TUCSON, Ariz. — Nearly a decade after he last graced the cover of a golf sim, Tiger Woods swings back into action to lead the charge of "PGA Tour 2K23." The game is slated for release Friday.
His presence, which signifies his recent career resurgence, represents the comeback spirit in the game itself.
After skipping last year, Take-Two Interactive relaunches its golf sim with the kitchen sink approach.
In the mix are minigames, licensed appearances, and sideshows featuring the likes of TopGolf, Dude Perfect, and Barstool Sports.
2K went light on licensed golfers, including only 13 other pros than Tiger. The likes of Justin Thomas, Brooke Henderson, and Tony Finau make appearances.
With such a small cluster of pros driving fan appeal, it was crucial that the devs nailed the fundamentals.
Mission accomplished on that front.
My favorite addition was the three-click shot system that sizes up and shapes your drives based on the timing you execute in three concentric meters interlocked inside a circle.
The approach simulates the precision and skill it takes to execute a perfect shot in real life. The thrill of nailing your vision is immense, and the angst you stew in after missing your target by a half second is real.
There are loads of customization options, allowing you to deck out your player in licensed clothing, accessories, and equipment.
A full-featured course builder allows you to carve out the course of your dreams, and a wide selection of casual minigames lets you blow off steam in between grim 18-hole rounds.
While the lack of crossplay and a slim suite of online options may stifle some subsets of players, the overall package is as complete and compelling as gamers have seen since EA's "Tiger Woods" heyday.
The year off in the clubhouse seems to have paid off well. It's time to hit the virtual greens again and wince when they hit back.
The publisher provided a review code.