Golf is certainly not exactly a sport that most gamers have already tried out themselves, but the occupation of high society is also very popular on PCs and consoles. Everybody's Golf and Mario Golf keep providing arcade fun, while EA's Tiger Woods series, discontinued a few years ago, was loved for its approach that was both realistic and accessible. The quality of the series declined more and more during the PS3 era and Mister Woods fell out of favor due to private escapades.
A revival of the series with Rory McIlroy as the new namesake didn't quite match the previous quality. Since then, there has not been a golf title that combined realism and accessibility. But that is over now, because with PGA Tour 2K21, 2K Games and HB Studios are releasing a golf game that shines with many official licenses and in-depth gameplay, but is also intended to give beginners a humorous hole.
Source: PC Games
The playful premise of PGA Tour 2K21 may initially be astonishing, after all, HB Studios previously developed the hard-core simulation The Golf Club, which is not very easy for beginners. However, the plan works. Absolute golf nerds set the level of difficulty high and issue some of the aids and thus get the game experience from The Golf Club. Beginners and advanced players, on the other hand, are slowly introduced to the many different situations and possibilities of golf with a short but very well explained tutorial and numerous training options.
As the game progresses, you notice yourself how you get better and better and need less help. At some point you find yourself not paying attention to the recommendations of the game, but changing your club choice, weighing the wind strength or paying close attention to every little bump in the lawn before putting, which could ensure that the ball is close to the hole rolls by. Due to the abundance of possibilities you notice how you slowly get more and more involved in the game.
Sure, golf is a rather leisurely and quiet game, but many holes in the varied courses are more exciting than a Champions League final in FIFA. In strong winds or a long putt, your heart slips into your pants when you tee off. It is all the more satisfying, however, if you have read the green and the other circumstances correctly and you sink the ball into the hole for a birdie, eagle or even hole-in-one.
The numerous original courses were precisely measured by the developers and the ball physics is very good and understandable. In general, the game offers great feedback that will help immensely for beginners. If you fail at a tee, you can usually tell immediately what mistake you made. In addition, the controls are super easy to use and shouldn't overwhelm anyone. Only the wind is not always completely understandable. Sometimes the same wind force has greater, sometimes only a little effect on the flight of the ball. HB Studios should maybe patch a little more here.
Source: PC Games
Between birdie and bogey
The gameplay of PGA Tour 2K21 is really great. The sport of golf has not been implemented as well as it is here on a playful level for a long time. However, the title leaves feathers in other areas. As nice as it is that a total of 12 famous golfers like Justin Thomas or Cameron Champ compete against us on the 15 official and numerous other courses, but we are never allowed to play them ourselves. Even in modes other than career, we have to compete with our self-created athlete.
Source: PC Games
There are also no female professionals. We are allowed to create a female golfer, but then continue to compete against the exclusively male field. In addition, the progression system is not well thought out. We get experience points after a tournament, but they only let us level up. We cannot use it to independently upgrade certain skills. Our golfer always has the same skills. It's only up to the way we play to get better.
Instead, we receive clothing and accessories for level up. In addition, we are allowed to meet sponsorship goals and get clothes or new clubs in return. For tournament participation and wins, however, there is money with which we can buy clothes, accessories and rackets. You can also spend real money for this, but that is not necessary at all. You earn enough money in your career and even players who spend real money on new clubs have no real advantage.
Source: PC Games
You can already see that none of this is so motivating. PGA Tour is clearly relying on its strengths on the pitch. You can also tell from the technology. The places are presented nicely, but in general the title is graphically quite old-fashioned and the loading times are also long. But at least you are greeted by Rich Beam and Luke Elvy. The team of commentators shines not only with their golf competence, but also with their charm and wit. When they tease each other, you sit in front of the screen grinning, but you are often grateful to them when they describe the peculiarities of a particular hole. Some other sports games can take an example from this comment.
In addition, PGA Tour 2K21 offers all kinds of online modes. Whether you prefer to play the Fed-Ex-Cup alone, meet up with a buddy for short, entertaining golf games or even join forces with others to form online companies and play to win tournaments – every virtual golfer should find something here. If the game still doesn't offer enough variety, you can also download golf courses created by the community or even create a course yourself. However, the tool is quite fiddly to use, so it takes some getting used to before you have built a usable space.
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