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OS Scores Explained Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR Overview (PS4)
Pros
Good gameplay on the course, game oftentimes pretty, ability to play both sim and arcade elements.
Cons
Very shallow, Tour Pro mode extremely thin, Night Club Challenge more like a mobile game.
Bottom Line
Despite solid gameplay, there's not much to keep you around very long here.
5
out of 10
Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR REVIEW

Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR Review (PS4)

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is the first attempt at next-gen golf from EA Sports. While the game plays a decent brand of golf on the course, it’s so razor thin off of it that you will have a hard time justifying the $60 price tag upon entry.

 
See our earlier impressions:
 
Gameplay

There are a lot of things Rory does right when it comes to simply playing golf. First off, there are various adjustments you can make to difficulty that will allow you to play either a more arcade-based version of golf or a more sim version.

The spectrum available in Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, and the ability to play on polar opposite sides of the spectrum, should be commended because you get good results from both sides of the spectrum.
 
 
With a more sim slant, Rory can be particularly unforgiving -- where you have to use real world thought processes to beat the course around you. Wolf Creek is one particular course where you have to really think through your shots. With the dramatic changes in elevation and the huge doglegs over mountains, you oftentimes have to do mental acrobatics in planning your next shot.

Even still, how good you are does depend on how good you are on the sticks. Many are reporting greater variability on shots with the three-click system, and I did find that as well, but I much prefer the analog stick swinging mechanic. In that mechanic, if you are somewhat steady on the sticks, you won’t be missing many fairways and greens on approach shots.

Putting is fair and what you would expect from a golf game at this point. I personally had no trouble dissecting the green, making a read and then sinking the putt. I’m neither sinking 30 footers with regularity nor am I guaranteed to hit everything under 10 feet. I suspect many are better on the greens than I, but for most the putting should offer a realistic challenge.

One potential weakness is the short game, which I found to be oftentimes rather easy. In many cases, hitting a chip off of the fringe to the cup was easier than making a putt from the same distance. This definitely should not be the case. However, in Rory’s defense, I’ve felt this was the case with many golf games over the years.

Overall, the gameplay in Rory will be what you make of it. It has no real frills, but what it does do it does well. If you want a game that will play a good round of golf with some basic presentation around it, you can definitely find that in Rory McIlroy PGA Tour.
 
 
But Off Of The Course…

The wheels for Rory do come off a bit when you leave the course. Anyone who remembers the outrage and problems many had with NHL 15, well, you’ll find a lot of similarities here. The game’s feature list has been gutted, and its offerings are currently just razor thin.

First off, the amount of actual licensed golfers and courses simply pales in comparison to previous games. With just 12 golfers and eight licensed courses (nine if you got the pre-order bonus), you won’t find much variability there. While there is hope more courses/golfers will be added to Rory in the coming months, that does not change the fact that the game itself shipped with a bare minimum of licensed properties.

The game does sport two realistic fictional courses, which I wish there were more of at the very least to give the Tour Pro Mode some more variety.

Rory’s main mode is Tour Pro Mode, which simply does not compare to other major sports gaming career offerings. The game itself does the absolute bare minimum to allow you to play a series of tournaments on an official-feeling PGA Tour.

There is no calendar to see what events are coming up, or even a way to look back at previous events. There is nothing to make the game feel alive, and there’s nothing at all to indicate what time of year it is or how far through a season you’ve made it.

For a game that does so well with feedback on the course, the lack of it off of the links is just breathtakingly bad. It’s possible Tour Pro is the worst career mode of this generation, perhaps the worst one in years in the sports gaming genre (at least among simulation titles).
 
 
Customization Options

Rory does not offer a robust set of customization options for players either, which will be a problem for many.

The player creation suite is incredibly basic, with only a few presets on making your character look certain ways. The auto-generated faces that you splash hair and skin tones on top of feels very early PS3 era. While there are easily hundreds of possible combinations, if you want an avatar that looks remotely similar to you, you will have a hard time making that happen.
 
 
A Game Struggling To Feel Alive

When it comes to the game’s tone and feel, there’s not much that comes to life in Rory. The commentary is basic, and you’ll quickly find lines that repeat (is that really a commercial shot?). Furthermore, the galleries are oftentimes not as dynamic as the real thing. (We recognize many sports games struggle with both these aspects, but regardless they're still weaknesses.)

