REVIEW: EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour

 

It has been two years since the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 and with a new name and next generation consoles, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour by EA Sports is ready to step up to the tee.

 

The game features 12 real-world courses including TPC Sawgrass, St. Andrews Links, Whistling Straits, TPC Boston, Bay Hill, Royal Troon, Chambers Bay, Wolf Creek, East Lake, TPC Scottsdale, Quail Hollow and PGA West.

 

The game also features unique fantasy courses including Paracel Storm, a course based off of the map from Battlefield 4 as well as Coyote Falls which is located in the Grand Canyon.

 

In total, the game has 17  courses.

 

Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo replace the broadcast team of Jim Nantz and David Feherty from the last few editions of the game.

 

The game starts with a prologue that puts you in the shoes of four-time major champion and the game’s namesake, Rory McIlroy.

 

You start by hearing Golf Channel broadcaster Rich Lerner introduce you to the game and take you through some tutorials showcasing the new gameplay options. These options include the ability to play either in Arcade, 3-Click or Tour modes.

 

Arcade is the easiest setting which features a blue aiming arc to help you hit shots as well as the ability to use power boost to overpower drives and put spin on the ball while it’s in flight.

 

3-Click is a classic gameplay style that has been seen in previous versions of EA Sports golf games where tap the X (For PlayStation 4) or the A (For Xbox One) three times until the sweet spot is hit on a meter.

 

Tour mode is the most difficult option where there is no blue aiming arc, no power boost, no spin control and you can’t zoom in to your target, relying only on a hole map to navigate a hole.

 

After the tutorials, the prologue continues and you are put into a scenario where you play as McIlroy in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Course against two-time major winner, Martin Kaymer.

 

McIlroy speaks to the gamer as you go through each on-course scenario, giving you advice and talking to you about the pressure and emotion of playing in a major championship. After the prologue, the entire game is now available for the gamer to play.

 

You have six game modes to choose from. These include Play Now, Pro Career, Night Club Challenge, Online Tournaments, Head 2 Head and the ability to play the Prologue again.

 

Pro Career gives you the chance to create a golfer and build his or her legacy on the PGA Tour, starting with the Web.com Tour Finals at TPC Sawgrass.

 

Once you earn your PGA Tour card, you will start your first season by playing in the BioWare Classic which is played on the Wetlands, a fictional course created by EA Sports.

 

You will be able to compete in three of the four major championships in Pro Career. These being, the U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship.

 

Due to an expired license, The Masters has been taken out of the game along with Augusta National Golf Club. In its place is the EA Sports Spring Invitational which has been in the franchise’s past releases prior to the deal with Augusta National.

 

Wolf Creek Golf Club in Mesquite, Nevada is the host course of the Spring Invitational. EA has mentioned via social media that Augusta National and The Masters could make a return so it’s possible that the contract could be renewed.

 

The Night Club Challenge is a mode where you play various mini-games in a night time style setting across three courses. These courses being Wolf Creek, Paracel Storm and Coyote Falls.

 

You use a variety of boosts to help you get around obstacles which may include taking control of the ball mid-flight or putting a rocket boost on it. You can unlock clothing for your created golfer as well as fantasy golfers.

 

Online only allows you to play simultaneously as to where in previous versions, you were able to use turn-based play. Ranked matches only allow you to play nine holes while unranked matches allow you to choose a full 18 hole round.

 

In ranked matches, your record shows based on where you placed. For example, if you beat the other three players in your foursome, your record would be 3-0-0 but if you finished in second, your record would then be 2-1-0.

 

The online is quite limited, taking out game modes like Match Play, Alternate Shot, Skins and even the 3-hole mini game.

 

The simultaneous play is the only way to play online. Difference is, you can see your playing partners wherever they are.

 

Online Tournaments give you two choices: Amateur Open and Pro Open. The courses are picked at random and you play to try to get the lowest score and get to the top of the leaderboard.

 

There’s tournaments for the three styles of play, Arcade, 3-Click and Tour.

 

PROS:

  • The gameplay may be the best in the series. Having the gameplay styles to fit any type of virtual golfer plays a huge role in that.
  • The graphics are beautiful and the realism of the golf courses really pop out at you, especially in the evening setting.
  • The broadcasting feels more natural and sounds more like a conversation than in previous versions of the game. They do a great job of describing each hole on a course, like you’d see on TV or hear on the radio.

CONS:

  • There isn’t much content in the game despite the great gameplay. The game modes are low and Pro Career gets repetitive fast and is not rewarding after winning tournaments.
  • Online integration is limited and features no team based modes
  • The broadcasting gets really repetitive as well. You’ll likely hear the same things many times and adding new courses seems to be the only way to hear fresh commentary.

FINAL VERDICT:

With a variety of gameplay styles to fit the needs of the gamer and with breathtaking graphics to go with it, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is the best playing game of the series.

But with such a low amount of game modes, player customization options, a weak career mode and  limited online options, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour just missed its tee time.

Final Score: 6/10

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio !

 


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EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour will not be a yearly release

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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!


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EA Sports Has a New Face of Their Golf Video Game

WOW! Did anyone see this coming? After Tiger Woods has been the face of the EA Sports golf franchise for 17 years, there’s a new cover boy representing the legendary video game. Four time major champion Rory Mcilroy is the new face of the longtime franchise with the new name being “Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour”.

It’s a bold move for EA Sports since, like Tiger Woods, some people hate him and some people love him. Putting a name on a video game is a risk, but it’s a risk EA thinks is worth taking.

Either way, the game sounds like it could be terrific and from what I’m hearing, the courses should be epic.

Here’s a tweet of the new cover:

And here’s a short clip showing the incredible graphics of the game:

On the same day EA Sports made the announcement, HB Studios announced the Collector’s Edition for their game, The Golf Club which is continuing to blossom as the game starts getting more popular.

The game will also feature “The Night Club” which, although not much is said about it will feature amazing power boosts while teeing off on unreal fantasy courses. Sounds amazing.

Frank Nobilo and Rich Lerner will be the broadcasters in this year’s game.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the cover move simply because as I mentioned, putting a name on the game may turn some people off. Sure, it’s all about the gameplay and not the person that’s on it right? But for the people who dislike Mcilroy, this is not going to bid well for them.

I thought simply calling the game “PGA Tour” was the smart move and just putting different golfers on the cover each year.

That said, I’m very excited about this game and I’m sure you are as well. The gameplay is all that matters and if it’s got epic courses with battleships and stuff then I’m down for it.

This is an exciting time for golf video games and it should be a lot of fun to tee it up on consoles.

Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour will release in June.

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I’m weird and like golf and video games and stuff yo.


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