The Golf Club Preview - Swing Away

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There are intense sports, crazy sports, complicated sports, and then there’s golf. Golf is the sport of the patient and the methodical. You know it’s something different when people are discouraged from going absolutely insane in the audience. This is a gentlemen’s sport, like a gun duel minus the guns and the death of your opponent, but a gentlemen’s sport all the same. It requires careful planning, the proper tools, and a keen understanding of the course you find yourself playing on. The rule’s aren’t very complicated, but they are absolute in their rigid nature.

This isn’t a sport for everyone, but those who are good at it, I commend thee for your patience and poise. To hit a ball that’s about half the size of my fist over a massive distance and still manage to hit a specific area or target takes an accuracy that I have yet to encounter in the real world. I see it all the time online with people hacking in Call of Duty. No, it’s not a headshot if the game did it for you, thanks for playing. And now that I’ve broken the record for most times a shooter is mentioned in a golf game preview, let’s begin.

Step aside Tiger, there’s a new animal in town
The Golf Club makes waves for the simple reason that it is the first golf game we’ve seen go up against EA’s Tiger Woods, or should I say, PGA Tour series now, that we’ve seen since Mario tried to make a golf game back on the gamecube. On top of this, it’s coming from a small studio and they’re making it for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Time for some incredibly detailed grass. In all seriousness, the game is set to be a very realistic and accurate golf simulation. It doesn’t have the branding of the major courses or the players, but it does have several other things going for it.

I like my golf courses like I like my snowflakes. Unique.
The Golf Club is coming to the PS4 from HB studios and runs on the Unity engine. This engine has been used many times for various PC indie games both large and small. It has been the foundation of some fun and unique titles, and this will be one the first time’s I’ve seen it used on a realistic simulation. The screenshots look impressive enough, so as long as the physics and the gameplay are correct, we may have a contender for the throne here. Besides, EA is still looking for someone to plaster on the front of their golf series since their shining star, well, went super nova I think is an appropriate comparison.

The Golf ClubThe Golf Club features something called procedurally generated courses. This essentially boils down to the fact that each course in the game is randomly generated when you play. While this means not being able to select your favorite real world courses, it does mean that the game will never place you on the same course twice. Even more so, you can also use an editor to tweak the courses to your liking. It will have detailed sliders for things like hazards and foliage so it should be easy enough for any player to navigate and fine tune their courses.

Just like Little Big Planet (another name you didn’t expect to see in a golf preview I imagine?) this game will allow you to upload your tailor made courses and more. You can also customize your own tours and tournaments and place these online for others to try out. Adding a social element to a golf game was strong move in my opinion as it gives the game even more re-playability beyond the simple fact that the courses are random each time. These courses and tournaments will be shared through the games proprietary social media hub, making it easy to access and try out other people’s creations and customizations.

Finally, the developers have said that the game will have almost no load times because of the procedurally generated courses. So far, the previews have been promising although recent showcases of the game have yielded frame rate issues and texture pop in. The studio is aiming for a spring release in 2014, but a solid date has yet to be revealed.

Most other articles would include a golf pun or two, but I’m going to include fore. You see, I kinda took a swing here and while I may have fallen in a sand trap or two, I think for the most part, my article flew like a birdie.

What do you think of The Golf Club? Is it going to give EA a run for their money? Tell us about your thoughts in the comments!

Game Category: Sports

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 3/10/2014

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