. Golf isn’t a simple sport and just swinging like crazy shouldn’t net you a birdie. In this game, it doesn’t. Score one for EA.
The graphics, while not up to par with the Xbox 360 version, are still an improvement over last year’s. The improved lens flare and shadows are an especially nice touch. It’s neat to see the shadows from the canopy above play across the players during a round. I also like the improved water. In TW06 the water looked flat and unrealistic, the lighting and reflections in 07 make it look much better.
The Team Tour mode is rather lack-luster. EA seems to be having trouble coming up with a gimic beyond the PGA Tour mode. First there was a ‘play the legends’ game, then ‘travel through time,’ and now the Team Tour mode. They really need to settle on something and polish it right. Something new every year makes for a lot of unfinished modes and nothing memorable.
The create-a-player, or Game Face as it’s called, is still one of the best in the biz. True, they haven’t updated it in a long time but no one has caught them yet. I create myself and my golfing buddies when I play. It’s suprising to see how accurate it can be. The results are somewhat cartoonish, though, almost a caricature of a person. That may have something to do with the somewhat flat textures involved.
Still, is Tiger Woods 07 worth your money? If you love golf, then yes. With little competition on the PC other then Pro Stroke Golf (which I hope to review as well), it’s a no-brainer. It’s great golf, stagnant or not. Alphasim out.