Rory McIlroy: PGA Tour (2 Weeks In)

After getting past the poorly executed and clumsy install process, which only took less than 60 minutes once I realized what was happening (turning off Spotify, putting down the controller, and doing something else while EA did their trickery), I have been able to get in some quality time with the latest PGA Tour release.

Let’s just get this out of the way. Rory McIlroy isn’t Tiger Woods, and this game is nowhere near as polished as Tiger Woods: PGA Tour 14 on the PS3. I probably should have held on to my Masters Historic Edition, but I digress. Currently PGA Tour is getting panned on metacritic: Metascore of 61 (20 critics) and 3.7 User Score (51 Ratings).

I’m not sure that things are all doom and gloom, but there are some glaring omissions. Country Club missing; there are far fewer licensed players and courses compared to Tiger Woods 14. This honestly feels like a game that was rushed for a new hardware launch. It is common practice (I’m not saying this is a good thing) that a first generation title on new hardware will be less feature rich than a title that is on its third or higher iteration on the previous hardware. For the PS4, and EA, there doesn’t seem to be any “new console” release excuses available since EA took a year off from the franchise to focus on the newest revision of PGA Tour.

How much is missing? I was scratching my head trying to find how to view a replay. Can you believe that EA didn’t have the common decency to include the ability to watch an f’ing replay? I was stunned to point where I started google searching and came across this “impressions” article from pastapadre, which more or less makes me look like a plagiarists since their article was posted on July 11.

After the first couple of days, I haven’t returned to online mode (Head2Head); both ranked and unranked matches were a mess. I found myself often getting booted out of games, unable to start games, etc. My internet connection is fine; this is all about EA clustering the release.

If it is important to you to create your own virtual self as a custom golfer, the fine folks at EA left us with minimal options. No game face allowed, and only a few customizable features. As was the case with Tiger Woods, you continue to unlock apparel (most of which is EA branded) and clubs. Unless I am missing something, which is entirely possible (plus my virtual badass create pro golfer self is only just past Level 45; 71’ish overall skill), you don’t have the ability to set your own attributes. Not that it adds to the gameplay, but in a cheesy sort of way, it did add to the fun, gone are the sunglasses option.

EA’s newest edition to the series is the interesting Night Club mode. I’m only 15 or so challenges in right now, and while they seem fun, and maybe even downright addicting, I don’t like the lock system; you should be able to jump around between any of the three courses. Since this mode is made for casual fans, this seems to be a glaring miss.

But things are not all shitty in Rory Land …

A lot of gamers are complaining about the Quick Play mode, which allows you to only play the most important holes 6 or so holes in career mode tournament play. I’m not close to being ADD, but I love this feature, but like so much else in this version of Tiger Words, err Rory McIlroy, the interface is so poorly implemented that by default this mode is turned on, which has caused some confusion among gamers – “why can’t I play a full 18 holes” type of confusion. Because of the limited number of courses, and what looks to be a long grind to Level 100, I’m loving the Quick Play mode.

More to come later, time permitting, but at this point I don’t think this iteration of PGA Tour is as bad as the scores it has received. It is certainly not perfect, and is nowhere near the beauty that was PGA Tour 14. It’s just not awful, and has merit. The true test will be if I am still playing it a couple of weeks from now …

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