By Alec Meer on January 25th, 2010 at 11:03 pm.
That is the first Tiger Woods gag I’ve ever made, anywhere, for the record – I’m entitled to at least one after these longs weeks of respectful silence, surely?
It’s made in reference to what’s a surprise move by EA, and a big ol’ happy event for the Unity engine. Which, just to remind the slowpokes, is a pretty darn beefy 3D game engine capable of running inside a browser. In this case, to power full-blown golf sim Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. Yeah, Disgraced Sex Pest Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. Get over it. The last word’s the important bit.
The game’s creators must be cursing the titular character’s recent pants-free errors, but that doesn’t serve to diminish how impressive Unity’s muscle can be when someone throws money at it. It’s rather pretty, and its controls are overcomplicated and bafflingly abstracted from the reality of hitting a ball with a stick, in the way that serious golf sims tend to be. Whatever happened to the whole swing the mouse back and forward like the arc of a club thing, anyway? Was that deemed too silly?
Currently, it exists in two states – a demo you can play immediately and with a minimum of clicks (so long as you already have Unity installed; it’s a snap to setup even if you haven’t) and a multi-map, multiplayer-enabled, vaguely MMO-like and socially networked open beta which requires jumping through several sign-up hoops first.
What the latter eventually blossoms into remains to be seen – will it be a traditional paid game, a subscription-based affair, or funded by micropayments and/or advertising? It’s a fairly bold move for staid old EA in a way, and a hint of what we’re in for once the major publishers start to accept that online and digital really is the way forward for PC gaming. This is seriously impressive on a technical level. You’d be pretty teed off HAHA I SAID TEE LIKE IN GOLF if you bought a 2010 game from a shop, or Steam etc with graphics like this, but it really does look super given everything’s streamed and in-browser, and it’s seems incredibly quick at downloading/loading too.
Can’t wait to see this kind of budget on this kind of tech applied to a genre I’m interested in – or even a sparkier take on golf, frankly. Just because I don’t especially care for the game doesn’t mean I don’t think this is an amazing achievement, though.