EA Sports PGA Tour is approaching its worldwide release, with the early access period now open for those who pre-ordered so they can experience the gameplay firsthand.
Those lucky enough to be given a game code have also been hitting the greens, which means that we can give you our first impressions of the new golf title coming your way!
Read on to see our initial review of EA Sports PGA Tour, including gameplay, courses and more!
EA Sports PGA Tour First Impressions
Upon first loading up EA Sports PGA Tour we were invited to create our pro player, with the usual basic information, character appearance and apparel choices needed.
We weren't able to make any drastic modifications to the facial structure, instead given a load of premade faces to pick from where we could then change the basics such as hairstyle, facial hair, hair and eye colour, and a few more options.
The lack of customisation there doesn't really bother us, although it would be nice to have the ability to create or upload a realistic likeness into the game.
Your apparel and equipment also start off quite basic, however, you can add to them throughout the game as you unlock and purchase what you want.
As well as a preferred swing animation, you are also given a choice of swing styles, which - unlike the other choices we've talked about so far - won't just be for cosmetic reasons.
Ball Trajectory, Preferred Shot Shape and Swing Tempo will all play a part in how your golfer operates on the courses.
The menus aren't the most intuitive to use and it took us a while to trust the autosave function when selecting to go back, crossing our fingers that the information wouldn't get wiped!
To get used to playing on EA Sports PGA Tour we headed straight to Quickplay, where we were greeted by nine modes to play on, including the standard Stroke Play, Match Play and Skins.
The 30 courses are ranked in Power, Driving, Approach, Short Game and Putting, so you can see how easily your pro will cope with each.
We love that when you select your course there are plenty of options for what holes to play!
You can opt for the usual All 18, First 9 and Second 9, but also included are All Par 3s, All Par 4s, All Par 5s and a Custom option, where you can select by individual holes.
When selecting the Custom setting, you are also shown an overview of the hole layout, par, yardage and handicap, giving you all the information you need to inform your decision.
Then it is time to pick your pro, with all the players given overall ratings as well as an easy-to-view rundown of their capabilities in the five key areas of the game (Power, Driving, Approach, Short Game and Putting).
Scottie Scheffler sits at the top with a 92 OVR, however, what really caught our eye was the inclusion of LIV runaway Dustin Johnson as a playable pro!
EA Sports PGA Tour Gameplay
After the initial setup and selection, it was finally time to take to the tee box in EA Sports PGA Tour.
Beautiful cinematics welcome you to your chosen course, with the commentary team hyping you up and giving you a rundown of the hole you are about to play.
It wasn't immediately obvious to understand what the two aiming markers were showing, but we soon realised one was where the ball would first make contact if unimpeded, with a blue trail line showing how the wind would affect the shot.
Depending on what pro you play as and the lie of the ball, there are plenty of shots to select from, although it will take a lot of practice to learn how each one impacts the ball's behaviour once it lands - something that non-golfers will struggle with more than those who actually play for real!
There were a couple of really nice touches that stood out for us, one being that when you shape your shot with a fade or draw, you need to change your swing path from a straight down and up motion to instead mimic the left-to-right (or right-to-left) angle of the shot.
Another is the crowd noise. It really feels like you are being watched, with the chatter going on as you line up your shot, but then everyone falling silent when you approach the ball. It adds great tension to the game and puts pressure on your shots!
There were also a few issues we noticed on our initial playthrough. The first was that sometimes the swing marker is obscured by the background, making it very hard to know when to time your shot.
When looking at a zoomed-in view of where you are aiming your shot, you can't always get a good angle of the course or the trajectory of the ball, which can lead to some serious errors.
However, by far the worst problem at the moment is the connection to EA servers. This won't come as a surprise to those that have played any of the titles produced by the company, but the connection was very unstable. It will prove a major issue if this continues, as you need to be connected for pretty much anything you wish to do on EA Sports PGA Tour!
We didn't want to go in at the deep end with our first course on EA Sports PGA Tour, so opted to take on nine holes at Harbour Town, which looked to be the easiest course in the game.
Being used to playing on PGA Tour 2K23, we were surprised at how little the ball rolled on the fairways and the greens, thinking that maybe EA had got things a little wrong.
However, we needn't have worried, as we followed Harbour Town up with a course we knew could cause havoc with ball behaviour - Augusta!
The greens are so tricky, just as you would want them to be, and the ball reacted much sharper on the fairway.
It's safe to say if you want a tough start to life on EA Sports PGA Tour, head straight to Augusta.
We also had a brief go on St Andrews, where the firm ground saw the ball roll on for what seemed like forever, giving us a proper look at the extremes each course offered.
EA Sports PGA Tour Review
From our first impressions, EA Sports PGA Tour feels like a top golf game that is more than ready to battle it out with 2K23.
Visually, the courses look stunning, and the build-up to each hole with the commentary giving you pointers on how to play certain parts is great for beginners.
Each pro feels different to control, with separate shot tempos distinguishing between them.
We've started to improve the skills of our pro which gives a great customisation element to the game and we can't wait to develop them into one of the best around!
The glaring issue at the moment is the connection issues, we just hope that they are fixed ASAP so we can smash through the game in peace without trying to reconnect all the time.