Launching a new console is a tricky thing to do, and even trickier is the need for exciting and new launch titles. Rather than take on “exciting and new” however, EA has put its initial faith in the tried and true with the PlayStation 3. Tiger Woods PGA Tour has always been a solid gold title, regardless of the system it’s been on. With that being said, the 2007 iteration of Tiger Woods does improve on the already solid title, and does some things a little differently than its little brother on the previous generation. When it comes to golfing titles, I personally find little reason to upgrade year in year out, as any changes to the lineup of pro golfers are minimal, and new courses are a rarity as well. It seems like EA also found little reason to upgrade between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour plays, feels and contains almost the exact same content as its Xbox 360 counterpart, so for our review and rundown of the game modes, click this link to read our Xbox 360 review. Rather than review the game modes and incredibly fun One-ball mode here, we’ll spend this review talking about the differences between the Xbox 360 and PS3 version. And there really aren’t that many.
The only notable change in this version from the Xbox 360 version is the way that spin on the ball is handled. While the ball is in flight, you have the option of hammering on either the X button or L1, similar to other version of the game. To take advantage of the sixaxis controller and its motion-detection abilities, EA has allowed the user to simply hold down the X button and tilt the controller in the desired spin direction. While this is a neat example of how the controller can be used in a game like this, I personally was hoping for more interaction where the club face would react to the angle of the controller, or even for the ability to add a fade or a draw based on how the controller is angled.
The game looks quite sharp and nearly identical to the Xbox 360 version, which is expected as both run in 720p resolution. The golf courses are all quite detailed, right down to the pot bunkers at St. Andrews and the high brush at Bandon Dunes. Even the golfers have some great detail put into them, down to their unique swings. The responsive crowd generally looks good as they follow your golfer around the course, but still expect to see some synchronized clapping and cheering.
The biggest wow factor for me had to be the cloud rendering, as clouds look more than real, including how they move in the wind. This small detail actually did more for me in terms of realism than the improved grass textures and clothing options for your golfer.
I did perceive a change in the draw distance in some locations, but this could be my eye straining to find some enhancements to the title to help justify the cost of the console itself.
Also similar to its Microsoft counterpart, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 on PlayStation 3 had some nitpicky issues pop up that one would hope would be gone thanks to technology advancements. Some graphical stuttering is definitely noticed when the game transitions to the fly-bys that precede each hole, and even slight stutters happen when transitioning to the cut scenes after a shot is taken.
As I’ve found with other EA Sports titles, the soundtrack seems to wax and wane from year to year. This year I found the soundtrack to be bland and quite dull resulting in streaming my own collection over the game. The commentary provided during play is about what one could expect from a golf title, with no major strides taken in improving the ultimately repetitive track. Ambient sounds, though, were quite nice, and during one particularly blustery day on Pebble Beach I could really hear the 20-plus MPH winds blowing through the surround-sound speakers and swirling around the room.
As a launch title, Tiger Woods 2007 is a much better anchor for the PlayStation 3 than the 2006 version was for the Xbox 360. Sure the course number is lower than the previous generation, but the sheer amount of fun you’ll have taking on the courses with friends will more than make up for vast numbers. The seemingly thrown-in inclusion of sixaxis-specific controls are almost laughable, though, and I fully expect EA to take things a little further next year.
If you’re the type of player who enjoys a golf game and hasn’t picked one up in the last year or so, I do recommend this title thanks to the great play modes both online and off. For players new to the game though, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is best suited as a rental, because quite honestly, the process of working through the career mode and training mini-games can become very tiresome very quickly.
- Overall: 8
- A solid first entry for the Tiger Woods series on PS3, but it lacks innovation to set itself apart from its doppelganger on the Xbox 360.
— Jeff Paramchuk