A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is a golf simulation game without any violence, sex, language, drugs, or alcohol. A fantasy course set on the scene of a past battle with burning naval ships in the background is about as intense it gets. Real professional golfers, golf courses, and golf equipment brands are featured throughout the experience. This authenticity could generate interest in playing or learning more about the sport but also may lead kids to want to buy the gear they see in the game. Local cooperative play for up to four players encourages positive social-gaming experiences. Multiple control styles and optional aids allow each player to customize the level of challenge to match his or her abilities, making it easy for anyone to start playing. Online play with strangers is supported, but without voice or text communication.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The first new PGA Tour game in two years, RORY MCILROY PGA TOUR gives Tiger Wood's spot on the cover to 25-year-old Scottish phenomenon Rory McIlroy, who appears in interviews talking about some of his most memorable moments. Beyond a new featured athlete, this reboot overhauls the franchise's graphical technology by using EA's powerful Frostbite 3 engine to render all 18 holes of each course on a single map in precise detail. The career mode returns, allowing players to work through multiple PGA Tour seasons. There's also a new Nightclub mode filled with scores of quick challenges that involve shooting balls through rings and precisely targeting small zones, often while using fantasy power-ups such as midair boosts and super sticky landings. Online play includes a head-to-head mode with simultaneous play as well as daily and weekly tournaments that anyone can enter. Controls remain more or less the same as in previous games, with players able to switch between a simple thumbstick-oriented arcade style with lots of aids to assist in shot weight and line, an old-school three-tap method, and a much more challenging tour mode that leaves virtually every element of strategy and swinging up to the player.
Is it any good?
EA Tiburon's PGA Tour games have been in need of a reboot for a while now, and not only because of former cover star Tiger Woods' diminishing stature. They had become overly complicated and sluggish and had long since fallen into a rut whereby annual releases were barely distinguishable. The two years put into developing the first game with Rory McIlroy have gone a long way toward remedying some of these problems. The menus are cleaner, everything loads much faster, and it's generally a lot easier to find your way around. Plus, the courses are probably the prettiest yet in any golf game. Authentic grass textures, dramatic sunlight, and little touches such as flies buzzing around the camera lens help transport players to the courses of their dreams. That they're rendered complete as a single map -- meaning you can play errant drives from other fairways without suffering a stroke and distance penalties and don't have to wait for a new hole to load each time you hole out -- is just gravy.
But the designers still have some work ahead of them. This entry is light on courses -- there are only 12, four of which are fantasy rather than licensed -- and some of the more famous tracks are absent, such as Augusta National. What's more, there are no LPGA players or events -- a regressive shame after Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 introduced both. And avatar customization has been severely reduced, with players limited to a handful of pregenerated faces, hairstyles, and body types and a boring selection of outfits that all are variations of standard sports golf attire. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour has the makings of a good golf game, but it needs to be fleshed out a bit more in future entries before it becomes a true golf superstar.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. Complete rounds of golf in this game don't take much more than 20 minutes, so can you quit and be satisfied after only one round, or do you feel the need to keep playing? How many rounds is enough for one session?
Families also can discuss the lack of LPGA representation in this game. Why do you think it's missing from this game, especially when you can choose to play as a custom-made female golfer? Since previous PGA Tour games featured famous female players and even some official LPGA events, is this a mistake on the developer's part?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Subjects: Hobbies: sports
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
Communication: friendship building
Health & Fitness: fitness
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: EA Sports
- Release date: July 14, 2015
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models
- ESRB rating: E for No Description
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.