It's inevitable that the annual updates for the leading EA Sports titles fall into a cyclical rhythm. New features are introduced and refined, and then age, and we all grumble about how the games haven't changed until new features are finally introduced and the whole giddy roundabout starts up again. After two years of impressive entries, which saw the addition of fairly revolutionary changes to the golf game formula, the latest Tiger Woods effort finds the series most definitely on the downswing of this cycle.
A good indication of this stagnating design is the introductory video which, as last year, welcomes you back into the world of PGA with an overview of what new elements have been added this time around. With bold, genre-changing features like Photo Game Face, GamerNet, and simultaneous online play all now firmly established as the core of the game, there's just not very much on offer here that will leave fans eager to part with their cash.
For golf aficionados, the big news is that the US Open is now part of the career, along with the USGA Championship and, therefore, the official USGA rulebook. There are six new courses: Bethpage Black, Hazeltine, Oakmont, Pinehurst, Torrey Pines and Turnberry. Two new pro golfers have also joined the roster - Anthony Kim and Rocco Mediate - the latter of which I'm fairly certain was actually created by a spam email generator.