The Tiger Woods franchise rolls back into town with Tiger Woods 14 from EA Sports. As with most of the games from the EA family, it comes out a year early, so don’t be confused, we are still in 2013. As with any top title, there are no drastic changes, but the games does see a few new features mixed in with a few gameplay tweaks to make Tiger Woods even more realistic.

Tiger Woods 14 Review

With the Masters starting this week and the big man heading back to the top of the golfing tree, the game launch really couldn’t come at a better time. Oh and did we mention he is now dating hot American Skier, Lindsey Vonn? Read on for our Tiger Woods 14 Review.

Tiger Woods 14 New Features
– This year you can play in all four majors – the Masters, US Open, The Open Championship and PGA Championship for the first time giving you the full season experience. Good luck on winning all four though!
– A nice little feature is that you can play historic courses using some of golf’s greatest golfers from yester-year. This does include some brilliant vintage attire on the very best including Arnold Palmer and Jack! Of course you will will also be playing with retro golf clubs – which were basically blocks of wood on the end of an umbrella.
– This year you can take your golfer around the course in any condition, and any time of day. A live weather feed has been thrown into the mix which means you won’t always be playing in blue skies and sunshine. And of course, when you play Royal Troon up above the border you can expect the weather to be dull and wet!

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Gameplay
This will really depend on how you are playing. To get the best and most rewarding gameplay, we hooked up Tiger Woods Kinect. The TW series has never been the easiest of games to master, well at least once you get to the harder levels. And it certainly requires a few hours to hone your swing and skipping the tutorial like I did was a bad idea from the off. After you have learnt the basics and gone round a few times, you can start to place the ball on the fairway more often than not. The usual swing mechanics are still there which can lead to a few shanks or ‘tactical draw/fade’ as I like to call it. If you want the easy life of playing whilst laying on the sofa, just pull back on the thumbstick and the then push through to hit the ball. A shot trail helps you see where the ball is heading once you strike it as well, this feature is great when playing online simultaneously against others to see how they are getting on.

Legends of the Majors

As we mentioned earlier TW14 has bought a classic mode to the game allowing you to relive classic challenges from as far back as 1873 where you get to compete as Tom Morris in the very first Open Championship. A vintage hue gives this authenticity and as you progress through the challenges the colour of the screen changes too which is a nice touch. In this first challenge your choice of clubs are brasserie, spoon, baffing spoon, cleek, mid mashie, mashie and various other names which I’m not sure are actually golf clubs and could possibly be things that were part of the menu in 1873.

Play through to the modern era and you can recreate Dustin Johnson in the PGA championship in 1991 or tackle Zach Johnsons par five heroics in 2007 as well as many other unlockable events. A great feature that will appeal to the real golf fans.

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Tiger Woods 14 Review Verdict

The gameplay and game modes are vast and will certainly keep you entertained for hours, which ever mode you decide to play. The online multiplayer is competitive and fun as you would expect and playing 18 holes simultaneously with players from around the world is a real challenge, both in skill and time (!), and will leave you shouting at the screen in both joy and anger. Legends of the Majors is a nice touch and is a welcome change from arcade-like elements that some games try and bring in to shake things up.

The commentary is more miss than hit and seems to pop-up and then disappear as and when it likes. Also being told that I should have made that birdie just increases the likelihood of the controller being thrown at the screen, but we are aware that this is down to our lack of skill rather than a fault of the game.

Overall the game is very playable and one that will keep you on the hook for quite some time. Packed with stats and action against other players it will keep you coming back wanting to improve and finally start winning some tournaments and online games. A slick UI and controls keeps TW14 at the top of its game. Much like the FIFA series, a few new features and gameplay tweaks is all it needs to stay number one – mission accomplished.

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Tiger Woods 14 is out now on Xbox and PlayStation 3.

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