My experience with golf games is strictly limited to the Grand Theft Auto and Yakuza series. So here we are with Everybody’s Golf VR, I love VR and it can make ordinary experiences feel fresh and new, so here’s to hoping it can turn me into a fan of the genre.
Bear with my explanation because golf is not my area of expertise and VR is different for each player. Upon starting the game you are given a few choices. Firstly, you pick whether you are seated or standing and whether you are using a DualShock or single Move controller, you then pick your height and preferred hand. My normal set-up for PSVR is in a small room and seated. Knowing I was playing a golf game, I moved to a bigger room. Playing seated isn’t a great option as you can’t get a solid swing and it’s quite uncomfortable. As for controller method, if you have a Move controller, use it. The DualShock is fine but the Move controller feels a little more natural. After you’ve set up and gone through a short practice session, you then move to the golf club. From here, you select what you are going to do but at first can only do a 3 hole course. You are introduced to your caddy and arrive at the first hole.
Watch the Everybody’s Golf VR trailer below:
As with any golf game, it more or less selects the “right” club for you. A practice swing is always selected as default, so you can get a few swings in before committing. Before taking a shot you can throw a tuft of grass in the air to see where the wind is going and your caddy is on hand to give a hint or two. This is where my main problem comes from. I’m a novice so I was really struggling with ascertaining if my shots were missing due to lack of skill or bad hit detection. There were a few times where it was likely my fault but others where it didn’t make sense it was a miss. In fact, on more than one occasion, a light tap cleared the ball way further than it should have. Once you’ve gotten a rhythm down, things settle in nicely and is really enjoyable.
There are 3 main courses and they have have a variety of holes and given the dynamic wind selection, offer a nice challenge and force you to learn each hole. Make no mistake, Everybody’s Golf VR does not hold your hand. There may be a quick tutorial and a caddy to give you hints but if you are a novice, prepare for a steep learning curve. The caddy will yell out things like “There is a right-to-left wind” but not clarify what you need to do. As frustrating as this is, it makes you improve as you go. There are a few types of club and slight variations on courses and the better you do, the higher your overall rank goes. My biggest gripe with this, is that there is no campaign or tournament mode, it’s just about improving the score you’ve already set. There is also no co-op of any kind, not even AI opponents. As someone who isn’t that good at the game, there’s enough for me to get my teeth into but anyone looking for a deeper title, is going to be very disappointed.
Visually, I was fairly impressed. Each course looks nice for a PSVR title and the character models are really good. Unfortunately, outside of the caddies and receptionist, there are no other character models. There are no other golfers teeing off, nobody sat in the reception or seated in the outside areas. It makes for a lonely experience. Throughout the course, you and your caddy have an intimate moment. It’s nothing deep or lewd, you’ll stop to check your score or have lunch. They are nice moments but if they were tied to a “relationship” meter, it would have been something to work toward. Even better, if it was with you and a co-op partner. The voice acting for these characters isn’t anything special, much like the soundtrack.
As you hit the ball, you expect to follow it in VR, flying across the map. Nope, you just stand there and wait. Waiting is something you will do a lot in this game. After you are welcomed at reception and have selected a course, you are introduced to your caddy. After this there is a loading screen and you play your shot. Then you wait for the ball to land and skip to it. After the course you have a run-down of what you did. It eats up so much time and on shorter courses gets very tedious, especially when you just want to improve your score. You get the option to skip this at rank 3 but it’s doesn’t work very well. Golf is a game of patience but this is a little extreme.
View some screenshots from Everybody’s Golf VR in our gallery:
It’s hard to summarise because I was, admittedly awful at the game. That’s not the game’s fault, probably but there were certain times where hits didn’t connect, though this could be an issue with camera placement. VR is tough to review as everybody has a different set-up. What is certain is the lack of progression, co-op and window dressing left me with an enjoyable but lonely experience. If you want a golf game in VR that doesn’t have giant robots, you’ll have fun but it won’t last.
Everybody’s Golf VR was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Developer: Clap Hanz Release Date: 22nd May, 2019 Reviewed On: PS4/PSVR