I love Everybody’s Golf, it’s a fantastic series which is accessible, friendly and it looks great too. I’m not particularly a fan of golf, but it’s a game which has always drawn me in any way, seeing me spend multiple hours on it’s well designed courses and with its easy to use game mechanics. So how could Sony possibly improve this experience for me? By creating a VR version, of course.
Everybody’s Golf VR takes everything great about the original series and places you right inside of it. Right from this off you can tell this is going to be a fantastic experience and it doesn’t disappoint. You’ll start on the practice range, with the game giving you pointers on how to play. You can use the DualShock 4 or the PlayStation Move to play, although I would recommend the latter as you can swing it just like you would a golf club, and for me at least, it tracked perfectly.
The controls are so easy to get used to. You can start with a practice swing and then, once ready, you can switch to Address mode using the Move button, allowing you to swing and hit the ball for real. It’s incredible how this feels the first time you swing and connect with the ball, watching as it launches into the air. It’s even better when it’s accompanied by the familiar ‘Nice Shot’ words which light up in front of your face should you hit the perfect shot.
As with any golf game, there is a huge selection of clubs to choose from, including woods, irons and of course your trusty putter. To make things even more realistic, as you swing, any sideways trajectory will cause the ball to curve to the left or right, so when you swing, especially with more power, you’ll need to be careful, otherwise you could very well see your ball fly out of bounds, which certainly happened to me on quite a few occasions. To avoid this it is best to spend some time practice mode since an arrow will show you which direction you would have hit the ball in.
Once you’ve had enough of the Practice Range, it’s time to move on to the real course. A quick pit stop in the Reception will show you the choices. The receptionist will talk you through and a menu will give you a choice of game types, courses, clubs and other unlockables which you will achieve as you play the game. Upon selecting which course you would like to play on from the choice in front of you (Forest, Seaside, Dinosaur and more), providing you have unlocked them, you’ll then meet your caddie. Again there is a choice of caddies, although at first you’ll be greeted by Rico, who’ll take you to the course and give you advice and tips and help you keep track of your score.
You can play various rounds, allowing for a three hole course if you are after a quick game, nine holes in/out, and later you can even play all 18 holes of the course. There’s nothing quite like being out in the virtual open, taking in the scenery and enjoying the challenge of taking on the three to five pars courses. Trying to avoid obstacles is certainly a challenge and I’ve lost count of the number of times my ball ended up in the bunker, or a river, but it’s all part of the fun.
I’ve always enjoyed putting the ball into the hole from the green and thanks to VR you get a real sense of immersion as to where the hole actually is, making it almost easier to play the game, although it’s still not that easy to finish a hole on par, nevermind under. Once you get used to the controls and courses you’ll no doubt be playing like a pro, with the game letting you know every time you beat your personal best.
There are some neat little touches, which I liked within the game, for instance, you can pick up some grass and drop it to see which way the wind is blowing or you can bring up your in game tablet by holding the controller up to your face, giving you access to options menu, which includes being able to get a birdseye view of the course and see where your ball is in comparison.
Of course, there are some other surprises too, but I won’t spoil them for you, as these are nice little touches which add even more value to the game.
One thing Everybody’s Golf VR doesn’t have is online multiplayer, which is a bit of a shame really, although I guess this is understandable. Maybe an option for local multiplayer, allowing for switching of the PlayStation VR after a round could have been a nice option, although perhaps the developer though switching the headset may interrupt the immersion for players. I would at least like to have seen some online leaderboards amongst friends to add a more competitive nature to the game, although these are minor complaints on my behalf.
Everybody’s Golf VR is a fantastic experience. I’ve never felt so immersed in a sports game before. It feels both relaxing and frustrating in equal measures, which is everything I love about sport. There’s nothing more satisfying than perfecting a course and getting a birdie. The game also looks wonderful. You could probably spend hours just admiring the scenery. At last one of my favourite games has come to PlayStation VR and I couldn’t be happier with how it has turned out. Mark this one down as a must buy for your virtual reality headset.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*