The Golf Club 2 is a brilliant, beautiful game that brings some new features and mechanics to the genre. Jack Nicklaus would find a lot to love about this game and even he would be challenged.
I had the opportunity over the weekend to try out The Golf Club 2. As there were few other press members around during the hours I could play, my main focus was on the single-player aspect of TGC2. As a result, today’s “one hour with…” article will be a bullet point review as the game stands from that aspect, with a much more detailed review coming at the end of next week.
A few thoughts before the list
Before we begin, however, it’s worth noting the game’s primary features which include:
- Career Mode is essentially the single player game that sees progression to Pro over time. Players are provided with the ability to upgrade clothing and gear as well as playing against more difficult opponents as the player moves up
- Societies are the multiplayer component of the game that allow players to group together collectively and to take on opponents similar to Career Mode. Rather than take on AI, however, gamers face off against other players. Societies can compete in full seasons and major tournaments with players able to work collectively or solo.
- Creation Mode is, as the name implies, a feature that allows players to dynamically create their own courses. In addition, over 100,000 courses are being brought to TGC2 from the first game that brings almost infinite replayability.
Before jumping into the bullet list, I want to talk about the game’s swing mechanic since it is the most profoundly different mechanic in the game.
Most other golf games out there have a horizontal meter with players clicking a mouse button on the back swing and trying to hit the “sweet spot” on the follow-through. TGC2 changes that fundamentally, something that caused me a lot of consternation. It’s not a bad way to swing the club, just new and will take time to get used to for most players.
Playing with mouse and keyboard, the swing is accomplished by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse backwards, then pushing it forward. The ideal is to do this in one smooth motion and with enough power to get the ball to go where you want it to. You can adjust how slow or fast you swing by how slow or fast you drag the mouse. You can also adjust for factors such as wind speed, create lob shots, spin, etc. It can be as simple or as complex as a player might want and will truly offer some interesting game play options for those looking for nuance within their game. But it will take time to become accustomed to it for sure.
I read there is a swim mechanic…if so, I wonder if I can chase the clubs I mentally hurled into the lakes…
Jack Nicklaus WOULD be proud
- beautifully designed, challenging official courses
- interesting, if frustrating swing mechanic
- almost infinite replayability
- tutorial mode gets the basics out there
- more “beginner” courses with an AI “pro” are needed to refine play style and to get used to game mechanics
- announcer’s voice gets on your nerves after awhile
- curiously empty courses, though that is doubtless more due to the limited nature of the review beta
- the course editor is amazing for creative types
- Societies embody the best of traditional “guild systems”
- progression allows players to upgrade gear including clubs, clothing
- missteps and bad timing can be unforgiving, though one would argue it is the nature of the game
For those who played The Golf Club 1, this will be the natural progression in the game’s evolution. Players coming from one of the other popular golf games will find enough similarities to be able to dive in immediately, but will need time to get used to the new features.
HBStudios, the developer of The Golf Club 2, says that it is the “future of golf gaming” and I believe it. With updated and progressive features, a new dynamic is present that will challenge even the most grizzled pros on the virtual tour. Honestly, it is a lot of fun and if you love golf games, it’s the one for you!
Technically, I played the game for over two hours, but we’re calling it a “one hour review” with the promise of a more extensive review later next week. Be sure to check back then!
ONE HOUR SCORE: 8.5
Now, pardon me while I go fill in divots and find my drowned clubs before heading back in to doggedly become the pro I know is inside!
This preview was played on PC with a code provided by the developer.