Tiger Woods games, like smartphones, are fine things, but unless there are some great new features it's difficult to justify buying a new one every year. Luckily the series has taken some neat steps forward lately and TW14 is one of the better offerings to date.
After last year's sickly sweet hero-worshipping of Tiger's career, EA has slightly muted its teenie-bopper screams of admiration and shifted the focus to past legends of golf, giving praise to players like Seve Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer.
The Legends of the Masters mode sees you go club-to-club with these golfing gods unlocking them as playable characters as you work your way through scenarios from different eras of the Masters. It's one of a few pleasing changes to the game which is still just as smooth as ever but, for better or worse, never strays too far from its recognisable core.
Online Connected Tournaments stand out as the game's most enjoyable feature. The genius of the mode is in the way it can show more than 20 of your opponents' shot arcs playing out across the course as you're making your own attempt at the fairway or green. It ramps up the excitement and gives the game a tangible level of real-time competition that's often lacking, even in real life.
The success of Connected Tournaments and the new Quick Tournaments option, which allows you to swiftly play in one of golf's major competitions, will leave all but committed players with hardly any incentive to get into the game's Career Mode, which by comparison feels long and grinding. However, it's not nearly as pointless as the option to play golf at any time of the day. Trudging around a golf course at night just makes you feel like you're a trespassing teenager who's had one too many J2Os and wants to steal all the flags.
Fans of last year's Country Clubs feature will appreciate its improvements and the golfing hardcore may be pleased with the inclusion of "Simulation" difficulty - though simultaneously annoyed by the number of extra courses already available as DLC. However, as with much of the game the enhancements outweigh the frustrations, and while it's by no means a revolution of the franchise, the improvements in PGA Tour 2014 warrant fans giving it some course time.
By Richard Meade
Tiger's come out swinging
- Connected Tournaments are awesome
- Play as and against legends
- Still satisfying to play
- Level of DLC will annoy some
- It's tweaks around the same core