Electronic Arts makes its grand return to the golf course after a nearly eight-year hiatus. The publisher seamlessly dropped the golfing franchise after the mixed bag that was Rory McIlroy PGA Tour; However, EA Sports PGA Tour is set to revitalize the series with fresh ideas, a new focus, and a new way to play the world’s greatest game. Here is our SGO review of EA Sports PGA Tour.
Career is The Focal Point
EA Sports PGA Tour wastes no time getting you started with your new golf journey. Upon entering the game, you are greeted by the character creator to create your future champion.
The character customization is as simple as it gets in terms of options. Oddly enough, the game is well aware of the importance of pronoun usage but lacks other essential options like skin color and facial restructuring. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pick and stick to a preset face.
Now that you finished making your future champion, it’s time to hit the golf course and get to swinging. But before you start winning Fedex Cups, you have to start in one of the three amateur tournaments and work your way up. Each tournament has its own set of courses, challenges, and uniqueness. For example, if you start in the US Amateur Championship, those courses are right by the Pacific Ocean. So you will have to deal with more wind and the noise of the water crashing into the cliffs.
However, starting on the PGA Tour, you will be playing against some of the world’s best, so the competition won’t be easy.
Career mode is where you spend most of your time. I like how the game lets you use your golfer in not only career mode but in all the other modes EA Sports PGA Tour has to offer. The focus on you and your golfer’s career makes the experience unique and really fun.
Golf and All Its Beauty
EA Sports PGA Tour is a beautiful game in most areas. In terms of courses, atmosphere, and fan reaction, it’s a beautiful spectacle. Courses are varied and match their real-life counterpart. The commentary is smooth and fits on course action perfectly, and the fan reaction is very realistic. My favorite thing about this game is the satisfying noise of a driver slapping a ball 174 yards; this game nails it perfectly.
However, cutscenes in PGA Tour need some work. Player models seem to not be as detailed during these scenes; Facial movements appear unnatural, and created golfers have their teeth clipping through their lips. Not a major issue but future patches could fix these problems.
EA Sports PGA Tour‘s gameplay overall is tight, solid, and easy to understand. Everything that the game presents to you on the screen, like wind reading, aiming arc, and elevation, really helps you prepare for the perfect swing. If you’re a seasoned veteran, you can turn off these features or tweak them to your liking.
Each club in the game delivers realistic results, and ball physics are some of the best in the series. Hitting a ball too hard or too high will cause it to bounce smoothly off the green. However, lessening the power of your shot and adding backspin to it will result in a soft landing.
As you upgrade your golfer, you can obtain new skills and shot types to dominate on the golf course. Some of these skills are passive, but skills like power shot can be used by pressing L1 or LB and hitting the ball perfectly.
Overall, EA Sports PGA Tour‘s gameplay is great and is probably the most realistic that we’ve seen in the series.
Putting is the most unforgiving, frustrating, and inconsistent thing on PGA Tour. The game tries to help you by displaying a putting reader, but it doesn’t give you anything else to work with. Even on the easy difficulty, putting is unforgiving, you can have your aiming off by an inch, and you will still completely miss the hole.
What’s worse is the reader sometimes doesn’t give you the correct read on the putt. This can be changed in a future update, but it’s frustrating when your lining up drives to achieve a birdie only to settle for par because of a dodgy putt read. I guess that’s golf, right?
While career mode is your meat and potatoes, EA Sports PGA Tour offers other challenges to keep you playing away from major tournaments.
Quick play lets you jump into the golfing action to play various game types. However, challenges are where the real fun is at. This mode lets players compete in various challenges and even offers featured challenges from The Masters. These side activities will give you reward points, so it’s a good idea to do them when you’re not playing career mode.
Online modes are also fun. You can jump into competitive games or keep it simple and play in social games to meet new golfers. In addition, online tournaments are a great way to get reward points.
While we are on the topic of points, you can buy points with real-world money in EA Sports PGA Tour. However, the points can only be used for cosmetic items, so there isn’t a pay-to-win aspect, but the option is there if you care to indulge. Once again, this is an EA game, and microtransactions are an ongoing theme with this company.
PGA Tour 2K23 might have the glitz, glamour, and Micheal Jordan cameos, but the gameplay isn’t on the same par with EA Sports PGA Tour. If you love sports games with a major focus on career mode, then EA’s golf game is exactly what you’re looking for; even with a few drawbacks, EA Sports PGA Tour is back and ready to take on The Masters.
EA Sports PGA Tour returns with a strong emphasis on career mode and features other fun ways to enjoy golf. While the game has some setbacks, it’s still a great return to The Masters.