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'Rory McIlroy PGA Tour' review: Just misses hole in one

A screenshot from EA Sports' "Rory McIlroy PGA

A screenshot from EA Sports' "Rory McIlroy PGA Tour", released on July 14, 2015, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Credit: EA Sports / EA Sports

EA Sports' Rory McIlroy PGA Tour definitely has its charms, even if they don't always come out in full swing.

The freedom to mix and match gameplay options (like your swing type and assists), a gauntlet of nighttime minigame challenges and an option for shorter career tournament rounds are nice, but they don't distract you from what's missing. Online play lacks country clubs or simultaneous multiplayer tourneys (only head-to-head play). Plus, part of the career mode's progression system takes control out of your hands.

The courses are limited as well. The loss of The Masters/Augusta hurts not only because it's one fewer event for a FedEx Cup schedule that now only has 10 locations (more will be added after launch as free downloadable content), but the iconic event used to provide added focus that is missing here.

While PGA Tour's offerings may be pared down, the gameplay and the slight evolution of the series' ball-striking system feel familiar and comfortable. One nice option is the ability to customize which gameplay options/assists you want to use (like the ability to apply midair spin). Also cool is the quick-rounds option, where the computer automatically selects a handful of holes each round. It duplicates holes sometimes from round to round or when returning to the same course, but over a four-round weekend you play plenty of golf and see what lots of courses have to offer.

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour isn't a bad game, but with the gameplay nudged ahead only slightly, the graphics not particularly new-gen, and a reduced feature set, the mind easily wanders to what we've lost rather than finding comfort in what's there. -- Game Informer Magazine (TNS)

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour

RATING E for Everyone

PLOT Get into the swing of things as you hit the links.

DETAILS Xbox One, PlayStation 4, $59.99

BOTTOM LINE Just misses being a hole in one.

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