The first Golf Club game made its name with an extensive course creator and a meter-less swing mechanic. It was also notable for bucking the sports game trend of yearly installments. Numerous free and paid updates followed the game post-release, but it was unknown when or if a full-on sequel would come out. At E3 the company finally announced a follow up, and the amount of features packed into The Golf Club 2 proves that this isn't just an iterative shuffle forward, but a big stride for the franchise.
One of the main knocks of the first game when it released was its lack of a career mode. The Golf Club 2 solves this with golf societies. Gaining entry into better societies (by paying the increasing entry fee from the money you've earned) is how you move up the ladder and get into more prestigious tournaments with more fanfare and trappings. You can design your societies' badge and get access to better digs.
Customization also comes into play through the extensive golfer editor. 60 actors have been scanned for use in the game, and a bevy of sliders let you terraform their visages to your liking. You can even adjust the moles and pimples on their faces. Further customization comes into play through the ability to pick different clothes and choose their color, as well as design the emblem on your shirts.
Naturally, golf societies are also a perfect fit for multiplayer, where you can grow your membership, monitor your bank balance, charge entrance fees, and watch your clubhouse go from a sad hangout for hacks to an opulent clubhouse admitting only the best. The season's schedule can edited, and soon your society will be successful enough to play in major tournaments.
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More structure and incentive within the single-player and multiplayer are welcome, but that doesn't mean the course creator has been ignored. Loads of fan-requested elements have made it into the game from white picket fences and crowds to a whole terrain slope feature that means that waterfalls and streams can be put into your course. Practice greens and ranges can also be added.
If you've got a course from the first game that you don't want to leave behind, you don't have to. They can be uploaded into The Golf Club 2 and either left as is or edited with the new trappings. The studio has also tweaked some of the editing tools and interface for better ease of use.
The game's meter-less swing remains, but this time around getting the tempo correct on the backswing and downswing is important to hitting the perfect shot. I played a few holes, and I definitely need a little more discipline to make sure I got off a good shot with distance.
Furthermore, The Golf Club 2 adds three sets of clubs of the normal, pro, and tour varieties that will vary in how easy they are to hit with versus the distance and accuracy you'll get out of them. Multiple tees also offer different challenges.
The first Golf Club was ambitious and delivered on its promises even if it wasn't the full package. The sequel isn't just filling in the gaps, however, it's just as ambitious and is looking to go deeper and further.