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Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online review

AT A GLANCE
  • Can play for free
  • Can interact with other players
  • Great core gameplay
  • Abhorrent payment structure
  • Limited customisation
  • Pay-for courses are deserted

The beta of Tiger Woods Online wowed us. A full, slick golf game in your browser? Intelligently connecting players by making the game fully online all the time? Have a hug, EA. You’ve proven the power of the platform and reinvigorated an ageing series. Nothing can go wrong. Hang on a second, what’s that sharp thing sticking out of our back?

The shift from beta to full game introduced a payment structure so abhorrent it made us shout at our browser when it popped up. Tiger Woods Online costs $10/£7 a month or $60/£50 a year for full access. Why is this stupid? Golf is a static thing. The mechanics haven’t changed for years: you swing and hit the ball. Hopefully it goes where it needs to. In fact, in TWO it’s almost impossible to not place your shot vaguely where you want it to land. The challenge is in the fine-grain control, fighting against the wind, drawing or fading to land on the flat of a downward sloping green. But that’s about it, and you can do all that in the two courses you can still access for free.

So what are you paying a sub for? Unlimited access to all the fairways – ten full real-life courses. You also get a slew of points to spend on things like branded club upgrades and clothes to go on the meagre choice of four male avatars (no female characters exist – which is somewhat surprising considering the game’s leading man). Points are an interesting currency: while the yearly sub gets you a few bucks worth of points to start off with, if you take out a monthly sub or play for free and fancy upgrading your kit with the branded gear in the club house, you’ll have to buy them with real money.

It makes sense that the free players are asked to pay (they can also access courses for a small fee), but the monthly subscribers are technically paying more for the same level of access as the yearly subs, and yet they have to pay even more for the in-game currency? For every extra dollar they ask you to spend, you have more and more reason to not pay.

It’s such a disappointment. What was a shiny example of what could be achieved on the web when it was free looks unavoidably dim when you’re asked to part with so much money. The courses are decently modelled, but nothing special. The golfers are off-the-peg models, with a few petty variations in apparel colour to give you the illusion of customisation.

The cost has been a clear shock to the community. When you play, you’re automatically playing on the same course with whoever else is online, from anywhere in the world. You can see their shots and talk in the chatbar. The free courses are still thriving, but the paid-for courses are predictably deserted. It’s heartbreaking. TWO is a clear win for the technology, but it’s been made to take advantage of the players as much as the platform.

Apr 30, 2010

More Info

Release date: Apr 06 2010 - PC (US)
Apr 06 2010 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Sports
Published by: EA SPORTS
Developed by: EA Tiburon
Franchise: Tiger Woods PGA Tour
ESRB Rating:
Everyone
PEGI Rating:
3+

5 comments

  • timaloy - July 7, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    i was just reading your review there and have to disagree a lot have you been in the game in the last few months ,the promise of things to come in the future is still the topic of the day, the gameplay hasnt improved that much at all since the game went live.there is no level matching at all witch means if you are new and come up against a player who has full attributes there is nothing you can do but lose,ther is no lobby to chat with friends or meet for matches there is no messenger, the only way of communicating with freinds is the in game chat witch is very difficult at times. the pro shop is a total rip off your basic clubs had their yards changed forcing you to buy the pro shop items wich only last for 15 rounds then you have to buy them again,turn based multiplayer is impossible to finish a round ,there is only 3 tournamenst to play a day depending on your skill level,this game is well over priced considering what you get in it. I wish people would tell the truth about this game and its many flaws,also there is a prestige mode that i have no idea what is for complete waste of time considering the amount of bugs that need fixed overall thsi game is over priced and not worth the money you will be paying over the odds the rest of the year tahts if you want to compete in any match game or tournament. some guys have payed over 300 bucks already in this game and thats just for equipment alone .. its only opend for a few months, so if you dont want to spend loads of money on an inferior game stick to the consoles at least you have everything already in that game,also customer support is a disgrace impossible to talk to any one even if you wait for over an hour,and the forums arent much better you cannot post anything negative about the game at all or it will be deleted ,i dont even think the dev team know were the forums are,my advice would be to stay away until there is more in the game right now it is over priced and only half full this game is a complete rip off
  • KaylaKaze - May 9, 2010 3:37 a.m.

    I was technically in the beta but I refused to play while they kept up their males only doctrine, and they didn't hesitate to delete my posts from the forums calling them out on it. At least I can still play Pangya.
  • blix2006 - May 1, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    i disagree with alot being said here..first off..tiger woods on the console is basically 60 bucks a year..without a free side.the sub model is fine..the trouble is they rushed it out the door to take advantage of tiger being in the masters the weekend this game launched..its not worth playing yet..but it will be.they are adding things like character customization.not to mention adding new courses,lots of new multiplayer modes.you talk about the controls but what did you expect.like you said its like it is in every golf game..why change it.this is the best new golf game out there(there are a handful of free browser golf games.give it a few months and re review it.if the sub model is all your looking at shouldnt wow and any other mmo gotten a 5?
  • OmNomRomRearghNergh - April 30, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    Summed up beautifully, Colonel.
  • ColonelKc - April 30, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    Fail.

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