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After a seven-year hiatus from golf games, EA SPORTS is back.
The gaming giants today announced that on March 24, they will be releasing EA Sports PGA TOUR: Road to the Masters.
EA Sports last produced a golf game in 2015, with Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, and previously made the Tiger Woods PGA Tour game.
Now though, they’re back, and they say it’s better than ever. Here’s some things you can look out for when the game drops in March…
All four men’s major championship venues
A big selling point for EA, they produce the only video game where you can play all four host venues for the men’s majors in 2023. That includes Oak Hill Country Club, Los Angeles Country Club, Royal Liverpool and, of course, Augusta National.
They’re very proud of how the Masters’ venue turned out, so much so that they think some pros might use the game to get a feel for the greens, before playing the tournament.
While that might be a long shot, they did give the team of caddies at Augusta National the chance to play the game, and the feedback was positive. Playing without guides, the loopers found that the breaks in the greens and the bounce of the fairways were extremely accurate. A pretty healthy endorsement.
As well as that, you’ll get to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs, the Players Championship and the Amundi Evian Championship.
Attention to detail
It’s not just Augusta National that got the full attention of the game’s developers, but there’s 29 other iconic venues for you to get stuck into.
The team at EA say that with the help of geologists, helicopter and drone footage, visits to each course and interviews with course superintendents, they’ve made the most realistic experience possible.
At Augusta National, for example, the team had access to the club’s ‘Tree health software’, in order to correctly place every plant on the property.
At the Old Course, the team mapped all 112 bunkers, to what they say is perfect precision.
To give it that sense of authenticity, EA enlisted the help of some big names for the production. One of those is six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo, who provides a rousing voiceover to the opening scene before gameplay of the Open.
“This is a simple game, really,” Faldo says, over a picture of the Home of Golf. “So why does it confound us? Could it be the elements, the obstacles in our way, or the pressure? The answer of course, is all of it.”
Faldo isn’t the only person you’ll hear. Frank Nobilo, Rich Lerner, Notah Begay III and Iona Stephen are also included in the game, and you can expect hundreds of hours of commentary between them.
With Pure Strike gameplay, which EA SPORTS created with the information from the PGA Tour’s ShotLink and TrackMan, they say they’ve produced gameplay that is more authentic than ever before.
With 20 different shot types, they say you can expect ball speeds, launch angles and dispersion similar to real life.
They also say that the game’s ball behaviour has changed, so that every bounce is realistic to how it would land in real life.
So, if you catch the slope in front of the 12th green at Augusta National, you can expect to find Rae’s Creek, just like the pros.
More pros than any other golf game
EA say they will give you the chance to play as, or against, more PGA and LPGA pros than any other golf game.
There’s a full list of players coming out soon, but Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, the Korda sisters, Tony Finau, Danielle Kang and Patrick Cantlay are among those already confirmed.
A note on Tony Finau – he is sporting some of his more interesting outfit choices in the game, and they’ll keep getting updated throughout the year. Here’s him in his Sunday best at Pebble Beach.
Various gameplay modes
If you want to play as your favourite pro then you can, but if you want to put yourself in the action then that’s an option too.
You can build your own character, and make choices throughout your career on what aspects of your game you want to practice, in the same way you would in real life. If you want to start on the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour or as an amateur, they are all options.
There’s also the multiplayer format, where you can play simultaneously with up to 16 other players.
If you can’t wait to get stuck in, you can pre-order the deluxe edition, which will allow you to get a three-day head start on everyone else. This will also come with special gear, including the Grand Slam bundle and the Scotty Cameron bundle.
EA SPORTS PGA TOUR will launch on March 24, 2023. You can view more info on EA SPORTS PGA Tour here.
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