Reviews PlayStation

Everybody's Golf Review - Still the best golf series in gaming

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Every Sony gaming device has seen an Everybody's Golf game release on it, so when the PS4 was announced, one of the games I simply could not wait to play was Everybody's Golf. Although it is a bit late in the console life cycle, with others releasing within a year or two of the gaming platform on the market, Everybody's Golf represents a new generation leap in the series. 

NOTE: This review is based on the single player mode as well as exploring the Open Course mode and playing Turf War. While the servers were not completely populated, I managed to get in a dozen or so matches throughout the past few days. I felt comfortable enough that I experienced everything the game has to offer. 

So much is new and so much is the same that I could not put it down. You know me, give me a casual interpretation of something boring and I am sold. Everybody's Golf is a fantastic sports game that is teeming with personality, so much that every shot I took I slowly whispered to myself "Nice Shot" and when I won a round of holes I could not help but grin at my character that I created.

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Gone are the preset characters in the series. As you might not know, prior to the latest PS4 release of the game, Everybody's Golf used to include a roster of golf players to choose from and play with and against. Now there is free reign to create anyone or thing your heart desires. Using a list of presets and clothing options at the start, you can truly mould your character into anything you wish. I went for an elf-looking hybrid with a huge smile and some really over-the-top anime eyes. 

As you progress through the game you unlock more customization items like clothes, hair, shoes and even stances that are basically your character's unique personality. Selecting a swing to compliment your personality is ideal, but you could totally choose to act like a 6-year old and swing like a 70-year old. That is the sheer amount of customization options in the game. While these are many, they never really impact your playstyle, but rather give you a unique look to set yourself apart on the courses. 

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Everybody's Golf is divided into three parts. You have your single player game mode where you will go around and compete against A.I across various courses. You then have Turf War and online modes where you go into lobbies to compete against other players, and lastly, you have the Open Course mode that lets you and some friends head to an open world-like course to play around and compete for online leaderboards. The Open Course was by far my favourite in the game as I could easily just carry on competing on the same hole to up my ranking. Throughout the game, I collected coins and gems, and when I got bored I headed back home to spend my money.

The Open Course mode is the post-game content here as you could head into each featured course every day, compete for a leaderboard spot, and come back the next day to get your rewards like new items and gold. There is really no end to it all as you will always have something to do. It is here where other players online are walking around and also doing their thing. If anything, Everybody's Golf's social aspect is one of the best I have seen in ages and takes some inspiration from MMO games and the way they handle their social hubs. 

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The main game's single player mode is also teeming with content as you need to compete in competitions which then grants XP and after a set amount, a challenger will unlock that you will need to beat in order to progress further. As you progress through these set competitions you will learn more about the game's mechanics, unlock each VS challenger's clothing and items to use on your character, and get a better grasp of just how the game works. 

The best thing about Everybody's Golf is that it simply has stayed the same. Even past all the new customization options and social spaces, the game's core golfing mechanics are better than ever without ever needing to change anything. Teeing off on a course lets you choose a spot on the rectangle field to hit your ball on. The same old power bar that runs across the bottom of your screen comes up, you choose how hard you want to hit the ball, and then time your positioning just right to hit that sweet spot. It is a tried and tested way of playing golf in the series and for both newcomers and veteran players, the experience is perfect. 

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This time around you now level up each golf stick, so the more you use it the better you are with it. The W1 driver, for example, gets XP every time you hit the ball perfectly or simply land the ball further away. The putter does the same thing if you get your all in from the green a while away from the hole. Each and every golf club now level up with power, sway, control and precision. This means that the more you stick to one set, the better your overall handling and performance of the club will be, without you even doing anything extra. 

Power shots also return in Everybody's Golf, but this time you have an unlimited amount of them, but there is a catch. While you start each hole with around five or so, these numbered power shots you use, grant you a sweet spot when hitting the ball. If you use a power shot without any in your inventory, you will have to time your shot perfectly as there is no leeway if you hit it earlier or later on the power bar. This does present a challenge but at a cost of hitting the ball that little extra, if you want to take the risk that is. 

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Every new course in the game was absolutely stunning to play on and no matter how many times I replayed the same hole, the game's smooth visuals and great sound made it feel welcoming every time. Playing on the PS4 Pro there were two graphical options to choose from. The 60FPS 1080p mode and the 4K 30FPS mode. Both of these really brought out the best of the game's visuals. That, with added in HDR support brought each course to life. Water shimmering in front of my screen as I prepped to take my shot, and even when I decided to take a stroll around the course, the highlights and lowlights from the distant buildings were stunning to look at.

There is also much more to do now in the game than just golf, as Everybody's Golf has added in a new fishing mechanic and even a golf cart race. Because seeing as we cannot do it in real life let's do it in the game am I right? While these are side game modes to play, they still offer a great break from the world of golf. There is even a full fish encyclopedia for you to fill up with all the fish you catch across the various courses in the game. 

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It is Everybody's Golf's social aspect that is its biggest selling point for me. The idea that a bunch of my friends can meet up online, shoot a few holes, fish for some Trout, and then maybe ride off into the sunset in our golf carts, that made it stand out from the past games, if not every other sports game you can play today. The game's main multiplayer mode called Turf War never takes itself too seriously as you run around in a team of players trying to rack up the most points by being the best at a couple of holes on a course. Even this mode felt casual and enjoyable at the same time. 

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Everybody's Golf has reworked its formula and it has paid off in every way. While it moves in a new online and social direction, the game's core mechanics are better than ever by staying true to what makes the series so great - being an awesome golf game. 

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"Every new course in the game was absolutely stunning to play on and no matter how many times I replayed the same hole"

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