It’s been four years since the long running series graced Playstation consoles and the simply titled Everybody’s Golf does a great job reminding people why the series has provided gamers with so many fond memories dating all the way back to the original Playstation.
Everybody’s Golf invites you to Golf Island where you can make a name for yourself as a top golfer, increasing your ranking and beating opponents on your way to the top. This is done by placing in offline tournaments, overcoming characters in one-on-one competition and improving skill points.Kicking off things you start out designing your golfer with an expansive character creator. You’ll have an incredible amount of options added as you progress through tournaments and buy more items at the shop. Decisions range from hairstyles and gloves all the way down to how you swing clubs or run around the courses. This aspect of the game ties in really well with the constant stream of new rewards for finishing tournaments and challenges.
The bright and cheerful visuals bombard you from the opening video, lots of cheerful faces and pristine fairways always giving you the best possible environment to play a round. The menus and interface are all focused on passing along as much information as possible. The on-screen graphics do become a little busy at times once out on the course but it’s not too extreme. On PS4 Pro you have the option of a 4K mode or 60 FPS mode and both look really crisp and run quite smoothly thankfully. It’s worth noting that the shot bar runs at 60 FPS on both PS4 models regardless of mode. Plenty of visual effects blast onscreen when you hit a perfect shot, chip in an eagle or even miscue a shot completely with the series trademark charm. Characters have plenty of variation to avoid looking like carbon copies and the animations on the kids can be hilarious at times blasting around the courses looking like Naruto.
New to the series is a more ambient online approach, along with golf cart and fishing diversions. Right from the start you can jump into ambient online courses where you can run around looking for items, try each hole as you like or play a round to try to hit the top of the daily leaderboards. Each hole has its own leaderboard you can walk up to and compare with which is a fantastic touch. You can also play solo practice on unlocked courses and 4 player local multiplayer is also a fantastic quickplay option. Local multiplayer allows you to choose from a range of characters, stat boosts and modifiers to the course. The bulk of play will be in the offline tournaments which are used to increase your ranking and unlock more courses. These tournaments also deliver coins, clubs, balls and clothing depending on your performance.
The level design for the courses are fantastic with a good mix of risk and reward for the most part. As your clubs level up more shortcuts become apparent and you are blazing through holes well under par. In a strange turn there is only one shot mode, moving away from the advanced styles in previous games. This leaves modification of shots down to impact on the ball and under or over hitting the ball which is a bit disappointing for fans who were accustomed to using one of the different styles. Golf carts and fishing are also not unlocked until later in the game when you are further leveled up. There are 5 courses to play through once unlocked, with a further 2 courses locked as paid for DLC.
Progression through the tournaments can feel a little slow due to the large number required to unlock the next tier while playing the same holes against the same level opponents over and over, but thankfully the level design and club improvement make this a minor complaint, especially with one-on-one battles happening in between to break up the tournament cycle. The core game is incredibly solid with a constant reward progression, the ambient online holes fosters a ‘just one more hole’ play cycle which should draw golfers back for weeks and months to come.
After a lengthy wait, we finally have the long running Everybody's Golf series on Playstation 4. The new elements aren't quite as expansive as hoped, but the core game is still incredibly delightful