As you may know by now, EA Sports cut ties with Tiger Woods as the face of their golf video game franchise and replaced him with Rory McIlroy, renaming the game, “Rory McIlroy PGA Tour”. Originally, the game was supposed to been just simply “EA Sports PGA Tour” which was teased last summer at the annual E3 video game convention.
You know how most sports games come out yearly?
Ya know? Madden NFL “16” or NBA 2K “16”?
Notice how Rory’s game does NOT feature the typical number showcasing the year?
Well, that’s because, for the first time in the legendary golf franchise’s history, the newly named Rory McIlroy PGA Tour will NOT be a yearly release according developer Justin Patel who confirmed this on the Operation Sports golf forum.
The game is set to launch with only 8 real courses. Those courses being, TPC Sawgrass, St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Bay Hill, TPC Boston, Whistling Straits, Wolf Creek and Chambers Bay with TPC Scottsdale as a bonus course when you pre-order the game.
The game will also feature 4 fantasy courses. These courses are Paracel Storm (Based on a location in Battlefield 4), Coyote Falls which is a course in the Grand Canyon, Wetlands and Lighthouse Pointe.
Wetlands and Lighthouse Pointe will play more like real courses however according to Patel.
The 8 real courses brought on a ton of outrage across social media since EA hasn’t posted info on the new model yet. Justin Patel’s post on Operation Sports is the only thing right now.
The great thing about this game not being a yearly release is that we can see quite a lot of extra courses down the road. So it can easily go from 8 to 50+ courses later on.
Who knows, Augusta might even make a return thanks to the new model.
Some other courses that can possibly make it in could be Medinah, Merion, Shinnecock Hills, or Fishers Island just to throw some names out there. Some brand new fantasy courses could also be a possibility.
Many have also complained about the lack of female golfers but again, thank to this new model, we can easily see LPGA players make their way back in. Besides, one of game’s slogans is “Next Gen Golf” or “Welcome to the next generation of golf” and I think it would only make sense to have three of arguably the best players on the planet in Inbee Park (26), Stacy Lewis (30) and Lydia Ko (18) in the game who are all young and in their prime.
So there’s a lot to look forward to with EA’s newest golf game.
And for those of you who are EA gamers, I know what you’re thinking. “THEY’RE JUST GOING TO THROW DLC (Downloadable Content) AT US ALL DAYYY!!”.
I know it’s hard to resist complaining but these post launch updates will be free for the most part. So you can unbuckle your belt and take a breath now.
Other things the game will include is an online mode where players tee it up simultaneously. However, you can see each other hit shots so it doesn’t feel like it’s just you out there.
Would be pretty funny if two balls landed in the same exact spot though. Another online feature is the “hole clock” which requires you to finish a whole in a certain amount of time so this helps speed up play for competitive rounds.
One of the big features for this game (And to some, quite shocking) which really puts the term “Golf Without Limits” into play is a new mode called “The Night Club Challenge”.
In the Night Club, players play through over 170 unique challenges in a night club style setting on three different courses. Challenges include, hitting targets, hitting shots through rings, using pitch shots to break floating plates and playing Stroke Play.
How it works from what I see is that you play each hole on each lf the three courses. Each hole has several challenges to complete to move to the next one.
This is very similar to EA Sports’ mobile game, “King of the Course” where you complete challenges on each hole on some the world’s most famous courses such as Pinehurst no.2, St. Andrews, and Banff Springs. Only differences are that the Night Club’s challenges are a little different, the courses are different, it’s in a night setting, and the golfers are different which I’ll get to in a second.
You also can use different boosts which are the strategic bread and butter to success in The Night Club. Some boosts may include extra power off the tee or making your ball extremely heavy so it can drop and stop on a dime.
You can unlock (Remember that term? “Unlock”?) new fantasy golfers to use such as the Battlefield Soldier and Nevada Smith. According to Operation Sports, the full list of fantasy characters include the Battlefield Soldier, Nevada Smith, Laser Logan, and the return of the legendary Pops Masterson from the older Tiger Woods games but he brought his wife Edna Masterson with him as she is unlockable as well.
I assume Nevada Smith is EA’s version of Indiana Jones and judging by the way he’s dressed (You’ll see him in the Night Club trailer hitting pitch shots into green plates), I’d say that’s a definite YES. He also looks like a character from one of my favorite video games of all-time, Free Realms (Doesn’t exist anymore sadly. The servers were shut off just last year).
No doubt Nevada Smith and Pops will be my go to guys along with Jason Dufner when I don’t feel like using my created golfer.
The courses in the Night Club will be the golfing roller coaster that is Wolf Creek, the Paracel Storm course and Coyote Falls which is the course that is based in the Grand Canyon. You start your Night Club experience at Wolf Creek and go on from there.
Finally, two kinda small, but key features in the game that also fit into the “Golf Without Limits” category are no out of bounds and no load times between holes. No out of bounds means you can hit the ball wherever you want and truly can “hit it where it lies” while no load times shave the time off your rounds.
EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour will be available July 14th on PS4 and Xbox One. If you have an Xbox One, the game is available right now as a trial via EA Access.
Now if only they could let us walk around a clubhouse and hit the driving range and such. Yeah, that would be cool and could be a possibility with the new model.
Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I’m the swaggy geeky golf dude!
Colin GP Mieczkowski
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