previews\ May 27, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 - XB - Preview

E3 2002 - First look


Despite the fact that Tiger Woods 2002 was not long ago released, EA Sports is already showcasing the 2003 version at this years E3 and as a big fan of the series I couldn’t be more thrilled.


Since the 2002 version was already very solid overall, EA had a great place to start from for the next release.  Accordingly, they’ve been able to add a ton of new features to make this game more enjoyable than ever.


Tiger Woods 2003 will have a mix of more realism and more fantasy.  There will be additional PGA Tour golfers added to the roster as well as new fictional characters to make the game more interesting.  Also, there are new official PGA courses, including Torrey Pines, Poppy Hills, Spyglass Hill in addition to the stunning new fantasy courses.


Although the game modes will be primarily the same and will be dedicated to making money to buy attributes for your own player as they were in 2002, there are a couple of new modes.  One of which, SkillZone, lets you buy a bucket of balls and compete in a variety of mini-games.  One of which allows you to test your accuracy by hitting targets in a driving range type environment and it’s very cool looking.


Not surprisingly, this game looks incredible.  The graphics have been further enhanced and the environments are now sickly close to real courses.  Most notably, the visual quality of water and its reflections have been greatly increased.  Also, characters’ facial features and now even more accurate and Tiger especially looks even more like himself.  In my short glimpse of the game I didn’t notice any camera problems that were present in 2002, but then again, they don’t happen too often.  Hopefully that problem will be resolved.


The basic control scheme is still intact, so the transition will be fairly easy.  However, the putting system hasn’t yet been completely decided upon.  Most likely, the caddy tips will go away, but the grid system isn’t coming back.  It’ll be interesting to see what they decide upon.


The Tiger Woods series is undoubtedly the best console-based golf title and the 2003 version will be no less impressive.  All the basics are still there: the commentary, accurate physics, beautifully rendered courses (both real and fantasy) and everything we’ve come to expect from EA Sports.  It’s a great blend of a golf-sim and an arcade style game, which makes it even more fun to play.  This game is going to be amazing and unlike last year’s release it will be available for PS2, XBOX, GameCube, as well as the PC.  It should be shipping in winter 2002. 

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