Take a little bit of Tiger Woods and mix him up with the Mario Bros. and you have a general idea and feel of Pro Putt. You will have a lot of fun in this game whether you are a lover of golf or not – and that is quite the review, as it is hard for a golf game to strive for more universal appeal. There are a host of options for play, including a relaxing round, the putting lounge or a head-to-head with your pals.
Golfing games have a bad rep in the VR gaming world. Games such as Cloudlands 2 are genuinely awful. Therefore, even avid golfers have been disappointed by the experiences on offer. However, Pro Putt by Topgolf goes some way to improving golfs gaming credentials.
The title doesn’t promise too much – it tells you exactly what you should expect – a golfing simulator to play no matter the weather. However, this is not a game that forces you to learn the game, so you are not expected to choose your club or perfect your swing. The aim of this game is pure and simple – they want you to have fun. However, if you want to take it a little more seriously, there are some options at play that add a little tension to your round.
The vital details
Release date: Oculus Question 16th May 2020
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Developer and Publisher: Golf Scope
Supports: Oculus Rift
Play area: standing, room-scale
Input: motion controllers
Comfort level: comfortable
So, it’s a golf simulator. Let’s see if there is anything worth getting excited about for the non-golfer.
At first, you will be less than enthused by what is on offer in this golfing game. You will think yet again that the developers have missed a trick. There are three areas to play with some nice graphics – so the beach, desert and forest are all pretty nice. Each area has a nine-hole course rendered in simple graphics.
So far, so what? Well after a while you will find yourself lured into this deceptively addictive game. Although the graphics of these courses might be simple, the developers have put some nifty barriers in your way to up the level of interest. For instance, you will find yourself having to contend with rivers and cliffs – and of course – tree (especially in the forest level… obviously).
You have to complete each course in the basic mode. Once complete, the pro course is unlocked. When you are a pro, you will be a little disappointed that the environment and course remain unchanged. However, the putting aids are gone and now you genuinely need to show some skill on those greens.
To unlock the courses at all, you will need to complete the campaign. The aim of the campaign is to teach you the skills needed with the motion controller to enjoy some success when you get to the course. Therefore, there is some intelligence to completing the campaign first, no matter how frustrating this might feel to pros.
Once you are out on the course, as you progress, the topography of each environment changes, adding more challenge as you go. Therefore, although the gameplay sounds like a basic affair – and it is – there is enough there to keep you coming back for more.
There are also fun features in addition to the courses. You can play the golfing minigames in the putting lounge – which put you under pressure to complete golfing-based challenges against the clock. These are fun and a distraction from the serious business of perfecting you put. So, despite feeling underwhelmed at first, you will be surprised by the amount of content you get for your money.
The real reason to try this game is game mechanics. There is an attention to detail that even pro golfers will smile at, feeling some respect for the developers’ skill. The putting action is smooth and the consequence of your choice represented realistically in the game. For instance, if you smack the ball casually with a single hand on the motion controller then the outcome will be shocking. If you steady the controller with two hands, as you would a gold club, then you will enjoy better outcomes.
The evolution from basic to pro is also welcome. There will be yellow lines on the course to show you where to hit and at what angle. This allows you to learn the basics of the course before sent out as a pro to work alone on where to angle the ball. Also welcome is the ability to change the settings for the golf swing – so if you are in a tiny space, you won’t be damaging any of your goods!
Our brief takeaway
This golfing game is the only simulator for the sport to have made a decent crack at virtual reality. Although it won’t keep the professional or serious golfer happy for too long, it will keep the happy amateur coming back for more. There is also enough appeal outside the niche to believe that non-golfers could enjoy the game too.
In short, Pro Putt from Top Golf is probably the only golf simulator to really crack the genre. Therefore, it is worth a go and offers some quality value for money in the bargain.