Born out of Criterion, Three Fields Entertainment has created Dangerous Golf, a golf game that’s not really golf but a game that provides satisfying gameplay and pure destruction of inanimate objects. It avoids the cliches of destroying vehicles or even people as its form of entertainment. Dangerous Golf is a great excuse to break stuff and looks good while doing it.
Editor’s Note: This review is based on the relaunch with Update #2 released on July 12th, 2016. Review code was supplied after that date, and was our first experience playing the game.
To kick things off, DJ Ted Stryker (the DJ from Burnout 3) introduces you to all the mechanics of Dangerous Golf, much like the overview from that game. This level of continuity is really great, and gets you in the mindset of what this game will be. Everything from the menus, sound effects, and music is pretty much Burnout 3. I wish there were licensed tracks and more DJ Ted Stryker coming in over the radio, but like golf, is quiet in the name of the sport.
There’s no shortage of modes and tours to be a part off to kick off Dangerous Golf, you’ll have the option of playing solo, co-op, or party mode. A World Tour will take you across four countries: United States, France, England, and Australia. All levels of Dangerous Golf take place indoors, but the room’s aesthetic suggest its country of origin you’re about to destroy.
Playing Dangerous Golf requires no forehand knowledge as to how golf is played, or even any desire to learn. Dangerous Golf‘s systems are easy to understand and fun to control. It’s just as simple as aiming the center of the camera view where you want the ball to go, and since there aren’t any power or accuracy meters, you just flick forward on the left stick and the ball starts its destructive tour around the room. After enough objects have been destroyed, you’ll have an opportunity to start the smashbreaker, a way for you to induce more destruction with the ability to control the ball in danger time for more points. Once ball is at rest, you have to putt it in. For bonus points and added risk, you can ricochet it in, but you may miss it and that will result in a loss of points.
Upon completion of a level, you can earn one of four medals: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. It seems easy at first, but the game will quickly put you in your place and show you that it isn’t point and smash, and that there’s a bit of a puzzle element here to learn where and when to make your hits. Though, Dangerous Golf has what I liked to call accidental precision, where shots are successfully made thanks to obstructions of broken objects. This accidental precision is absolutely rewarding, and while it so seldomly acts like a golf game, makes you feel like a pro.
When in a smashbreaker, you can have the ball drop immediately, and will activate a smashwave to help clear the area of debris so you can make your putt. Though on some levels, the hole may be hidden until a threshold of destruction or points is reached for it to be revealed. Dangerous Golf often likes to change the rules, like to add a timer to the level, or adding precision shots.
Dangerous Golf has fun levels that are filled with money flags that maintain their puzzle elements. They are all about getting the ball into the holes without losing three in total, or it is game over. Just being able to smash a ball into hole after hole in rapid succession is highly entertaining. Levels contain secrets, like the “secret sauce” bonus whereby smashing a hidden golden bottle nets you bonus points. Then there’s warp objects, such as a mailbox that when passed through, will place you in a different part of the level and allow you to accrue more points. During any given level, there is a Signature Smash, and is like the Signature Crash in Burnout, and that’s by finding the defining characteristic of the level and smashing it.
If you manage to mess up, or don’t record the score you intended, Dangerous Golf lets you restart – and fast! And that swiftness carries throughout, the menus, load times, and even playing the game. Holes are completed in minutes, compared to hours for the real game, and you’re smashing stuff all the way throughout.
Dangerous Golf uses Unreal Engine 4 to power its incredible look. And everything just looks excellent, and the game holds an amazing framerate throughout. In the menus, there is an option for “Flex”, and it is never explained, but had it set to Epic including all the graphical options and was able to 60fps no problem. Though, Flex is actually NVIDIA’s FleX, and it is a particle based simulation technique for real-time visual effects. It’s definitely recommended having it on in some capacity, as objects look real good with it on when things are sparking.
My PC Specs:
– Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
– Intel Core i7 6700k @ 4.2Ghz (Turbo)
– NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
– G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
– EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW 8GB GDDR5X
Dangerous Golf‘s greatest benefit is how little it has to do with golf, providing an immensely fun game that will remind you have Burnout 3 while a smile stretches across your face the entire time. Dangerous Golf isn’t a mindless game by any means, but you don’t have to do too much thinking that gets in the way of having a great time. Play this game with friends either taking turns or in the full-on party mode and there’s so much fun to be had. Three Fields Entertainment really has something unique yet nostalgic about Dangerous Golf, and it is like a bit of paradise.
A Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes.