Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 E3 2004 Impressions

EA Sports showed off the newest version of its golf game at E3 2004.

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Last year's Tiger Woods game introduced an amazing level of character customization, allowing players to create a digital avatar that could look like just about anyone. We got a look at Tiger Woods 2005 at E3 2004, and this year's version will attempt to bring that same degree of customization to the golf courses.

Tiger Woods 2005 will include eight new licensed courses, four returning courses, and two fantasy courses. You'll be able to tweak just about any aspect of any hole on these courses to suit your preferences via an easy-to-navigate menu of slider bars. If the fairway on a hole seems too easy to hit, you can make it narrower. Too difficult to land your drive? Widen the fairway. Greens too large? Make them smaller. You can tweak the length of the rough, the size or undulation of the green, the depth of the bunkers, the wind speed, the color of foliage on the trees, and more. All of these tweaks can fundamentally change the way a hole looks and plays.

There will also be a set of "legends of the game" to challenge, including Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player, and Ben Hogan. Each of these golfers will resemble their real-life counterparts right down to each player's signature swing. Aside from the golfing legends, 15 current PGA players will be in the game.

The character customization system is also getting some new attention; last year's game offered 30 different slider bars, while Tiger Woods 2005 will allow you to customize your avatar in 70 different ways. You'll also be able to use templates for three different ages, including a child, an adult, and a senior citizen. Everything right down to age spots, freckles, and wrinkles can be added to your character.

Tiger fans can also look forward to a revamped chipping and putting system. Unfortunately, these new mechanics were not available in the E3 demo version, but EA representatives told us that putting in the game would force players to read greens and "feel" the putt, as opposed to relying on numbers and technical minutiae. Tiger Woods 2005 will ship this September on the PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube platforms--all versions except the GameCube will be playable online for two players.

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