Review – The Golf Club 2
The Golf Club 2, by Nova Scotia’s own HB Studios, is a big step forward for the franchise – albeit not in the way I’d expected it to be.
The first outing played a great – if somewhat more sim-focused than most games – round of golf, but suffered from technical issues that held it back. While some of the jankiness was patched out of it, a sequel seemed like the natural point to polish the game up to a 7shine.
Only that’s not the direction HB Studios went in for The Golf Club 2. Instead of simply polishing up the game, they added structure to it in the form of career mode, tournament schedules, and societies – think FPS clans, only with golf clubs instead of guns. The end result is a game where there’s still the odd weird framerate drop here and there, and while golfers look better and are extremely customizable, they’re still not up to snuff with the competition.
The good news is that the game plays as well as ever, with a new ‘swing tempo’ mechanic to worry about as well as three levels of clubs to choose from. There’s an element of risk vs reward in club selection, as the standard clubs won’t hit the ball as far as the pro clubs do, but are less susceptible to being thrown off by inconsistencies in your swing path or timing. Putting remains as realistic as it was in the first outing, a delightfully challenging task to master for players who want good scores.
Adding societies, player-organized clubs that help gamers find someone to play with, and a career mode really bumps up the replay value, though that’s still dwarfed by the impact of the course creator. An improved course creation tool sits at the heart of The Golf Club 2, and promises to provide gamers with a virtually unlimited supply of courses – both based on reality and the fever dreams of lunatics – to play a round on.