Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters
This isn't just another year for Tiger. He's no longer ranked number one in the world, and his balls haven't been finding their way to their usual home. EA Sports is also taking the opportunity to reshape its golf franchise, but instead of shying away from its now-controversial coverstar, it's bringing him back to the course that hosted some of his greatest moments – Augusta. And that's just the beginning for the changes to this year's Tiger, which is different from top to bottom.
THE MASTERS AT AUGUSTA
Not only is the legendary course and the Masters tournament included (as well as the par 3 course), but it's folded into the overall Tiger experience.
- The Tradition: Right when you start up the game, you'll see a video showcasing this course's special place in golf lore narrated by game commentator Jim Nantz. Then you'll drop right into Tiger's shoes as he tries to win his fifth Masters.
- Masters Moments: Play through nine of the best holes or shots in Masters' history. Each challenge includes criteria for passing and mastering, and if you complete all nine you win an exemption into the Masters.
- The Rules: Augusta has its own special way of doing things, and course officials worked with EA to make sure everything in the game was up to Augusta snuff, right down to the official Masters scorecard.
- Tiger at the Masters: Play through Tiger's wins at Augusta in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, and also compete in 2011 with live field scores.
Caddies are an integral part of Tiger 12 and are shown onscreen before your shot.
- Caddies give you recommended shots (and the corresponding swing percentage) based on varying clubs, overall shot difficulty, wind, and different approach strategies. You can also ignore their advice and just hit the ball like you used to, but caddies are kind of like Madden's new GameFlow system in that they streamline some of the decisions you have to make.
- Based on your caddy's recommendations, you'll see the usual circle spot where your ball will likely land based on the your swing percentage and other factors. As your attributes get better and you play more on courses with your caddy, you'll get "course mastery," which improves your caddy's info.
The franchises' Tiger Challenges have now been integrated into an overall career structure that gets you playing on the tour faster.
- Work you way up the ladder from the EA tour, Amateur Tour, Nationwide Tour, Q-School, and the PGA Tour. If you're good enough you can even skip the Nationwide Tour.
- Each event will have Training and Sponsor Challenges, which effectively replace the Tiger Challenges.
- The Presidents Cup at Melbourne is included.
- Equipment in your career mode (including the chance to earn high-end prototype clubs) is no longer bought with XP; instead it is unlocked and won as you progress through your career and achieve different tiers with your sponsor (see more below).
- Each sponsorship with club manufacturers has four tiers that contain challenge criteria that you must meet before you can advance to the next tier and unlock more stuff in the pro shop. You can switch sponsors, but in a bid to encourage an ongoing relationship with your sponsor, there will be a penalty in that some of the objectives you've earned will be lost.
- New steamlined presentation gets you golfing faster and reduces some of the menu maze.
- Mid-round saves!
- Skip/Simulate Rounds (you can only do this up to the final round)
- New Courses: Atlanta Athletic Club, Royal Melbourne Golf Club, The Els Club, The Dunes Course at Costa Navarino, and TPC San Antonio.
- New golfers including Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson
- DLC courses will be folded into your career events.
- Online Challenges return!
- Pins & Bag Tags: This in-game achievement system replaces the trophy balls. Bag tags are for each event you play at a course, and the pins go on the tags for specific achievements at that course.
- Choke: There are now two choke settings for your clubs in certain situations.
- Updated player models and 3D grass.
- Import XP from Tiger 11
Looking at the breadth of this year's new features and the way they are arranged in the game, we're excited for the changes and additions. It looks like all together it's looking like a good step forward for the franchise.[Video]