I have to say I’m not a golfer. Growing up I preferred sports with bigger balls, but that isn’t to say that I don’t respect the game. It obviously takes great skill and mental toughness to consistently play at your best. Do you know what else you need to be a good golfer? Opportunity. Some of us didn’t grow up with a golf course in our backyard. Maybe that’s where Everybody’s Golf VR comes in. So move the coffee table out of the way, grab your virtual clubs and let’s hit the course.
Why did it take so long for a golf game to hit the most popular VR headset in the world? If Wii Sports taught us anything, it’s that people want to play golf, tennis, boxing, and bowling in their living rooms. We have a slew of great boxing games, a couple of good tennis games, and now we have a golf game. (I still wanna go bowling, dammit!) Is Everybody’s Golf VR truly golf for Everybody, or does it miss the cut? Keep reading to find out.
The popular Everybody’s Golf series has been around for a while. In fact, this is the second installment for the PS4, but the first to bring it into the virtual space. You can play with a DualShock 4 or one Move controller. The DS4 can only be used as a motion controller so if you own a Move controller, the wand-shaped Move is the best way to play the game.
Once you grab your Move, strap on the headset and boot up the game, you’ll get your first clue as to why this retails at the relatively cheap price of $29.99. And that is, besides a driving range, the only mode is “Course”. There are three courses in total, but you start out with only one. You have to unlock the other two. Get used to unlocking things, because that is definitely a theme with Everybody’s Golf VR. You only get to play 3 holes of the first course until you unlock the front or back 9 holes. Eventually, you’ll be unlocking the full 18, the other two courses, an additional 3 sets of clubs, another caddy, different clothes for your caddy (seriously) and more. This reminds me of the time in middle school when I had to write a couple of thousand words on the country of Bangladesh. No offense to any of you fine Bangladeshis, but I put in a lot of filler to get those two thousand words. Unlike my bad report on the wonderful country of Bangladesh, this strategy doesn’t really hurt the game. Unlocking stuff is always fun, even if it’s nonsense like the color of your caddy’s apron. And honestly, the unlocks happen fairly fast, and I never really got tired of the holes they let me have.
Before I get into how good the actual golfing is in Sony Studio’s Everybody’s Golf VR, we need to talk more about the caddies. There is one young lady to start, plus Lucy, who you unlock eventually. And oddly enough, there are two more that you can purchase if that’s your thing. What thing is that, you ask? Well, I don’t really know, but I do know that the first two are young females who really love their job and want to make sure you have a good time. Like, a really good time. There is a ton of dialogue (read: awkward questions with actual pauses for you to answer). It sometimes felt like I was performing the Turing test on a couple of flirty life-like robots not yet ready for primetime. You can skip some of this, thankfully, but besides your trusty caddy, the world of Everybody’s Golf VR is empty. So despite not being the sort of guy attracted to videogame characters, the game probably would have been pretty lonely without them. There are some truly bizarre cutscenes including one where your caddy teases you with a piece of chocolate and another where you have to save one from a spider in your golf cart. (What is it with spiders in VR?) I think we’re supposed to bond with our caddy in these moments, but they didn’t work for me.
But enough about that stuff. The most important aspect of a sports game in VR is how well they capture the act of playing said sport. When you are standing over the ball and looking down at the hole on your first par 5, it looks good enough. And when you look down at the club in your hand and take a few practice shots, it feels right enough. And most importantly, when you take your cut and watch the ball slice through the air, it feels more than good enough, it feels great. Or maybe I should say it feels real. It never feels great to slice the ball every damn time, but that’s what makes it feel so real. Because with practice it’s possible to strike the ball clean, sending it just where you wanted to. And when you do, I have to say it feels damn good. And just like in real golf, consistency is key. You have to strike it clean and just right every time.
Thankfully, the Move tracking performed great for me. As I mentioned, you can swing your Dual Shock 4 if you want, but why would you want to. The last thing I want to mention about the golfing is the power of your swing doesn’t matter. Whether you use the same two-handed grip you do with a real club and swing as hard as you can or use a more casual one-handed swing, you can still drive the ball a great distance. That bugged me at first, but I suppose this way I can continue to treat it as a somewhat realistic golf simulator, while the next guy can get a more casual arcade style good time. Everybody wins. Despite everything I just said about looking for a realistic golf simulator, I love the tornado feature, which is a slightly larger cup with tornado suction. It’s perfect for beginners or even advanced players just looking for a good time.
Besides the overly friendly caddies and the unnecessary unlocks, the one true oversight here is the baffling omission of multiplayer. Besides you, your caddy, and the receptionist, the course and club are empty. You can’t play a friend and you can’t even play vs AI. Did they think more players would interrupt the chemistry of you and your caddy? It’s definitely the biggest flaw of the game, but one I’m hopeful Sony Studio and Clap Hanz could rectify with a patch down the road. We’ve heard nothing is in the works, but we haven’t heard otherwise either.
Despite that omission, the actual golfing is pretty damn fun. It does a good job of being easy and intuitive to play, while also being tough to master. I like to play sports in real life, but I like to play them in my living room too, and this fits the bill. While it’s true that Everybody’s Golf VR is the only golf game in PSVR town, I’m glad to say it’s a pretty good one.
Everybody's Golf VR PSVR Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.9/10
Everybody’s Golf VR is the first true golf game for the PSVR and it’s a good one. It’s one part Golf simulator with a dash of arcade fun. The three courses are fun to play and cool to look at as well. Your caddy can get a little awkward, but without multiplayer or even AI opponents, you’ll grow to appreciate her company. Even without multiplayer, Everybody’s Golf VR is a must buy for golf fans or sports fans in general. But seriously, why no multiplayer?
- Great tracking despite the hardware limitations
- Despite only 3 courses, they are diverse and fun to play
- No multiplayer or AI opponents
- Some unlocks felt like game filler
Reviewed using base PS4.
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When Jeremy isn’t writing books or playing video games, he’s living his life one random movie references at a time.