Everybody’s Golf VR Review
Everybody's Golf returns yet again in VR form.
Everybody’s Golf may have seemed like a brand new IP when it released for PS4 back in 2017, but it was actually just the latest entry in a long storied PlayStation exclusive series that those in the US only knew as Hot Shots Golf. The series finally came to the US under its original name and received decent reviews that were pretty on par with the previous entries. As it is definitely one of the most fitting series to make the jump to PSVR, developer Clap Hanz has now made the experience all the more immersive with Everybody’s Golf VR.
Rather than offer just a VR mode in the existing Everybody’s Golf for PS4, Clap Hanz and SIE Japan Studio decided to release its own exclusive VR game that cannot be played without the PSVR headset. As soon as you put on the headset and start up the game, you are thrust into a pretty quick tutorial that teaches you the basics that you need to know. This begins with you choosing from a few different settings, with one of the most important being that of your controller type.
Everybody’s Golf VR seems like a game that would require a PlayStation Move controller to play with, but you actually also have the option to use a DualShock 4 as well. Using the PlayStation Move controller is quite simplistic, especially considering the few buttons available on the controller itself. The DualShock 4 doesn’t change the controls themselves to be more like the non-VR version of Everybody’s Golf however, as you still use the DualShock controller to putt in the same fashion, with the lightbar helping to distinguish the positioning of the controller in your hands.
Regardless of your controller of choice, you must line up where the ball is and move your arm back and swing as you would with a real golf club. The default option has you in practice mode, so you can practice your swings without actually hitting the ball. You will not only fill up a percentage meter on how strong your swing is for that specific club, but it also shows the direction your swing is going. This allows you to correct some errors in your swing on the fly before actually interacting with the ball itself. Once you are ready to hit the ball, you just have to press a button to enter Address mode and swing away. Lining up to swing and actually connecting with the ball can take a little bit of practice, but you should get the hang of it rather quickly. Unlike real golf, you do not have to put quite as much power into your swing to get it to go far here either.
The game does a fantastic job at immersing the player onto the course, really making you feel like you are on the course. This does not mean the visuals are incredibly realistic, as they are a bit more cartoon-like than say a new PGA Tour game would be, but that is not a knock on the game in any way. The visuals are still very enjoyable and definitely fit the type of aesthetic the game is going for overall. Being able to turn around 360 degrees and see the course all around you is really cool, as well as being able to walk up and position yourself perfectly in front of the ball. The game even offers the option to play while seated if you like, but playing while standing adds much more to the experience.
Everybody’s Golf VR starts off with most of the game options locked away that you must work to unlock while playing more of the game. At the start, you are limited to one course, one holes type, one type of clubs, and one caddy. You will quickly start to unlock not only more of these, but other interesting options that help to enhance the game as a whole. The progression of unlocks also feels pretty quick, including an actual level system in-game as well. Your character doesn’t get any upgrades from this, but it’s a nice way of keeping up with your progress in the game.
Does a fantastic job at immersing the player onto the course
At the very start of the game, you are only able to play three holes out of the 18, which works as a quick method of letting you practice while still unlocking new things. Eventually, you unlock the ability to play either the front nine or the back nine of the course, as well as later all 18 holes of the course. In addition to the unlockable courses, you will be unlocking new content pretty rapidly at first, though the game definitely does feel like it could use a lot more in those regards in the end. There is the ability to mirror the course as well, but there definitely could be more variety to keep you coming back for more. However, this also means you can keep practicing the same holes and getting better with the goal of bettering your scores as well.
The most recent Everybody’s Golf for PS4 had its fair share of different game modes for players to enjoy, including both single player and online multiplayer that really added a lot to the game. However, Everybody’s Golf VR feels much more bare bones in that area, with the game offering nothing more than what is basically a “Play Now” type mode. While the actual golfing is a ton of fun and is one of the best VR experiences as of recent, a complete lack of game modes beyond this is incredibly disappointing.
One of the major elements of Everybody’s Golf is that of the caddies and that is no different in Everybody’s Golf VR. At the start of a round of golf, you are introduced to your caddy. Between certain holes, you have more personal moments with the caddy as well, with some fun sequences that include you giving them chocolate and more. Just like with the courses though, the number of caddies available in the game feel very minuscule, even with two available as DLC once the game is released. Even so, the actual VR integration is really neat with the caddies, as it actually makes you feel like you are interacting with the character by being able to walk around them in the environment. You also earn the ability to skip the dialogue once it starts getting repetitive, which is quite helpful, as well as allowing you to rewatch these interactions through the game’s Event Library.
Golf is a natural fit for a VR experience and thus it made perfect sense for Everybody’s Golf to make the leap to PSVR. Compared to its most recent release, Everybody’s Golf VR feels pretty lackluster in comparison based on its non-selection of different game modes to choose from. However, golfing in VR itself does still make Everybody’s Golf VR a lot of fun that is well worth it if you are simply looking for a fun golfing sim for PSVR with not much else included.
Everybody’s Golf VR is yet another great PSVR experience to show off how cool VR technology can be, but the lack of game modes compared to its predecessors can quickly burn you out on what could have been one of the showpiece titles for PSVR.
Everybody's Golf VR
- Available On: PS4
- Published By: SIEA
- Developed By: Clap Hanz & SIE Japan Studio
- Genre: Sports
- US Release Date: May 21st, 2019
- Reviewed On: PS4
- Quote: "Everybody's Golf VR is yet another great PSVR experience to show off how cool VR technology can be, but the lack of game modes compared to its predecessors can quickly burn you out on what could have been one of the showpiece titles for PSVR."