Also on: PC, Xbox Series X
Developer: EA – Tiburon
My favourite golf sim ? which means we?re not counting games like Easy Come, Easy Golf (which is still amazing, by the way) ? is easily PGA Tour 2K21. It just worked. While it allowed you to get down in the weeds if you wanted to, it was also accessible enough that if you didn?t want to worry too much about swing mechanics, you could still fiddle with the settings and make it fun.
EA Sports PGA Tour is basically the exact opposite of that. It?s a golf game made for people who love golf ? and if you don?t, then you might find it a little harder to get into.
At least, that was certainly the case for me. I went in expecting it would play similarly to the 2K series, which was a massive mistake. Even if you change the settings so that it?s a little more forgiving, it still takes a lot of work to become even somewhat decent at the game. First and foremost, you need to learn how to swing just so: the sticks here are very sensitive, so it?s very easy to swing way harder than is necessary, and send your ball rocketing past where you want it to go.
Similarly, it may take you awhile to learn how the ball will react. Not only can gusting winds come into play, once the ball lands here it has an annoying tendency to roll forever. One time, for example, the game didn?t seem to register that I?d hit a ball over a small hill, so instead I watched as my ball rolled, and rolled, and rolled its way down the green. Combine sensitive swings with golf balls that don?t want to stay put, and you can see why EA Sports PGA Tour isn?t exactly for casual players.
To some extent this is kind of fair. After all, the main focus of the game is ensuring your created golfer makes the cut at the Masters. Along the way, you?ll play at famed greens from around the world, and the game really wants to make you feel like you?re earning it. To this end, one of the side features are challenges where you have to recreate famous golf moments ? and, needless to say, doing well on those goes a long way towards ensuring that your created golfer picks up the skills and the gear necessary to become a pro.
And if you?re willing to put in the work, EA Sports PGA Tour is undoubtedly pretty rewarding. In addition to the 100+ challenges, there are 30 real-world courses available to play on, and they generally look pretty good. My one nitpick would be that the crowds seem a little dead at times ? or, at least, they don?t seem to respond to the action in front of them ? but apart from that, this game generally looks like the real thing.
Which goes back to my point above: EA Sports PGA Tour is meant for people who want a golf game that?s true to the sport. It?s not often you see a sports game that embraces the ?get good? mentality to the extent this one does, but if you?re after the real thing, you?ll find it here.
EA provided us with an EA Sports PGA Tour PS5 code for review purposes.