Sometimes the gallery will go crazy for a tee shot down the middle of the fairway, and then other times people will quietly clap for a major-winning birdie. In short, obviously that's not a good thing.

Outside of that, there’s nothing to draw you in during events. Anybody who watches Tour events knows that golfers are finishing holes all the time and big shots are being made everywhere. The presentation in Rory is severely limited in the sense that you don’t see those other shots happen ever, nor do you even hear about them. The score is simply different on a cutaway between holes.

And when it comes to playing in a tournament, you don’t play in a group; you still play solo. That’s something that is a step backwards for the series, and it leaves a lot on the table. You don’t even get the dynamic ball tracking you could find in The Golf Club to allow you to see how others are doing versus what you are doing.

All of this leads to a game that just struggles to feel alive and dynamic. Instead, Rory is simply left feeling cold and empty, with no real dynamic elements to it at all.
 
 
Conclusion

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is a game that is solid on the course if you simply like playing golf. However, there is nothing else here to keep you playing beyond a few rounds.

The modes themselves are pretty frivolous, with even the Night Club Challenge being pretty basic -- and a waste of time if you are a sim golf fan. To be clear though, Night Club being an arcade mode is not the real issue, it's just that the mode feels like a mobile game wrapped in a console game, which is not necessarily a compliment.

Given the lack of frills outside of the core gameplay, there’s nothing saying this game brings a good value to you at $60. With time, that could change as content is added and the price is dropped, but as it stands Rory is simply too basic to be considered anything but average. Even worse, it's not a yearly title so an official PGA Tour product that matches up to the promise of this generation could now be years away if post-release content does not come through in a big way.

Score: 5.0 (Average)

(Ed. Note: Online play did factor into our final review as well, but we will have a more in-depth look at online play in an upcoming feature. As of now, it's one element we have not touched on much during process of posting thoughts on this game, but rest assured we will get to it.)

Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Klocker @ 07/16/15 03:15 PM
ouch... game plays like a 9 to me but feature-wise yes it's lower.


hopefully a follow up is possible if promised updates come to fruition
 
# 2 Dazraz @ 07/16/15 03:22 PM
I've no real interest in the Tour Mode. Only mode I played on TW14 was Quick Tournaments. Can anyone tell me if thus feature is in & how many Players can compete Offline?
 
# 3 menos9 @ 07/16/15 03:36 PM
Great honest review. I love how people are waiting for more content to be added to make the game better. EA ripped you off if you bought it on day one and they know it. They are going to turn a $60 game into a $200 with DLC. People continue to fall into their trap and this is why they don't change.
 
# 4 Klocker @ 07/16/15 07:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by menos9
Great honest review. I love how people are waiting for more content to be added to make the game better. EA ripped you off if you bought it on day one and they know it. They are going to turn a $60 game into a $200 with DLC. People continue to fall into their trap and this is why they don't change.


Yea.... uh no.


Getting way more than my money's worth on this. Playing it for days and days now... I spend this much on quick bite out with my girlfriend every week. Or one mid priced round of golf around here.


So people who can't justify the purchase based on missing features are missing some fantastic game play
 
# 5 Peter_OS @ 07/16/15 09:46 PM
Good review Chris!

Glad I got a chance to play this on EA Access. I had the game pre-ordered and cancelled right after my first play through of the game. I just couldn't get into it, and had a hard time justifying the $60 price tag.

I'll wait for it to get added on EA Access for free later in the year, and maybe by then (hopefully more content will be added.) I might try it again.
 
# 6 TheBleedingRed21 @ 07/16/15 10:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by menos9
Great honest review. I love how people are waiting for more content to be added to make the game better. EA ripped you off if you bought it on day one and they know it. They are going to turn a $60 game into a $200 with DLC. People continue to fall into their trap and this is why they don't change.
Or we could not support the game, get no post launch support and possibly lose out on a PGA game overall because of poor sales.

The best thing we can do is support them and hope they will update post launch and use the money to fund new courses and development.
 
# 7 believeinnow @ 07/17/15 02:46 AM
A Decent first attempt at a video review, just like this is EA's first attempt at golf on next gen.

While we have become demanding that we get a five-course meal, I do agree with most people that a little bit more out the gate should have happened. I would have accepted fewer real world golfers if the create a golfer was better and/or an import feature was available (yes, I am aware of licensing issues with that).

