Annual titles like EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour could easily get away with just continuing to make small improvements to the formula. While the developers are making some tweaks with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 by adding a new swing style mechanic, bringing in new tournament licenses, and introducing a Simulation mode, golf fans are getting a little something extra this year. In addition to the improvements in gameplay and mechanics, Tiger Woods 14 will take you back in time--starting with golf's origins in the 1800s to present day--and let you play against legendary golfers in historic locations.
The most prominent addition to Tiger Woods 14 is the historical feature called Legends of the Majors. In this mode, you'll be able to enter into various challenges, and partake in tournaments throughout golf's history. You can play as or against classic golfers like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, or Seve Ballesteros, challenging them to a casual round or matching their scores in historic tournaments. Legends of the Majors is broken down into eras. Each era has a unique set of challenges and legend boss to defeat at the end. If you beat the legend boss and complete an era, you'll unlock the character along with the specific physics and conditions for that time period.
Each of the eras looks and plays differently. The older time periods have faded film filters that make the game look like it was broadcast using a camera from the early 1900s, and the HUD color schemes change with the respective tournament's themes. Strange though it may seem, the physics of a course can also be completely different depending on the year. The old-school wood clubs didn't have all of the science and technology infused into them like the modern day equipment does, so those differences become a factor in each golf swing. The course conditions also change from era to era, from the course's overall topography to the density of the ground--all of which can greatly affect your game.
In addition to the Legends of the Majors mode, EA Sports has been taking feedback from its fans to improve the gameplay mechanics from the previous games. In terms of customization, players will be able to get even more in-depth with their character's technique from the new swing style feature. With the swing style system. you can set whether you want to be a power or control golfer type, choose the shape of your shot, change the trajectory of your shot, and pick your player's strong hand. Also, when you play against the legendary or current-era golfers, they will use the prefered swings of the real-life players. So, the digital Tiger will play more like the real Tiger.
The strike meter, ball physics, and swing path meter have also gotten some updates. The strike meter adjusts the point at which you hit the ball, which can be the difference between landing on the green and digging yourself out of a sand trap. Now players can move the cursor left to right rather than just higher or lower in previous titles, giving you even more options for your shot. The elements of the new swing style system have also been woven into the way you control your swing with the analog sticks. On the standard difficulties, you might not notice much of a difference in the swing path meter from the previous games, but the higher difficulties adjust the swing path according to what selections you've made with your swing style. So, swinging a fade shot is much more challenging, because you'll have to pull your swing at an angle.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is making significant additions to the franchise on top of the new historical mode and gameplay tweaks. Players will now be able to enter all four majors tournaments, including the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship. Also, players will be able to take control of the female golfers in the LGPA women's championship. With over 20 courses, a roster of current and legendary golfers, and the returning online country club features, it looks like there will be plenty to satisfy your golfing needs when Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 releases for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 26.