Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 – The Masters (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

The first thing I noticed about the new Tiger Woods franchised game is a distinct lack of Tiger Woods on the cover. The cover always had his name in big letters and sported a picture of the golfing legend. Not so with EA’s Tour 12, The Masters. I wonder why? Hmmm…

Of course it still is a Tiger Woods game, and from EA you get what you’d expect. Great visuals, accurate details and the official PGA licenced gear and courses. That’s where these games excel – they are great golf simulations. Year-to-year though there must be a point of differentiation, this year it seems to be the removal of items and the focus on the career.

The main point of the game is to take on career mode and win the green jacket at Augusta (which apparently has never been offered as a course before). If you’re a golf game nut, or a golf nut that wants to live a virtual Tiger Woods life (minus the off-field soap opera drama of course) then this is the game for you.

One of the things that I had always liked about previous efforts was the ‘non-golf’ golf game, the mini-games and challenges. Challenges are built into the career mode as you play, but it’s not the same as selecting and playing short rounds of closest putt, targets and donkey.  As an actual round of golf, even a nine hole short game, takes a long time – these mini games made it accessible for multiplayer fun in short bursts, which added to the entertainment value. With these gone, you only really play when you want to play seriously. Perhaps this effort is for the purists alone.

As usual the gameplay and controls take some getting used to. Mashing it down the fairway relatively straight is always easy and satisfying. Finding the short slower flick to get a 60 percent swing to chip in is much harder. Same too with the short game – sometimes it seems like the green has a mind of its own. A new feature is the caddy assists, which tell you exactly what to do, but do not guarantee success, especially on the putting green.

All-in-all a good golf game, with some nice new features but some old favourites missing. It for golf fans and Tiger Woods fans, but it’s not the best if this is the first golf game you try.

Pros: Play the ultimate course, great golf action, career focus.
Cons: Short game and power accuracy difficult, removal of mini-games

3.7 Shacks out of 5