EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR now available
July 14, 2015
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy is the cover athlete for the latest edition of the EA SPORTS golf franchise.
Golf's premier gaming franchise returned today with the release of EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR. This is EA's first golf title in more than two years and its first for the eighth generation of gaming consoles -- Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game is a step forward with the potential to be a leap forward from previous editions in the franchise.
The first sports title to use the Frostbite 3 engine, EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR presents its in with never-before-seen detail. Each course is alive with region-specific wildlife roaming the fairways and lurking in the water hazards. EA SPORTS takes advantage of the more powerful gaming systems by delivering stunning course visuals with minimal load times between holes. Full rounds can easily be completed in under 20 minutes, making for a quicker and more enjoyable gaming experience.
The game boasts a dozen TOUR pros and as many courses. Among those joining McIlroy in the game are Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler and Miguel Angel Jimenez. TPC Sawgrass highlights a course selection that includes Chambers Bay, St. Andrews, Whistling Straits and a quartet of EA-created courses.
Golf Channel's Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo take over duties in the booth and provide strong commentary. They mix golf anecdotes with play-by-play and hole analysis, occasionally tossing in a jab at the player. Like any game, there are times when things get repeated or redundant, but it's some of the finest commentary work the franchise has ever seen.
When initially launched, players go through a prologue where you can take some practice swings and learn the features of the game before hitting select shots with Rory McIlroy on a U.S. Open Sunday at Chambers Bay. Take control of McIlroy and out-duel 2014 champion Martin Kaymer to take home the title before playing the game mode of your choosing. Along the way, you'll see video clips of McIlroy himself talking about the excitement and pressure of trying to close out a major championship.
Via the prologue, players can also be introduced to the three styles of play. Arcade is the default mode and allows players to swing using the left analog stick, add spin to their shots in flight and even see where a well struck shot will land. TOUR mode features the same swing mechanics, but none of the arcade features. You're playing like the TOUR pros. There's also a classic, three-click swing, mode that is a favorite of longtime gamers.
Once the prologue is complete, players have their choice of game modes -- Play Now, Night Club Challenge, Head 2 Head, Prologue, Online Tournaments and Pro Career.
PLAY NOW: A local mode where you can take 1-4 players to any course on the game and set the conditions however you'd like. This is the best way to try different modes and take on any number of course conditions.
NIGHT CLUB CHALLENGE: Single player arcade mode in which a player takes on challenges using a variety of power-ups ranging from "Rocket" which gives shots an extra boost of power to "Sticky Ball" which causes a shot to instantly stop wherever it next lands.
HEAD 2 HEAD: A live, online multiplayer mode that allows users to play 9- or 18-hole matches against up to three other competitors.
PROLOGUE: A replay of the game's tutorials and U.S. Open story.
ONLINE TOURNAMENTS: These daily or weekly events allow users to test their skills in predetermined conditions against gamers around the world.
PRO CAREER: The game's most popular mode allows users to live out their dreams of PGA TOUR glory. First, users will design their golfer and select a backstory -- young prodigy, college standout, or PGA professional. You then compete in the Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Sawgrass to earn one of 50 available TOUR cards.
Once on TOUR, players can level up, apply attribute bonuses, unlock equipment from some of the top golf manufacturers and play a 16-event schedule that features four majors and four FedExCup Playoff events. The TOUR schedule is contested across 10 of the games courses including 2015 venues and branding for the U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship. Players have the option to play full rounds and 72-hole events or "Quick Rounds" that allow users to play key holes and sim the rest. New this year, players can set up an outfit rotation, picking out different combinations for Thursday through Sunday. These combinations can be accessed across all game modes when using your created player
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR does well to bring in the new generation of golf gaming and still has the potential to grow. EA SPORTS has announced that this franchise will no longer be a yearly release and that free post-launch content will be forthcoming. The company has taken a similar approach to its UFC franchise and players seem pleased with the quality and quantity of game updates. Should similar results come from this approach to its golf franchise, EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR could grow from a fun golf game to one of the best sports games early in this generation of gaming systems.