As a series, Tiger Woods tends to increment with gentle putts rather than hefty swings - and it has become even more apparent with the last few iterations. As the series' little Wii sibling continues to dazzle with progressively fancier MotionPlus controls, the 360/PS3 version is starting to feel a little old hat by comparison.
Still, Tiger 11 proves there's some life left in the old dog, and PS3 owners will be interested to know their version of Tiger 11 will eventually support PlayStation Move. That's still a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment, though, and it won't be until Tiger 12 that it becomes the highlight of the back-of-the-box feature list.
What Tiger 11 does proudly display on the back of the box is its True Aim mode, which ruthlessly strips the game of its fancy suite of assists and plonks you in an all-manual game of virtual golf. There's no accurate birds-eye view of the ball's destination in True Aim, just a GPS scene of the course with a few distance markers as your sole guide.
It's clearly a mode for the most dedicated players, and its difficulty will definitely deter most, but the strict back-to-basics approach will appeal to those who've found Tiger relying far too much on flashy gimmicks in recent years.
Those people might not be too enthralled to find out the other big addition to Tiger 11 is the Focus mode, a flashy new gimmick which adds an ostensibly videogamey element to the perfect drive. A bar of finite (possibly magical - it's never stated) golf energy sits in the bottom left of your screen and can be used to add extra power to your swing or an accuracy boost, or the trusty putt preview. Putt preview has been changed from a one-time deal to something you can employ as long as you've got focus meter, though it absolutely rinses it. Not using any Focus on a swing recharges your supply.
Despite sounding like a bit of a weird gimmick, Focus adds a much-needed tactical edge to play. It forces you to consider courses in their entirety instead of a collection of single holes: I can't do the ninth hole on Sawgrass to save my life, for instance, so it's imperative I keep a fair chunk of Focus in the bank from the seventh and eighth. It's clearly a bit unrealistic, but then this is the series that allows you to add spin to a golf ball while it's flying through the air.