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Everybody's Golf - Road To Review


Opening to the enthusiastic strains of Owl City’s Clap Your Hands, this is Everybody’s Golf first outing on this console generation, and the first to unify the series around the world, with the US’s Hot Shot’s Golf branding falling by the wayside in the name of globalisation. The Everybody’s Golf name just fits better too, as this is a golf game for everybody, that isn’t so focussed on people becoming golfing stars so much as getting out together, and just having fun. There’s more than enough of that to go round here.

Chairman Suzuki meets you upon your arrival on Golf Island, where he’s worked tirelessly to create a place where people who know nothing about golf can experience it. It’s bright, cheerful and everyone is delighted to meet you, but it also serves as your hub to interact with the game’s different modes. Your home area is really just a very small section of the island, but you can have a wander about, talk to NPCs, check out the sparkling ocean, and decide how you’re going to spend the rest of your time there. Presumably you’d like to play some golf?

Playing the game before the servers come online, we’re restricted to Offline Mode, where you climb the ranks in Challenge Tournaments. These net you new clubs and fancy clothes to wear, if you want to play a bit of dress up. You also have more meaningful rewards, as your character’s abilities improve as you perform certain feats multiple times, such as hitting 100% power with a 1 Wood club improving your proficiency with that club, letting you hit the ball even further.

Standing apart from other golf games, Everybody’s Golf sticks with the tried and true ‘three tap’ control system,  which starts, sets your power and then your accuracy with three successive taps. There’s no analogue stick to swing back and forth, making this nice and easy to pick up and play, but still requiring timing and skill to nail a shot. The game will give you pointers on which club to use and how much power to use, if you want the assistance, but all this does is keep it streamlined and fun.

There’s some real character to Everybody’s Golf that lies beyond its eternally cheerful demeanour. Whether answering golfing questions with the diminutive Professor Koenji to unlock controls for the main game, taking part in manic golf buggy racing, indulging in a spot of trophy fishing, or just watching yourself and your competitors running from hole to hole, there really is nothing quite like Everybody’s Golf. After the last few year’s of po-faced offerings from The Golf Club and Rory McIlroy, this is a breath of rainbow coloured air.

Everybody’s Golf is definitely welcoming – much more so difficulty-wise than the last Vita version – and if you’re used to the series, or golf games in general, then you may be wishing for the training wheels to come off sooner, particularly when you’ll have had your fill of the opening Eagle City golf course within the first hour. Still, it prepares you for the game as a whole, and you’ll be wanting to have everything down pat before you even contemplate heading online.

We’ve yet to test it in the absence of online servers prior to this week’s release, but once you do make the jump, you’ll have two options. There’s the fairly standard online Open Course, and then there’s Turf War, which brings a new brand of golf warfare to the links. Players are divided into red and blue teams, and you run around the course playing holes in whichever order you see fit within the set time limit. Any points you earn on a hole are added to the team score for that hole, with the highest scoring team taking that hole. Unsurprisingly the team with the most holes wins the game.

PS4 Pro owners will appreciate the baked-in settings options which allow you to switch between 4K resolution or a 60fps refresh rate, as well as toggling whether to use HDR or not. Alternatively you can also just play it in its standard form, if for some unknown reason you don’t fancy either of those upgrades. There’s a clear jump in visual fidelity in 4K, while the 60fps mode feels lovely, and in a game which relies on timing I’d expect this to be a favourite amongst dedicated players. What’s gratifying is that performance-wise, on any setting, this is the most consistent PS4 golf game of the generation.

At this point perhaps the only real negative is that, at its core, this is the same light and welcoming strain of golf we’ve seen from the series before, albeit in an updated and expanded package that befits the move to this generation of consoles. Still, there’s a reason that Everybody’s Golf has remained one of Sony’s stalwart franchises over the years, and on early impressions alone there’s more here to enjoy than ever before.

It isn’t long until you can try out Everybody’s Golf for yourself, and to indulge in all the weird and wonderful aspects of this breezy take on the popular sport – and a couple of others besides. We’re holding off on our review until we can experience it with full online servers, so we look forward to seeing you on the course!

  1. R1MJAW
    Since: May 2010

    Got my copy on Saturday morning due to a certain online retailer sending stuff out early because of the bank holiday. Online was/is available but it’s obviously pretty quiet as it’s not officially released yet. Really enjoying it (although I don’t like the seemingly randomly chosen contact point which seems to have absolutely no bearing on how accurate your impact was … and doesn’t seem to improve as your control stat improves or if you use the Pinhole (control) clubs.

    Comment posted on 29/08/2017 at 12:43.
    • freezebug2
      Since: Dec 2008

      I also received the game last Saturday from *cough* same unsaid retailer…legends!

      I’ve been enjoying the game but have found that altering the visual settings to 4K or HDR totally balls’ up the timing and synchronisation of the three button press for a shot so I’ve just set it to standard output settings….a future patch should fix that.

      Took a while to remember from past games how to do the power shots but was soon revisiting the direction pad buttons with a vengeance! :P

      Comment posted on 29/08/2017 at 19:12.
  2. dave87fez
    Since: May 2011

    My mate and I have this on preorder so we’ll be out clubbing as soon as it’s available. Glad to see it’s garnering positive impressions.

    Comment posted on 29/08/2017 at 13:06.

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