Last week we had a chance to spend some time with this seasons Tiger Woods PGA Tour for both the Xbox360/PS3 and Wii. While both versions(PS3 and Xbox 360 are identical) might carry the same title they do differ quite a bit, for obvious and some less obvious reasons.
First, all console versions of the game will feature the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is a team based golf game. On both versions you can play solo or with others either on the same console or via online services. For those that decide to go for the Ryder cup solo you will pretty much become your teams captain. As the rounds unfold you will get live updates on the rest of your team and have the choice to swap between the different golfers. Being able to swap between the golfers on your team is nice for two reasons, first if the CPU turns out to be the weakest link of the team you can try to save your team, and second if you just want to have some flavor when playing you can just jump around and aren’t stuck as one golfer the entire match.
The Ryder Cup is pretty much the single biggest similarity from console to console. I’ll start with the differences on the Wii side. First the Wii version now has a new view called TrueView. TrueView is a first person view that really puts you right in the game. Using the motion control plus you will have amazing control of your swing. As you go for the swing the camera will shift to looking down at your ball and you will see your club on the screen. Then you must take a true golf swing, have your wrist turned in and the ball will go left. It was quite amazing playing in TrueView and really shows off the power of the Wii Motion Controls.
The Wii version still features a slew of Mini-games like Disc Golf and the new Miniature golf. Thats right windmills and all are in the game for you to enjoy.
Now onto the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game. The first thing virtual golfers will notice when firing up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is the amazing graphical upgrade. The game looks AMAZING! The details that the team put into the graphics engine is just out of this world. The sky is no longer static, as you line up your shot the clouds will move overhead. Also the game now features daylight changes as the matches unfold, and at dusk the game really shines. The next minor, but really impressive graphics change is that of grass, hair and clothing. Shirts and pants will blow in the wind and those with longer hair will flow unlike I’ve ever seen before in a game, and when you’re stuck in the deep rough the blades of grass will sway with the breeze. While blowing clothes and hair might seem really small, the truth is it’s these small details that make the game come to life.
Now onto more important changes, the wind engine has received an upgrade, the wind is no longer a static speed per hole. The wind changes dynamically now as you play. So while you might have a 5 mph head wind before you tee off, as you swing that might jump up or down a few mph. Again just adding to the games realism and bringing real life into our video games.
As I said at the top of this preview the Ryder Cup is in all versions, however you can also play a new Team Mode, which is based on the Ryder Cup style of play, but can feature 4-24 players via Xbox Live or the Playstation Network.
Overall I was very impressed with both versions of the game. The TrueView on the Wii really shows the power of motion controls, and is an amazing experience, if you have a Wii that mode alone is worth buying the game. On the other consoles the graphics are just out of this world. The small details really makes the game pop and will make everyone playing go “WoW”. 24 players online is also quite amazing and will be a lot of fun. Unfortunately we didn’t get many more details on game modes, lets hope the large number of players will lead to more multiplayer fun. We got no indication on the status of Playstation Move or Project Natal support, but was told there would be announcement soon, I’m assuming close to or at E3. Let’s hope we see the TrueView mode and motion controls jump to the Ps3 and XBox 360.
We have two video interviews below with two of the developers and they go into a bit more detail on the new features and changes. The first video is for the Wii and the second if for the Xbox 360 and PS3.