You may not have heard of Three Fields Entertainment, but chances are you would have played something that was dreamt up from their minds. In fact, you would probably have loved many of the creations that the founders of Three Fields came up with. For whilst this may be a fairly young studio, the brains behind it all are also the creative minds behind one of the biggest vehicular destruction series of the last generation. Burnout.
So you may be wondering why the hell a team with a career covering destruction and racing games is now concentrating on a much more leisurely affair.
Well, you ain’t played Dangerous Golf have you!
Dangerous Golf is just like real world golf. In that you’ve got a golf ball, a tee and a hole with a flag in it. Everything else though is completely different. So different in fact that whether you like to ruin a good walk or not will make very little difference to whether you’ll enjoy this digital title. In fact, it will probably appeal much more to those who like to test their brains a bit.
So, what exactly is the premise? Well, it’s fairly simple really. You tee off with one shot and with your next you need to get the ball in the hole. In between, you need to create havoc and destruction by sending your powered golf ball around the small area in which the level is set, hitting as much as possible, smashing items to smithereens and collecting as many points as you possibly can. Your ball will bounce, a lot, and is much more akin to a powerball than the real world golfing variety. Thankfully, through the use of the Left and Right triggers, you can control the height of said bounce, and a combination of these plus your thumbsticks, can vaguely guide your ball to the biggest point scoring objects. Points of course mean prizes – in this case a bronze, silver, gold or platinum medal. That said, due to the sheer chaotic nature that Dangerous Golf brings, you won’t need much skill in order to succeed. A stroke or two of luck will normally see you fine and dandy. If you’re not lucky, then you may as well stop reading right now.
To help you earn the points, numerous shot types, played out in the form of cards before the start, happily help you along the way. The first of these, the SmashBreaker, is your main weapon and the key to the really high scores. Only unlocked once you’ve smashed a set number of items from the tee off, the SmashBreaker opens up the main directional controls, giving the chance to survey the scene and get busy. As you progress, you’ll stumble upon glue balls (which stick to walls), hazards (which need to be avoided), wormholes to fly through, instant SmashBreakers galore and a whole ton more to get busy with. The pistol tee and pistol putt options bring a laser guided golf ball into the equation and are a real help for pinpointing exact areas. If you want to go for the real big point scoring opportunities, then firing the ball off numerous walls and seeing it ricochet around prior to sinking is the way to go. Trick shots are, as you can probably guess, very much the name of the game and it’s glorious to see some of the shots play out – although at times there is an awful lot that seems to be a bit too scripted for my liking.
Earn enough dough, or at least run out of Smashbreaker, and you’ll be left with your ball dropping to the floor ready for the putt. It’ll then be up to you to search out the flag, and aim your last shot towards it to sink the putt, end the level and move on to the next of the 100 stages that are in place…subject to medal satisfaction of course.
With a ton of well created levels that are split over four countries, each with their own unique designs, Dangerous Golf certainly packs in the single player content. Australia brings you the outback, the US happily plays host to a kitchen arena which is filled to the brim with pots and pans, and if you visit England, then you’ll find yourself firing your balls up and down the corridors of a well designed castle. Similarly, the French palace brings champagne bottles, grandfather clocks and even more secret areas. There is most definitely a whole ton of in-game humour and cheek included within Dangerous Golf and Three Fields’ slightly twisted minds.
Admittedly you will find yourself going back over certain stages time and time again, but with differing objects appearing with higher points each time, it never gets too familiar. There is of course a reason to go back over each stage though, and that is so you can beat your friends. This is where Dangerous Golf becomes real fun, very nearly excelling, and even though you may like to test yourself as you go for the bigger shinier medals, it is really all about the bragging rights. If you don’t have an online friend or five with the game though, then you’ll be left forever in a world of pain and will probably find little reason to go back.
There is of course the local cooperative World Tour which allows you to play through everything found in the single player, but with a couch partner helping shift your scores onto another level. The Party mode which brings a little competitive edge to the world of golf, but without that online offering, should your solo career leave little reason to go back and better your previous attempts.
There is also an online multiplayer option which very much looks like it’ll play out similar to the local Party mode but with friends around the world. Unfortunately, not once have I managed to find a game, or entice a stranger into my own setup. And that’s a shame because sitting down for a couple of holes at the end of an all nighter would be very rewarding. Whether this is because the servers are broken (possibly) or that so few people have bought Dangerous Golf there just isn’t the number of players looking for a like-minded opponent (also possible), then I don’t know, but you need to be made aware that online is sparse to say the least.
To say Dangerous Golf has set the world alight is wrong, but similarly it’s incorrect to label it as a flop, because what it does, it does bloody well. Perhaps the price is a little steep to warrant what is essentially a damn good single player campaign interspersed with some local party options, but should you be looking for something that is strangely relaxing, full of charm and doesn’t need a huge amount of skill for success then you won’t be disappointed.
You know what Dangerous Golf really plays out like? A golfing version of the awesome Burnout Crash. I wonder how that happened!
Related – Let’s Play Dangerous Golf on Xbox One