For many seasons, Tiger Woods PGA Tour has relied on an arcade-like feel that gave any player with functional thumbs a -15 handicap. Good news though - from what we saw at Electronic Arts' Summer Showcase, Tiger has shed his quirky strokes and come out swinging the hammer with a more simulation-based method of play. The control scheme has been simplified, taking what worked in the past and applying more realistic effects to make the whole experience come alive.
In 07, the entire swing runs off the left stick, while the right stick is used to control exactly where you're going to hit the ball (a little slice of 05 for those keeping score). The A button controls both the power and spin, easing the cramps from last year’s clunky configuration. The firm, responsive swing mechanics (now being called "true-aim") give this virtual tee-time a more true-to-life feel, where little details like club selection and shot type can drastically affect your score. Instead of glaring icons like a glowing arrow to dictate where the ball will go, 07 takes your player's attributes and calculates a general area that the ball could land in. But even with all this information to consider, 07's new interface compiles it all together for easy reading - a big departure from the previous, "scatter everything into the four corners of the screen" approach.
Driving home this shift to simulation are the new minigames that slowly power-up your golfer. The more you hit the practice field and hone your techniques, the more your attributes will grow - wow, just like it works in real life.