Ah, the Open, don’t ya just love it? I don’t, but my dad does so that surely qualifies me to write this little piece. EA Sports (it’s in the game…) love it so much they’ve timed the release of their new game in time for its opening, pardon the pun. Oh, and what’s the new game all about? Well, golf of course. Duh.
So, the Rory McIlroy (oops, hope your leg’s better soon, Rory) PGA Tour for PS4 is all about golf and nothing but the golf. You could play alongside watching the real thing and compare your round with Tiger Woods, perhaps. So what’s the gameplay like? Well, the visuals are pretty good, so you can at least take in the scenery as you wait for the little white ball to drop, hopefully on the green. Sadly, there aren’t too many courses to choose from – just 8 based on real-life courses, plus 4 fantasy courses. Further, don’t expect too many big names as there are just 12 named golf professionals to choose from; I assume Rory is one of them… There are improvements on the previous versions, however, for example better customisation in key aspects like the swing for each player. Regarding controls, there are three systems to choose from, increasing customisation even further: there’s the classic three stage power gauge, an analogue system which uses the thumbstick and a fairly realistic version which is more sensitive but offers no assists. They’ve given you plenty of choice regarding controls, but not so much with the courses; just saying. The various controls does mean, though, that you can at least alter the difficulty levels as you see fit. Bet Tiger Woods wishes he could do that.
There are plenty of features which were found in the last version which are no longer included here, and for some this may be a bit ‘rough’ (sorry). As already mentioned, there aren’t as many courses or players (and the ‘older’ players and the female ones have sadly disappeared), and the online features have similarly been slimmed down. The replacement for all of these omissions appears to be a new mode calling itself the ‘Night Club Challenge’. Now, to me this sounds like a request to down 20 tequilas as fast as possible but it’s actually a section which includes 170 speedy challenges which each have a three star score rating to try and achieve – I think this could just as easily have been named the crazy golf section.
My feeling is that hardcore golf fans (come on, we know there must be some of you out there) will buy this game regardless, either because they love the sport, they love the console version of the sport, or even because they want to make Rory feel a bit better. For the rest of us, however, the game lacks punch, depth and, ahem, any sense of drive. To really ram the metaphor home, the chances are that this game will leave you feeling distinctly under par and the game might be a bogey.