Microsoft’s flagship golf series makes the transition from computer to Xbox with the release of Links 2004.
Microsoft's flagship golf series makes the transition from computer to Xbox with the release of Links 2004. In addition to a playable lineup of professional golfers, including cover star Sergio Garcia, Links 2004 offers authentic venues in Greywolf, New South Wales, and Four Seasons Resort Aviara, among others. Each 3D course features animated water, ocean surf, and/or wildlife, depending on the locale. To further draw players into the environment, time of day will influence the look of the courses, and both fans and animals will react to certain shots by turning their heads or running away. Players can select equipment from an assortment of manufacturers before hitting the fairways, and a television-style presentation includes dynamic camera angles, professional caliber commentary, and post-game analysis.
The biggest addition to the series is the inclusion of an analog swing meter, where players pull back and then quickly push forward on the right thumbstick to simulate the motion of a golf swing in real time. Career Mode lets players test their skills during a full year on the tour, gradually building up attributes and notoriety to compete with the best the game has to offer. As players make a name for themselves on the courses, they'll be able to sign with corporate sponsors to improve their cash earnings and will notice more and more fans coming out to support their favorite golfer. As part of Microsoft's Xbox Sports Network, which provides updates and scores to any Web-based device, Links 2004 benefits from the service's stat-tracking and league-building features for online play via Xbox Live.
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