Dangerous Golf released on Consoles and PC on the June 3rd 2016. Dangerous Golf launched at the bargain price of $26.95 AUD on PSN and Xbox live while on steam it was $19.99 USD. As I am writing this Playstation players with PS Plus get a further 37% discount which makes the game a steal. The game has only come to digital stores to date. Dangerous Golf is Developed by UK based developer Three Fields Entertainment. The game can be played solo, Co-op or multiplayer both online and offline. Dangerous Golf is a physics based puzzle game that will make you scream out loud and even jump out of your seat.
The story behind Three fields is a major part of the story behind Dangerous Golf. This team was made up of just nine people till a few months from release where they expanded the team to eleven. Alex Ward, Fiona Sperry and Chris Roberts all started the Burnout franchise and a majority of the team has come from Criterion at some point. I Completely grabbed all those facts from their website as this information is very important. Where this team comes from is what makes this game jump off the screen at you. It 100% brings the feel of the Burnout games that we all feel in love with into Dangerous Golf. If you all want a spiritual successor the Burnout go buy this game so they can do such a project.
The game has been released for 6 weeks so releasing a review now seems a bit weird. Well Three Fields has just updated the game with a large patch to address some of the concerns people had about it at launch. Personally the only major issue I had with the game at launch was the reload times but that wasn’t enough to put me off the game. These reload times have been addressed in this patch and cut from thirty seconds down to two or three seconds. This change makes such a difference to the game and helps you push on after those gold medals. We must not gloss over this achievement though, cutting these reload times down was an amazing effort and took some out of the box thinking to get done.
This was not the only feature coming out of the patch. Three Fields added new and improved control options to help people better adapt to the game. A new SmashWave feature has been added to the game to help you destroy even more. Frame rates have been optimised so that there isn’t drop offs when everything is going crazy on screen. Two features in particular were added to the game that I know you all will love. The first is the return of Ted Stryker, the voice over artist from burnout 3, to narrate the new Tutorial video. Secondly since the Ratings board upped the rating on the game because of “flatulence sounds being heard in the bathroom level” the team went all in on this Comic Mischief tag and added all new sounds to the game. Finally they updated a few problem holes, improving the skill curve and added some on screen prompts to help players time their actions better. Overall these improvements make the game even more enjoyable and show how much Three Fields listen to their fan base.
The mood of Dangerous Golf is its best quality. This game just continues to make you smile. Little things always pop up to make you laugh and the unbelievable crazy shots you can land will make you jump out of the chair and fist pump like a madman. Three fields have done a great job working out what makes a game fun and stripping everything else away and highlighting what’s left. The explosions and chaos that you can make in this game pull every heart string that you have for the old Burnout games and always leave you wanting to do it again.
I don’t get to play many games with my family but I got to play Dangerous Golf co-op with my 5 year old daughter. It was such a blast and it was easy enough for her to pick up and enjoy. My partner was also caught with the controller in her hand trying to work out the best way to destroy everything in the room. What Dangerous Golf does well is bring people together. The fun nature of the game means it is best enjoyed sitting on the couch next to the person you’re playing with or against. This makes it great for families or nights when the mates are over and looking for something to do. Couch multiplayer, be it co-op or competitive is a dying feature in games but in Dangerous Golf they embrace it and the game is all the better for it.
There are many ways that Three Fields have made you compete against your friends in Dangerous Golf. The best I have found so far is the leaderboard system. It ranks you against either players from your friends list or everyone in the world. Both features add a great deal to the game. If I am not on top of the leaderboard on you better believe I am sitting down and playing that hole till I am number one. This has added life to the game even for people with all platinum medals (which is crazy hard) as they still have something to beat on each hole with the global ladder.
Music in a game can often be overshadowed or even forgotten about. In Dangerous Golf much like the Burnout series they really shove the music in your face. The sound direction they decided to take with this game is amazing. It really fits the mood of the game. I am always caught on my streams bobbing my head away in menu screens because the music is that addictive. The way they use the music in the game shows how they have decided to double down on the idea of just making a fun game.
As I mentioned at the top of the article, this is a physics based puzzle game. The puzzle mechanic was a bit lost on me for the first thirty holes but as you progress through the game the puzzle elements really do start to stand out. You really are given a room and an objective, after that do whatever you want to get that objective done. Towards the end of the one hundred holes the level design was amazing and really had me thinking at times just how to solve this puzzle.
Dangerous Golf still has some aspects I would love to see improved upon. The biggest of which is the lack of spectator mode in multiplayer online matches. Currently if you play a hole against your friends and you finish that hole first you are stuck watching a leader board that is updated in real time till the last player is finished. I would love if Three Fields could borrow the spectate mode that seems to be in all first person shooter games now. This would work on two levels by giving players something to watch while they wait and help people improve their game by seeing what others do.
What feels like a strange omission from the game is not being able to play Co-op mode with friends online. Playing online with my friends is a highlight of this game but we can’t unlock any of the content playing together. Even in multiplayer the scores you get on each hole don’t carry over to leaderboards. Not to mention you can only play holes in multiplayer that you have unlocked in single player. I completely understand this design decision as the difficulty does ramp up as you play through the game. I feel adding the option of playing through the Co-op tour online would be even more fun as working together is just as fun as being competitive.
The last thing is just a quality of life improvement that I would love to see in the game at some stage. The leaderboards are great and there is nothing better than trying to beat your mates best score or even the best players in the world. It does become hard to follow this at times because you need to go into each hole to see the leaderboard. I would love to see a spot you could go into and see your ranking for each hole. With one hundred holes in the game this could be impossible, but maybe just something to see your best 5 ranked holes or a list of holes you have been beaten on. Either way this part of the game is great and I would just love to see it given a bit more room to shine.
If you only buy one game this year this is that game. Dangerous Golf is such a bundle of joy that just keeps giving. The new patch removes any doubts I did have about recommending this game to you all. The fact that they nailed this patch so well and really took the time to add in features that they really didn’t need to is worth the price of the game. Back on the price for a second, this game is such a bargain that I purchased this game with my own money on PS4 and PC. I am also very tempted to pick up the Xbox copy just to support this small little studio. Lets face it you get change from $30 AUD for a game you will be playing for hours upon hours. I have not seen better value than this before. Now go and blow things up people!
The Good: The game is just straight up “Fun” no matter which way you look at it. Three Fields have designed the game with that concept at the front and it completely shows.
The Bad: The fact that there is co-op in the game and you cant play that mode with your friends online. All my friends that are gamers these days are online. This feature is one that I would have loved seen in the game. The fact that it isn’t there leaves a bit of a hole in the game.
The Final Word: This game is Priced perfectly and provides the best value for money experience I have seen for a long time. If your a fan of the old Burnout franchise then you need to get this game. Three Fields have put their heart and soul into this game and deserve all our support. This will be a game that you just keep going back to time and time again.