As for the video review, you can tell immediately that Chris is simply re-reading his review. It doesn't sound like a script, but just someone posting an audio version for people too lazy to read. A video review should complement the article. Give me something slightly different. Sites like IGN and GameSpot have mastered this over a decade ago. With video, you have the ability to do so much more that can't be done with text alone. Also, start learning to capture your own footage, helps get your message across better.
 
# 8 Dazraz @ 07/17/15 02:54 AM
Just picked the game up but had only enough time for a quick look. 1st impressions are, as everyone's,in that this is a stripped down game. Let's face it, this is what EA do to nearly all their games when they step up to a new console so I've come to expect no more from them in that regard. To be honest I'm not bothered about the Tour Mode & I'm sure DLC will bring with it more Pros/Courses albeit at at price.
I would like to have seen the Quick Round feature implemented in Play Now Mode. It's a nice addition especially if time is an issue. Hopefully that may get patched in.
Having had a crack at the control systems on offer I surprisingly found the 3-Click System, as archaic as it is to seems to be the right fit for me at the moment anyway.
I'm playing on the Xbox One & the visuals in the game are very inconsistent. From near photo realistic to being pretty messy with some choppy frame rates.
Commentary is likely the best in the series although that's not saying much & I'm sure it'll get stale in time.
Despite the negatives I don't feel that this is a bad game & I still think I'll have fun with it, especially with a few friends around & a few beers. As I said the DLC will come but at a cost. Whether we'll see general improvements & upgrades to the overall product I much doubt as this would be harder for EA to justify charging us for & those guys don't do much for free!
 
# 9 terrycurran62 @ 07/17/15 06:51 AM
A decent review of a very good game. I like the stripped down feel of it. In my view people should play online as the golfer they created for themselves. Playing as a top pro is a cop out. Instead they should develop their own players over time.
I also like the minimal character creation options. In the past TW games many have created deliberatly bizarre characters. But by being different they ended like everybody else. I welcome the fact that it's been kept simple by EA. this is a golf game and not a soap opera or game show.
But we live in times where people want glitz rather than quality, where they don't have to think too much and can shoot -30 without any effort.
I think EA should be complimented on their radical approach. It's radical because they have created an old school golf game where the golf itself is more important than the fancy dressing. Unfortunately the reviews will ensure this game flops. The world has moved on from honest golf games where playing the game was more important than being a red Turkey or being 12 feet tall on the course.
I think think the game is brilliant. It needs fine tuning and obviously it needs more courses. These will come( I hope ) it also needs more online tournaments in modes other than silly arcade. If play the game properly then this game is for you. Sadly most people really don't want that any more.
 
# 10 Dazraz @ 07/17/15 09:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrycurran62
A decent review of a very good game. I like the stripped down feel of it. In my view people should play online as the golfer they created for themselves. Playing as a top pro is a cop out. Instead they should develop their own players over time.
I also like the minimal character creation options. In the past TW games many have created deliberatly bizarre characters. But by being different they ended like everybody else. I welcome the fact that it's been kept simple by EA. this is a golf game and not a soap opera or game show.
But we live in times where people want glitz rather than quality, where they don't have to think too much and can shoot -30 without any effort.
I think EA should be complimented on their radical approach. It's radical because they have created an old school golf game where the golf itself is more important than the fancy dressing. Unfortunately the reviews will ensure this game flops. The world has moved on from honest golf games where playing the game was more important than being a red Turkey or being 12 feet tall on the course.
I think think the game is brilliant. It needs fine tuning and obviously it needs more courses. These will come( I hope ) it also needs more online tournaments in modes other than silly arcade. If play the game properly then this game is for you. Sadly most people really don't want that any more.
Bearing in mind PGA 15 has a Battlefield Course, a Night Game Mode & some ridiculous characters outside of the licensed Pros I find your comments on going back to basics a little off the mark.
 
# 11 Dazraz @ 07/17/15 06:09 PM
Having spent some more time with the game Im inclined to give it a 7.5. Yes the Course list & available Pros have shrunk & will need addressing but on the course I'm enjoying this more than any other golf game in recent history. Played 2 Rounds at Sawgrass. Hit a +5 with Winds at Maximum. Tuned the Wind down & hit a -4. The gameplay is well balanced with the options available to allow a good challenge without being unplayable.
 
