Falls short of the green and hits the bunker
I really wanted to like Real Golf. Gameloft’s Let’s Golf 2 impressed me greatly and I still play a few rounds to improve my game every so often, so a realistic golf game from the same team seemed like a dead cert to take the crown from Tiger Woods.
Putting them side by side the first impressions are that Real Golf looks far better; proper animations, facial features you can actually make out (as opposed to Tiger’s basic character design) and lush scenery. It’s a good start, then, for a game that relies on long shots of fairway and working out whether your ball will end up hitting the bunker.
But when you play your first course the illusion is shattered. It’s not that the game doesn’t look good moving, it does, but the physics are just plain wrong and the animations are annoying. Every time a shot is taken the golfer will go through one of a few sets of animations, the same goes for looking at the lay of the land during a putt. These can’t be skipped and leave you twiddling your thumbs. At times the ball will hit the ground and bounce off at right angles after seemingly making a perfect swing. During a putt it’s very hard to judge the power and angle of the shot due to some poor camera angles.
Despite these physics issues, swinging and putting themselves are fairly straight forward. In fact, getting a perfect swing is really just a case of moving your finger down to the blue line which gives you an indication of what power you need, then straight back up to get the accuracy. It’s very hard not to get it right, especially as you have the help of the shot view that gives you a guide to where your ball will land. Only wind gets in the way of making a perfect shot each time.
Unfortunately, this also takes away from any skill you might be expecting to find. The putting controls work the same way and only the fact that it’s all to easy to overshoot the hole by going a millimetre over the blue line will have you faltering. It defeats the object of a good golf game, namely the competition and skill required to sink a hole.
Going back to the comparisons between this game and Tiger Woods, the commentary is another thing that stands out, for all the wrong reasons. Tiger’s commentary had 2 fairly interesting commentators and for the most part it manage to avoid too much in the way of repetition. Real Golf goes for wacky and even comes short of that. I don’t want to count the times I’ve heard ‘Easy, easy’ or told that ‘he’s got a chance for a Birdie’. There are too few phrases and the delivery is grating.
Redemption comes from the sheer number of courses and the multiplayer element. As with all new Gameloft Sports games you can soon pick up a game over WIFI or Bluetooth and there are a wealth of options to choose from. Even in the single player you can choose a course and get straight into it, choose a set of holes to play or go for the competition. If you can bear the physics and commentary issues then there’s a lot to play with here.
The issue is that with Let’s Golf 2 out you have the choices of a great cartoony golf game or a poorer realistic one. It’s fair to say those looking for the realistic game will want good physics and a challenge, the very things missing from Real Golf.. It may look the part when compared to Tiger Woods, but it just can’t match the gameplay
- Sound: 4
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 5
- Longevity: 6
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