When I heard that former team members that worked on the Burnout franchise were working on a golf game, my mind went racing like crazy. Could we see an arcade-style golf game that would put Rory McIlroy PGA Tour to shame? Or, for that matter, maybe even a throwback to crazy golf games in the past? Well, unfortunately, Dangerous Golf does very little of both – it’s a game that tries to strive for fun, but is so limited in its execution and payoff that it just ends up crashing and burning, like the many objects you’re instructed to destroy.
The game’s concept is simple – line up your shots in overcrowded areas and create as much destruction as possible, potentially earning a follow-up Smashbreaker shot to unleash even more chaos before lining up the shot for the hole. Sounds great, right? Well, Three Fields Entertainment figured out to make things go smash and boom, but it’s managed to do so in the most boring way possible.
See, the problem is that you don’t do much of anything in Dangerous Golf. You line up your shots and use secondary items on occasion to help bump up your chaotic run – but that’s about it. Everything else is more about luck in regards to bouncing off items or lining up a putt so that you can finish up a hole with the most points possible. And for a game that has Golf in the title, it frustrates that it doesn’t even follow the general idea of the sport.
Oh, sure, you can try to spin the ball the right way after sending it flying – emphasis on “try”. That’s because the controls just don’t react the right way. That means either you get your shot right the first time when it comes to racking up a score, or you’re frustrated enough to try again. And again. And again. And that doesn’t exactly spell “fun” for me.
The game does feature a number of locations to choose from, including a gas station (yes, if you’re good enough, you can blow up the pumps), a kitchen and a dining hall filled with expensive glassware, strewn across various worldwide locations. And while the game does look good, the variety in these locales doesn’t change much. How they’re set up is cool, but there’s very little to keep you coming back. What I wouldn’t give to have a room filled with mirrors that I can smash to bits.
At least the destruction is, ahem, on par with what the developers had in mind. Watching stuff shatter, collapse and go boom in slo-mo can be a good time – but it’s more fun to watch than it is to play. Furthermore, it’s also got incredibly long load times, forcing you to sit for a minute or two before you can jump back into the fray – even if you screw up and just want to reload the level.
The sound doesn’t do the game favors either, with dull background music and sound effects so annoying, you’re better off just hitting the mute switch. The game also lacks any sort of distinct personality, meaning that it’s just about the destruction, but with very little to cheer it on. It’s like going to a truck rally and the vehicles don’t make any noise.
There are a handful of modes available, but the general concept of Dangerous Golf still remains intact – and that’s just not enough to save it. While I like the idea of smacking a ball and destroying everything in its wake, the gameplay just never adds up to what a definitive sports game is supposed to go. Dangerous Golf has a neat idea, but executes it with all the grace of a clumsy waiter trying to deliver drinks to a table while walking across an ice rink. It’s not the kind of devastation that cheers on repeat performance – and that’s a shame.