Rory McIlroy PGA Tour review

Stripped-down game benefits from improved graphics and more realistic gameplay

Charlie Lemay's picture
Fri, 24 Jul 2015

EA Sport's golf game was fronted by Tiger Woods from 1998 to 2013, and when the company decided to turn to world number one Rory McIlroy it caused quite a stir.

A passing of the torch, the old making way for the new - call it what you want, but it felt like the end of an era. It must have been a touchy subject between the fellow Nike staffers, with McIlroy's career heading in one direction while Woods's sadly slides the other. 

There's a new face on the outside of the box, and the game has also changed its course. It's a stripped-down version, boasting just 12 courses compared to 20 in the previous version. A notable exception is Augusta National, home of the Masters.

The roster of golfers to chose from is also conserably smaller, and there are no female golfers either. Thankfully, man of the moment and McIlroy's main threat Jordan Spieth is available.

There are three modes of gameplay available: arcade, three-click and Tour mode. 

The arcade mode has players control the swing by pulling the swing stick on their controller back and forward in as straight a line possible for a perfect shot. To increase the distance of shots, players can power up by tapping buttons during the swing. 

The three-click system is the old-school way, so probably the one Tiger uses. A swing metre is stopped by clicking, and players need to stop it in the correct areas. 

Both of these systems allow players to impart spin on their balls when in the air, while the Tour mode does not. To control the swing, players use the swing stick, but there are no aids, making this the most difficult setting. 

That being said, after a couple of rounds on the game you should rarely be posting scores over par, and when using these settings you can rack up some memorably scores. A 58 at the Old Course is a personal favourite - that's more akin to my score after nine holes in real life.

In Tour mode, it's more challenging, but still not difficult - and that's how it should be. I want to play like the pros, and see what it's like to boast their power and short game prowess. I have to live with my insufferable aptitude for golf every day - I don't need to be reminded of it in virtual form as well.

Putting still takes a while to get used to, but once you've got the hang of it you shouldn't be carding many three putts.

The game has made giant strides in terms of graphics. The details are superb, and you are no longer out of bounds if you spray one off the tee into the adjacent fairway. 

The career mode allows you to start from scratch, earning new clubs and a better golfer as you climb the rankings.

Night Club challenge mode allows players to undertake specific challenges on a floodlit course, and it's a fun addition. 


The stripped-down version offers less to enjoy, but what's on offer is more enjoyable. It;s reminiscent of past PGA Tour games, but boasting better graphics and more realistic gameplay.

Available: Out now
Publisher: EA Sports
Price: £37.30 (Playstation 4 - tested) £41.75 (Xbox)



Loading Comments...