Review: Everybody’s Golf VR (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Optional
  • Move Optional (1)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Everybody’s Golf VR
Format: Blu-Ray Disc/PSN (5.33 GB)
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Clap Hanz
Original MSRP: $29.99 (USD)/£24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI Rating: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Everybody’s Golf VR is the PSVR follow-up to developer Clap Hanz’s 2017 Everybody’s Golf. Everybody’s Golf VR features the refined golf physics and cartoonish diversions of Everybody’s Golf and the Hot Shots Golf series that came before it.

The game can be played with either a Move controller or the DualShock 4, but the Move controller is easily the better experience. It is essentially played in the first-person perspective. When you first start the game you are asked to input your height (from 4’-0” to 6’-7”) and whether you are playing standing up or sitting down. As you address the ball you see the club in your hands and can look up at the hole in front of you.

In VR, the feel of swinging the club and seeing realistic results in the flight path of the ball is incredibly immersive. Wrist placement through the point of contact is the key to success with each swing in Everybody’s Golf VR, much like in real golf. Swing speed determines distance, and there is a power meter at the bottom of the screen like in most golf games. Putting may feel the most realistic of all, demanding a steady motion and consistent club face.

While gripping the Move controller with two hands and taking a natural swing does feel great and reacts realistically, the game can still be “cheesed” by using one hand to take a quick, abbreviated swing. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a realistic experience, the results from the one-handed swing technique seem to be just as good as those using a full golf swing, and may even be more consistent depending on your abilities with two hands. While this does make scores go down and rounds go by quicker, it takes away some of the immersiveness that makes golfing in VR so fun.

The whole UI of Everybody’s Golf VR is clean and intuitive. A minimap of the course hovers above the ball during each shot’s preparation, showing an approximation of your upcoming shot’s path and hazards that are in the area. Practice swings register on the power meter and a line projects out of the ball showing what trajectory it would have taken if it were a real swing. Unfortunately there is no clearly-defined way of knowing if you have put topspin or backspin on the ball.

If you tap the trigger button on the Move controller, your hand will appear in front of you to sprinkle some grass and see where the wind takes it. Holding the Move controller up to your face makes the club disappear and a tablet appear in its place containing the game’s tutorial information. When you are ready you can approach the ball with a press of the Move button and take a swing.

Caddy interactions seem to be at the forefront of Everybody’s Golf VR and they get old quickly. Before and after each shot, the caddy delivers one of a list of stock comments based on your upcoming shot or how well you just hit. These comments become repetitive after a couple rounds and serve more as background noise than actual constructive advice. Besides that, some of the caddy interactions are odd and out of place in a golf game.

There are occasionally “events” that come up in which you share a somewhat interactive cutscene with your caddy. In one event on the Seaside Course, you suddenly find yourself shrunken down to the size of an insect as your caddy searches the sandy beach for you. These kooky set-pieces do little to improve the overall experience.

Game modes in Everybody’s Golf VR are disappointingly sparse. When the game starts, you only have access to the practice areas (driving, approach shots, and putting) and one course of which you can only play three random holes at a time. Eventually, with more play, you will unlock two more courses and the ability to play nine and eighteen holes, as well as mirrored holes.

Perhaps most disappointing is that there is no multiplayer and no way to compete with other players besides online leaderboards. There are no tournaments or even heads-up play versus a computer or human opponent. The gameplay itself, swinging the club, and perfecting your strategies on each hole are incredibly fun but not enough to stand on their own as something that keeps you coming back. Besides unlockables such as caddies and a few sets of clubs, there is nothing to chase in Everybody’s Golf VR. That, along with having no directly competitive mode, really holds the game back.

Visuals:
Everybody’s Golf VR has an overall realistic aesthetic but the courses do feature over-the-top design characteristics and in the case of the Dinosaur Course, extinct animals roaming around each hole. Each of the three themed courses are full of variety in the terrain with rolling hills, strategically placed trees, and dynamic water hazards. Fun additions like airplanes flying low over head as you hit off a raised tee fit the Everybody’s Golf mold of a light-hearted, casual golf experience. The scale of everything feels right in VR, from the size of the standard golf clubs to the flight path of the ball.


While the courses are well-rendered and creative, it seems like more could have been done to enhance the VR experience. There are no dynamic weather effects other than wind. Seeing a storm come in or having different lighting throughout a round would have been a great way to feel like you are really there.

Audio:
The audio of Everybody’s Golf VR is a sparse but fairly realistic depiction of what is heard during a round of golf. The sounds of nature are subtle and pleasant, from a chirping bird to the steady rush of a nearby waterfall. The whoosh of the club and the sound of making contact with the ball are slightly exaggerated but satisfying overall. The main sound heard during each round, though, is that of your caddy delivering one of their repetitive lines, which can become grating. This game may be a good candidate to take advantage of the PlayStation 4’s Spotify app.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
It cannot be overstated how fun it is the first time you line up a shot and send the ball flying into the air in VR. However, Everybody’s Golf VR comes disappointingly short of being a complete golf game. Without multiplayer or even a means of competing against AI opponents, the draw to come back for one more round quickly fizzles out. For the price, this game does offer an enjoyable experience. If you are looking for a full-featured golf simulator in VR, though, this is sadly not it.

Score:
6.5

Written by Brock Arnett

Gamer since the NES days, Boilermaker, Colts and Pacers fan. I can’t wait until my two boys are old enough to play games with me.

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