A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11 is a fairly safe play, but it is not all that different from last year's version. Aside from some minor "comic mischief" (the crowd will react to balls hit in their direction) the only caveat for mom and dad is that people playing the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version of the game can communicate by voice while playing online. We heard nothing offensive in our testing, but there is potential for profanity and the sharing of personal information. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens. Also, recent personal controversies in Tiger Woods' life have left him a less than sterling role model.
What's it about?
As with its predecessors, TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 11 lets you play as Tiger Woods or a handful of other PGA and LPGA pros. There's also an option to create a unique golfer from scratch. Select from hundreds of facial combinations, body types, and apparel or simply randomize it all if pressed for time. Alternatively, you can create a realistic 3D likeness of yourself in the game by uploading a couple of photos. Next, it's tutorial time. The narrated, interactive lessons do a great job teaching the mechanics of the game, including the new True Aim yardage marking system. The biggest new addition to this year's game is the inclusion of the Ryder Cup tournament at Celtic Manor in Wales, home of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Led by Tiger for the U.S. squad and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy for the Europeans, these match play games include various competitions (foursomes, fourball, or single), whereby players can show off their skills and earn XP (experience points), a kind of currency that helps boost golfer attributes. Plus, PlayStation 3 owners will be interested to know that the edition for their console supports Sony's upcoming \"Move\" motion-sensing controller, out in November of 2010, to give gamers an authentic interactive swing experience similar to that of the Wii edition, which uses Nintendo's Wii remote and MotionPlus attachment.
Is it any good?
The latest iteration of EA's popular golf sim doesn't feel or look much different than Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10 -- at least not on the Microsoft Xbox 360 version tested for this review. That means owners of last year's model need not necessarily drop $60 on this new disc. That said, many might like the new Ryder Cup mode and ability to play over the Internet with up to 24 players -- a first for the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR series. It also includes the option for teammates to chat via a headset microphone (excluding the Nintendo edition).
If you haven't purchased a new Tiger Woods golf game in a few years, you'll no doubt be impressed with how well the 25 million unit-selling franchise has evolved over the past few years. But if you're still swinging at Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10, there's little reason to drop the cash for this new game -- unless you're a huge fan of the Ryder Cup tourney.
Online interaction: Up to 24 players can play as teams online (excluding the Nintendo Wii version, which supports 4 versus 4 play). Parents should be aware that kids can communicate via headset microphone on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, which opens the door for sharing inappropriate language, information, and subject matter.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what impace the Tiger Woods highly-publicized sex scandal will have on this video game. What kind of role model is Tiger Woods?
Parents can also discuss online safety. What should kids do if they run into immature players or players that make them feel uncomfortable? What kind of things should you not say while playing with strangers?
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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.