# 12 pietasterp @ 07/17/15 07:15 PM
Thanks for the review; it reads like a measured approach to the game.

I wonder if - given the alleged emphasis on update via iteration for this game - it's worth revisiting or 'updating' the review in, say, 6 months' time? The game may be enhanced by future DLC (although IMO, paid DLC shouldn't warrant a return/re-score since it's essentially buying an additional game), or have some of the core mechanics changed or tweaked. Also, as we all know, with time minor annoyances or serious problems can become apparent that may not have necessarily been apparent in the immediate launch period.

Anyway, appreciate the review.
 
# 13 cepwin @ 07/19/15 01:24 PM
First I tend to agree that the on-course play is very well done but the licensed golfers and courses needs to be enhanced...just too few. As for the night golf, it has it's fun and I do believe it does to a small extent give your practice with the mechanics.
Finally, I agree with pietasterp that a re-review in 6 months is probably in order. If memory serves, a lot of things where added to NHL 15 after launch and I expect the same here.
 
# 14 oldjim @ 07/20/15 07:00 PM
It should be the same price as The Golf Club.
 
# 15 GisherJohn24 @ 07/29/15 09:43 AM
Wow, did they get rid of their devs? Why would they give us such a bare boned next gen golf game? Nice start EA. Way to ruin the franchise for good.
 
# 16 smitty67 @ 07/29/15 04:33 PM
GisherJohn, I used to commiserate with you over on the EA message board for the NCAA series.

I agree with you. I've been pounded on by members of this Ballard for questioning this game. But, the bottom line is, we paid a premium video game price, for a less than premium product.

I have had some fun with it as far as the actual Tour courses, all 6 of them. Not 8, because Lighthouse Pointe and the Wetlands only exist in EA world.

Night golf, useless, useless, useless. Gisher, can you imagine the first production meeting for this when one of the EA guys suggests certain courses, or match play, or whatever feature and got shot down for it. Then the next guy pipes up and says "I know, night golf, with neon colors, no XP, just hit shot through rings for the heck of it." Who signed off in that?
 
# 17 DivotMaker @ 07/29/15 04:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty67
GisherJohn, I used to commiserate with you over on the EA message board for the NCAA series.

I agree with you. I've been pounded on by members of this Ballard for questioning this game. But, the bottom line is, we paid a premium video game price, for a less than premium product.

I have had some fun with it as far as the actual Tour courses, all 6 of them. Not 8, because Lighthouse Pointe and the Wetlands only exist in EA world.

Night golf, useless, useless, useless. Gisher, can you imagine the first production meeting for this when one of the EA guys suggests certain courses, or match play, or whatever feature and got shot down for it. Then the next guy pipes up and says "I know, night golf, with neon colors, no XP, just hit shot through rings for the heck of it." Who signed off in that?
You've been "pounded on"?.....Wow. Looks to me you have pretty much been able to say what you felt like with little to no arguing.....
 
# 18 smitty67 @ 07/29/15 05:07 PM
DM, there was another thread maybe the original one a few pages back into it where I said something negative and I was jumped on about it, that's all.


The gameplay is great, especially trying out 3-click, the graphics are great,it's just missing too much. Kind of like NHL 15 was missing so much last year.
 
# 19 DivotMaker @ 07/29/15 05:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty67
DM, there was another thread maybe the original one a few pages back into it where I said something negative and I was jumped on about it, that's all.


The gameplay is great, especially trying out 3-click, the graphics are great,it's just missing too much. Kind of like NHL 15 was missing so much last year.
I don't recall seeing that, but if it did and I was a part of it, you have my apologies....and I agree with you on the rest....
 
# 20 smitty67 @ 07/29/15 07:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DivotMaker
I don't recall seeing that, but if it did and I was a part of it, you have my apologies....and I agree with you on the rest....

I don't think you were, DM, and truthfully I probably deserved some of it, anyway.


I went on a diatribe about the rabbits in the bunker and some of the dumb little sayings in between tournament rounds like "feeding wildlife", and "racing golf carts", and such. I went off on the celebrations.


Basically just venting about spending full price for 1/3 to 1/2 of the game we were used to getting.


Oh, well, let's just keep hoping for more and more meaningful and useful updates. Way more courses needed, and depth to the career mode.


Incidentally, other than a power outage a couple days ago, today was the first time I turned off the game since Tuesday the 14th, so I guess I don't hate it that much.
 

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