Disclaimer 1: This game was reviewed on the PS4 Pro. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher, Sony.
Disclaimer 2: Online functions were limited for me due to playing pre-launch.
Disclaimer 3: I did not complete Everybody’s Golf due to getting it just a few days prior to the embargo. However, I sunk about 7 hours into the game and feel as if I can formulate my own opinion.
Before I jump into what I think of Everybody’s Golf I want it to be known that I’m not a hardcore golf enthusiast, and I have played very few golf titles in recent years. I have played my fair share of Mario Golf and dabbled a bit in the latest PGA Tour games, but consider this a review from the perspective of a casual golf game fan. Over Hotshots Golf’s renown history, there have been plenty of changes and new additions added with each iteration — what new features does Everybody’s Golf for the PlayStation 4 bring to the table? Let me explain!
4K Golf Balls
Everybody’s Golf uses a very charming art-style. While it doesn’t feature the most impressive looking environments, many of the game’s wooded areas and lakes look great in 4K with HDR enabled. The game allows you to choose whether or not you want 60 frames-per-second or 4K resolution. I personally think it looks the best with HDR enabled and the FPS locked at 60. But that’s just my preference, nothing against the 4K resolution, it also looks fantastic. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a 4K TV, the game looks pretty bland on a 1080P television — not far off from its PS3 predecessors.
For the first time in the series, Everbody’s Golf allows you to create your own character. This portion of the game surprised me. The creation tools surprisingly have a lot of depth to them. Although, the characters look oddly similar to the Xbox 360’s custom avatars. I toyed around with this feature longer than I want to admit — Let’s just say created my wife and two kids in it, just for the hell of it.
Everybody’s Golf has a home area where you can chat with locals, join online matches, do tournaments, and more! For the first time, you’re able to ride around in golf carts and even go fishing. These new additions to the game really reminded of something like Animal Crossing. Although character animations look a bit stiff while free-roaming. I only wish they didn’t just dabble with these life-sim, party-like modes, and went golf balls deep with more games and events. But at the end of the day, they have successfully crafted an online eco-system that’s fun to take part in. My access to online functions was limited due to me playing the game pre-launch, but I personally didn’t experience any major issues.
Down to the Nitty-gritty
Okay, now that I got that stuff out of the way, it’s time to talk about the actual golfing. Given the game’s wacky art-style and cartoony characters, I didn’t expect to jump into Everybody’s Golf and experience such a realistic golf simulator. There’s no crazy level hazards or super powers, but instead very serious golf gameplay. I was a bit let down at first, but after learning the game’s very deep and intricate mechanics, I started having a blast. I only wish there was more room for experimenting with your shots, but one screw-up and it’s pretty much a certain loss — it’s a bit more serious than I hoped for.
Your goal in the game is to make it to the highest rank; you do this by winning tournaments. You will also get random challengers in your home area, these matches are mixed up with unique rules and levels changes — they’re also my favorite part of the game. They help mix up the gameplay and keep things from getting stale. These modes force you to rethink everything you had previously learned, which can cause things to get really intense. You gain experience, unlock new clubs and balls, and a bunch of character customization items by winning tournaments and defeating challengers.
Everybody’s Golf is not only a great game for golf enthusiast, but also for casual golf game fans like me. Its online features and charming world are the perfect gateway attraction for the inexperienced, and those who are already fans of the series have plenty of new features to look forward to. Everybody’s Golf feels like a platform-game, rather than just sequel — similar to something like Rocket League and Destiny, just on a smaller scale, of course. I expect more new downloadable content down the line, as there’s plenty to build upon in the game (give me iconic PlayStation Characters!).