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Tuesday 11 April 2006
By offering a less 'arcade-focused' experience, publisher Oxygen Interactive is hoping that its upcoming World Tour Golf will become the title of choice for discerning golfers who also enjoy a leisurely round of virtual club swinging. It's certainly an ambitious mission given that they're going up against the mighty combo of EA and Tiger Woods.
Oxygen claim that this is a genuine golfing simulation that's authentic enough to give real-life purveyors of the bunker-dodging pastime an immediate advantage over their non-golfing competitors. This is thanks to a finely-honed control system that adept club handlers will - supposedly - find instantly intuitive.
Obviously, as humble virtual golfers we'll have to take Oxygen's word for it, although after sampling some ball thwacking with World Tour Golf we can appreciate that the control system has been designed with golfers in mind.
When taking a shot, the camera looks down the club at the ball, giving the player an accurate representation of what a golfer would actually see - as opposed to the view of TV cameras. Both analogue sticks are used, with one taking care of swing while the other handles the golfer's weight distribution. The D-pad is used to shift the position of the player in relation to the ball.
While we managed to play decent enough shots just by swinging the club and ignoring weight distribution, it's apparent that wannabe pros will have to master the horizontal sway of both sticks if they want to rule the fairway and prior knowledge of real golf will be a valuable asset.