Tiger Woods is a monumentally dull man. But dull is good in the world of golf. Dull means reliable. Dull means consistent. Dull means winning major titles again and again and again, then giving a thrillingly dull press conference straight afterwards. And, while the Tiger's EA Sports titles are significantly more interesting than the man whose name they bear, they retain the mumbling dullard's key characteristic: his staying power. This is a series of games that has never once dropped a bollock.
We could bitch that this is pretty much just the Xbox 360 version with a half-arsed implementation of the PS3 pad's tilt function. But we won't. For while on paper Tiger Woods PGA Tour07 makes for fairly unimpressive reading - fewer courses than earlier PS2 versions, a glaring hole where you expect a course designer might be, and a smaller unlockable cupboard than we've become used to - in practice it's the smoothest, prettiest instalment yet. The bottom line is, come launch day, you can rely on Tiger Woods.
In terms of the gameplay mechanics, the only major innovation is the new-fangled True Aiming function. This time your targeting reticule is a huge circle, giving you only the roughest indication of where the ball will land. The cleaner you hit the shot, the closer to the centre of the circle you'll end up. The net result is that it's no longer impossible to determine exactly where your ball will land. Thus, you must take a more measured, cautious approach to your play.
As for Tiger Woods 07's highly vaunted use of your controller's tilt ability, it's a crushing disappointment. The idea is great: instead of mashing the X button and using the D-pad to determine the amount and direction of the spin applied, you instead angle the joypad to suit your needs. Alas, it doesn't work. We found the old method to be cleaner and easier.
In visual terms, Tiger Woods 07 is stunning. Or at least it is if A) You've never played it on Xbox 360; B) You have an HD TV, and C) You don't look too closely at the trees. Because it would seem that while your PlayStation 3 may be capable of rendering 275,000,000 polygons per second, this still isn't enough to draw a decent piece of shrubbery. Elsewhere the level of detail is incredible, particularly in the repulsively addictive Game Face editor.
So there it is - another below-par (in the golf-based, positive sense) round for PlayStation's undisputed king of the pin. Next time we expect a little more by way of innovation. Until then, this beautifully executed next-next-gen update will do just fine.
Amidst the deafening clatter of PS3s launch day line-up, heres one game that wont let you down.
- As smooth and satisfying as ever
- Visually its really quite lovely
- Aiming system works a charm
- Hardly a bold leap forward