Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 Updated Impressions

We take an updated look at the PC version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, including various new features that will be in all versions.

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Associate producer Rich Rogers runs through the newest features in the Tiger Woods franchise. Double-click the video window for a full-screen view.

We recently had a chance to take an updated look at the PC version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, which will feature numerous additions and improvements across all platforms. One of the most obvious additions is the new player-profile feature, which will include both your single-player character and your online character, all with the same stroke types and play history, rolled into one (rather than playing one character in the single-player game and an entirely different character online). You'll also be able to include an even more detailed custom golfer in your profile thanks to the Game Face 2 feature. The enhanced mode will include even more options to customize your character's appearance, including a huge number of new selections and sliders for your character's face, clothing, and build, along with new licensed equipment from suppliers such as True Temper, Cleveland, and Oakley (among others). Producer Rich Rogers explained that many fans of the series want to create custom golfers that look exactly like themselves. According to Rogers, while last year's game let players create golfers that were "about 70-percent accurate," the new game should let players make versions of themselves that "are closer to 90-percent accurate."

In terms of gameplay, since Tiger Woods 2005's streamlined profile system will let you play all parts of the game with a single character, you'll also be able to play through the single-player game with a set of new universal difficulty levels, and you'll have the ability to play with all shot types instantly. All players will also now use a unified swing profile, which for the PC version means the same click-and-drag-to-swing mechanic that PC fans have become used to. However, with the more universal profile and control system, it's EA Sports' hope that these features will level the playing field online (rather than have experts with more available swing types and better statistics completely dominate beginners who don't have access to all options and are more likely to mishit). In the actual game, you'll still be able to rotate your golfer to take the best aim at a shot, and you can make use of a variety of camera angles (including everyone's favorite, "ball cam") to line up the best stroke to compensate for wind direction and a sloping course.

All versions of Tiger Woods 2005 will feature the new legend mode, which will let you unlock five of the most accomplished professional golfers in the sport, including players such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. All versions will feature individual golfing lessons and scenarios tailored to your golfer's style, complete with a tournament mode with an internal calendar that tracks your performance at weekly events. The new game will also feature an all-new play mode known as Dream 18, in which you can earn legend points that you can use to edit and "Tiger-proof" the PC version's 11 courses. While all versions of the game are receiving graphical improvements from last year's iterations, the PC version's tall grass and swaying vegetation look especially impressive. The vegetation can also become excruciating once you begin spending your legend points to Tiger-proof your courses. Tiger-proofing is, of course, the practice of both lengthening and toughening a classic golf course to make sure today's up-and-coming young golfers, like Tiger Woods, don't absolutely destroy course records. Tiger-proofing will let you not only lengthen the course, but also let you narrow down the green, add patches of rough, and raise and lower the elevation to make even a tame shot challenging.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 for the PC looks like a promising follow-up for fans of the previous game. All versions are scheduled to ship later this year.

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