Assuming Tiger Woods is a brand that was smudged by the fact that he's capable of unsavoury acts, PGA Tour 13 would like to remind you that once, he was an innocent child. A child who would go on to realise every one of his dreams - including some sexy ones that you won't be recreating here.
This lifetime career mode follows a fair path from tutorial to fantasy tournament, if you can stomach the sanitised hero-worship. The real advance is in the control scheme, which is more precise, accurate, and at the highest of the many difficulty levels, the most challenging yet. It's not a total revolution - still relying on the back-forward swing of a thumbstick to replicate a club - but tweaks feel tighter and more responsive, and extra feedback lets you know what you're doing right and wrong.
There are more than a dozen famous courses out of the box, and the satellite scanning that was used last year for Augusta has been rolled out to the other courses, which supposedly means they're more realistic. We say supposedly - the last time we were actually on a golf course, we were sixteen years old, drunk, and to be honest it was more of a pitch and putt.
Immediately available are a range of 'downloadable' courses. To play these, you need to buy rounds with coins that can be earned or purchased. This creates an economy of impatience that's similar in nature - although nowhere near as severe - as Farmville. Course Mastery is a series of accumulative targets - score five eagles, and the like - that eventually reward you with unlocks and coins. Mastering a downloadable course gives you unlimited plays, saving you those precious coins.
The Caddy is there if you want him, but he's a lower key, this year. Which is absolutely fine with us, as he's a massive smart-arse. If you're looking for coins without spending points, join a Country Club. The actions of other club members reward everyone, and it's geared to reward participation as much as skill.
With or without the Tiger-worship of Legacy mode, PGA Tour 13 is a great yearly update that doesn't disappoint. Kinect integration will entertain the less serious player, but the brilliantly precise and challenging new control scheme means the golfing hardcore won't need to give it a second glance.
More of the same, but noticeably better
- Excellent control scheme
- As much depth as ever
- Too much is online-only
- Legacy is sweet, but a bit naff
- Facebook-style 'monetisation'