Best PGA Golf Simulator that wants us to get hooked on this sport
After falling into a few bunkers and generating quite a few rivalries in the world tournament, we bring you our analysis of PGA golf simulator 2K21, the new PGA golf simulator developed by the Canadian studio HB Studios that arrives with 2K Games as absolute godfather in this instalment.
Except for North Americans, their local competitions and sports are ‘world cups’ and the best sports in the universe; it is clear that there are two sports: the kings.
On the one hand, football (the real one) is the most followed sport and moves the most at all levels and, on the other, basketball. Electronic Arts have dominated the soccer game market with an iron fist for years, and 2K Games does the same with basketball.
Now 2K is stepping into a new garden, almost literally, as it has just released its first golf game with the distinctive ‘2K’ name. This is PGA golf simulator 2K21, a game in the 2K that gives visibility by lending its name and developed by HB Studios.
In the past, it is a Canadian study that has been doing some ports of Electronic Arts games, among others, for platforms that perhaps were not main those years. However, they recently discovered a hitch in golf, and since Electronic Arts left the PGA Tour franchise aside since the Tiger Woods troubles, they have bet on it with their The Golf Club.
And it is here, remembering that these people know what is done in this virtual sport, where we begin this analysis of PGA golf simulator Tour 2K21.
With The Golf Club, HB Studios found a success that, yes, is far from that of other studios with more mainstream sports, but that has allowed a community to be generated around the game that was eager for this delivery.
PGA golf simulator 2K21 is built on three pillars. The main protagonist, where the performance of 2K is most noticeable, is that of My Player. It is a way to create our character in an editor that is not bad at all. We have both physical options to define our avatar and fashion accessories features that make the experience more realistic. Unlocking this, in addition to contracts, is the exciting thing about the single-player mode.
In this mode, we will start from the bottom, and the goal is to get to the top. Interestingly, 2K has not ‘contaminated’ this mode with features in the NBA. That is, our player does not start as a package that gains experience redeemable for attributes. If we already knew how to play Golf Tour deliveries, we will learn how to play this.
We unlock sponsorships and contracts that will allow us to make a name for ourselves and reach the top for our golf characteristics and trophies and the brands behind us putting money. Each of these sponsors has its goals, and it is interesting to meet them to achieve rewards.
Something curious is that in this race, there is a system of ‘nemesis.’ As we get victories, the system matches us with other stars, and, thanks to specific algorithms, it will make sparks fly.
For me, without a doubt, My Player mode is the protagonist when it comes to game modes. It is where we will spend more hours, and it is so both because it is enjoyable. And because the other two methods may not be to everyone’s taste.
One is online, a mode in which we compete in tournaments against other players, and that is fun because the gameplay itself is, but it does not have the adrenaline that many of us look for in an online mode of a sports game. It is not bad, far from it, and it may fit you, but it is a mode that, for me, is secondary for when we exhaust the single-player mode. In the end, we don’t compete so much against others as against ourselves.
And the third is an editing mode in which we certainly have many tools to create fields where the limit is our imagination. If you want, you can share these fields with the online community.
However, the third pillar is, for me, the most important. And, HB knows that it has an excellent game mode and, although it is a golf simulator when we play in the most complicated way (in which we must take into account variables such as the direction and speed of time), the virtue is that it can hook from the beginning someone who does not follow the sport.
I love sport, and I am one of those who, if nothing else, a curling competition gets stuck, but I confess that golf and cycling have never called me. With cycling, it’s not going to change, but with golf. It can. And, although golf bores me, I am one of those who have played mini-golf games for dozens of hours, and I loved them.
I’m not saying that this is so easy or the experience is the same, far from it, but there is something I love about this title: its tutorials. If we start at an intermediate level, the game knows, in a very didactic way, to explain the fundamentals of this sport and the keys to start hitting the ball without getting it too bad.
With straightforward controls, we control many variables and options, and very soon, concepts such as the names of the clubs and the correct positions for each type of shot and situation begin to be engraved in mind.
That the most novice player is hooked from almost the first minute, I think it is a success because it opens this sport to many players who, well, they may not have ever considered entering this type of game.
And it works both as a simulator and as a more “arcade” experience, with many quotes, it refers. Where it doesn’t work so well is technical. It is true that when the ball is in the foreground near the hole, the detail is good, and the physics of the ball is to frame, but everything else is at the level of a game from several years ago.
The animations are nothing to write home about, and the fields are correctly illuminated, but nothing else. In terms of sound, we have famous commentators in English.
Although well, in the end, that it is somewhat crude visually does not matter too much if we consider that what does make the difference, which is the ball’s behavior, is more than correct.
I like not to feel that I am facing an unfair game at any time. In reality, I do not care that there are only 12 personalities (although as they confessed to us a few weeks ago, they propose to give post-launch support, and there may be more) because the fundamental thing, which is I play and my feelings controlling the clubs are very, very good.
There is not much news than the previous instalments, and the My Player mode may have given more of itself with a better narrative. Still, as far as simulation and licenses are concerned, PGA golf simulator 2K21 delivers perfectly.
There are only a few fringes to polish and a little more content to have a more powerful golf simulator. Now that 2K Games is fully involved, we will surely see that evolution throughout future instalments.
If you are lovers of this sport, you already have it available on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 with all the options and modes. It’s available on Switch too, but without the field editor, which is a loss for a console where it would have been a lot of fun to design while on public transport, for example.