With the absence of EA’s PGA Tour Games this year, it was only perfect timing for HB Studios. The developers have had The Golf Club in Early Access on Steam for a number of months now and has now finally made its way to full release on Xbox One. How does the first golf simulation golf game game fare on Xbox One? Probably a par.
I’ve spent some time over the past few months playing The Golf Club on PC and while there were some flaws, it was mostly a fun, good looking golf game. This isn’t the case on Xbox One inexplicably. Visually, the game is rather ugly, and for real reason. The PC version of the game looks good enough but not amazingly, and it doesn’t require a huge amount of power.
Everything looks rather muddy on Xbox One. Distant environments are pixelated and makes a rather pleasant environment look unattractive.
Thankfully, the gameplay fares much better. If you’ve played the EA Sports PGA games then you will be rather familiar. Shots are taken using the analogue stick where swing speed determines how hard a shot is hit as well as accuracy in a red cone that is displayed on screen.
One puzzling omission is a reticule seeing where your shot is going. There is no way of telling where the desired location on the HUD. Instead, you must guess the centre of the screen and go from there.
The Golf Club is very much a simulation game and that means you much take in all kinds of numbers displayed on screen. From wind direction, to the length of the shot and how far a club can travel the ball, you must take all these into consideration to adjust the pitch and loft to your swing.
The game though is feature-light. There are absolutely zero licensed courses. The hopeful hook to the game is in the course editor. The editor is rather in-depth with allowing you to simply switch dials to give a randomly generated course. Each hole though can be edited in almost every way imaginable from length, features, and more.
The goal here is to let players create courses and share them with the community, This means they can create licensed courses and share them with the community. This can mean the length of which content you have to play through the game is rather high. It all just depends on if a community is born from the rather impressive editor.
The Golf Club is not an EA Sports PGA Tour killer. It has some nice features, an impressive editor but the visuals completely let down the entire experience. The lack of modes may also be a deal breaker as well as the lack of official course. There are a lot of caveats here but if you can overlook them, you’ll have a decent golf game while you wait for EA Sports to come out with whatever they have next.