While Sony is winding down the frequency of its major releases for the PlayStation 4 (Days Gone being the only exclusive so far this year), the tech giant has been swinging hard with a constant stream of new and exciting games for its virtual reality headset. To that end, Japan Studio have now wisely rolled over their popular casual golfing franchise, Everybody’s Golf, to the PlayStation VR. As someone who doesn’t traditionally play sports games (or any real sports for that matter), this game reminded that VR has been waiting for that Wii Sports type of experience. With accessible and easy controls, Everybody’s Golf VR is a great golf game for PSVR. However, a lack of multiplayer modes and variety in courses leaves something to be desired.
Everbody’s Golf VR plays exactly how you would expect. Using a single Move controller (handy), players simply swing the club to send their ball flying to its (hopeful) destination. DualShock 4 is supported as well, but for obvious reasons the Move controller feels a lot more natural. The controller rumbles when your club has hit the grass too, giving your fingertips a good sense of where to swing the club.
Lovely draw distances and vibrant colours makes golfing a joy in VR
Pressing the Move button toggles between a practice shot and address shot, allowing you to plan your swing accordingly. The physical act of swinging feels incredibly natural, and it’s incredibly satisfying to send your ball flying off into the distance. The face buttons on the controllers allow you to change clubs, bring up a guide book and more, making the system relaxing and intuitive. While the tracking isn’t always perfect, it was much better than I was expecting. I barely missed hitting the ball and it usually landed where I wanted it to.
The game does a good job of teaching you the ropes of the mechanics and modes. If you ever forget anything you can quickly refer to tips and instructions in-game. There are a lot of welcome customisations at your disposal, too. As well as being able to freely switch between controllers, players can adjust the height, select between left and right-handed views and toggle standing or sitting modes. I’m a left-handed person who prefers to sit down due to my dicky back, so I appreciated having these options available to me.
Plenty of guides, handicaps and information to help you plan the perfect shot
Everbody’s Golf has a very simple visual style, which is a great fit for the limited graphical capabilities of the PSVR. The environments look beautiful and the colours really pop. The draw distances are also very nice, which is an important aspect for golf games. I did find some of the characters’ lip syncing and voice acting to be atrocious, though. Thankfully that only applies to fairly insignificant parts of the game like the lobby or transitions between different courses.
Everybody’s Golf VR has a fairly decent amount of content, but I think it needs slightly more for real longevity. The game has three environments each with multiple courses, three sets of golf clubs and a bunch of other customisation options that you unlock by levelling up. There are a number of modes, including a nice three-hole mode for quick matches. There’s basically three of everything and I can’t help but wish there was maybe five or more of everything. Perhaps Sony plans to support the game with post-release content, something that they’d need to do to entice players to stick around or come back.
It feels like being Tiger Woods, without the cheating
The only real disappointment in Everybody’s Golf VR is the absence of multiplayer. I understand that a game like Wii Sports is enjoyed locally and that golf is a sport taken in turns, but having some direct competition would create some more exciting momentum here. I guess I could invite some friends over and we can take turn wearing the headset, the PSVR’s shared screen was designed for these kinds of situations of course.
Everybody’s Golf VR is a very well-designed golf game that has been a long time coming. I am quite surprised at the lack of sports titles on PSVR and this is proof of how fun it can be, even for someone who has a distaste for sports in general. The controls feel great, with probably the best use out of Sony’s prehistoric move controllers out there. Smart design choices and accessible gameplay make this a pick-up-and-play game that anyone can enjoy, with a multitude of options and customisations to suit your playstyle. This is backed by a solid (if not overly large) number of courses and unlockables for you to let your work rage out on. While not a deal breaker in its absence, the addition of multiplayer would have been a nice way to round out the whole experience. In the end though, Japan Studio has just given Sony another nice little hit for their growing VR library, be sure to keep this on your radar and give it a good swing.
Reviewed PlayStation 4 Pro and PSVR | Review code supplied by publisher