As beautiful as an eagle
From the tee off Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 strikes a brilliantly impressive style to mimic the glossy presentation of big golf games on television. From the montage of clips showing real life professionals such as the title's cover stars Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to a massive menu of options and modes, EA Sports lines you up for a perfect game of golf - leaving you to decide just how you're going to make that first shot.
So, what will it be? A quick practice? Playing a basic round in Stroke Play? How about teaming up with a friend in Alternate Shot and going against two others? There are a staggering number of game modes to try, with an equally exciting range of mini-games to enjoy, including Putting and Long Drive contests and a Capture the Flag game where you take turns hitting targets with your golf ball to capture them.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 doesn't assume you know everything about golf, either. A well designed tutorial mode eases you onto the green, teaching you swinging and putting techniques, as well as selecting the right shot and club.
The excellent visuals also help drive home a comfortable introduction, with nicely animated golfers who resemble their real life counterparts, energetically sharing your joy and frustration with every shot across the lavish golf greens. Dramatic camera angles make big shots even more entertaining to watch, while the commentary and crowd noise complete the immersive experience.
PGA Tour 11 gets you into the swing in no time with a friendly tutorial that has you feeling like a golf superstar within minutes. With its large range of shot styles, you can't help but live every shot with your virtual golfer as you drive, draw and putt your way around over a dozen renowned courses, with even more to download from PlayStation Store.
While you're on the hunt for a birdie or eagle, you can take advantage of gameplay features new to the PGA Tour series. A Focus system gives you access to a caddy sack full of abilities designed to increase your chances of success - although each time you use it the Focus bar depletes, meaning careful judgement is required. Will you go for a Power Boost to ensure you don't beach your ball on a sand trap? Or use something that will aid you later on the hole, such as the Putt Preview to make sure you can sink your shot perfectly? The Focus bar puts risk and reward in your hands.
Whether you decide to go on the prowl for golfing glory as Tiger himself or someone else from a selection of male and female professionals, you can take the experience even further with PlayStation Move motion controller and navigation controller compatibility, meaning each shot you make is even closer to the real thing as you swing your way to silverware. When you combine this with True Aim - a new mode which removes all the traditional aiming methods and forces you to judge distance by yardage markers - you have the ultimate golfing experience on PlayStation 3.
Tee for two – and later, four!
Customisation is king in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, allowing you to step into the game with a self-created character that you can use in both a single player career and multiplayer modes. When moulding a golfer in your image you can start from scratch, download a pre-loaded face from easports.com or use the PlayStation Eye camera to take your photo and place your face into the game. You can then tailor your golfer to your liking, changing body shape, voice pitch and even the size of his or her feet.
With your golfer ready to step onto the green, you can enjoy any of the Traditional Game Modes or mini-games that involve two to four players, with adjustable factors to tinker with such as the effect of weather and wind on play. And if you want to lead your 12-person team to glory on the green in a series of matches for the prestigious Ryder Cup, then step up with your friends and get clubbing.
Want to take the tee online via PlayStation Network? Then there are a variety of online game modes to play, including Stroke Play, Four Ball and Alternate Shot. Ultimate bragging rights can be yours with the 24-player online team mode, which is a 12-on-12 showdown where you can decide the match-ups. Can you and your friends compete with Tiger's roar? Time to putt up...