Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed), PS4, PC
Dangerous Golf is golf only in name, and is pretty much the crash mode from the Burnout series with a golf ball as the car. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s a rival to EA Sports PGA or something in the vein of Outlaw Golf, this is a destruction sim with a golf ball as the starting point.
How Dangerous can Golf Get?
The newest game by the creators of Burnout, Dangerous Golf is a destructive twist on the game that many of us can only play in virtual form. Players are given a golf ball, and put in a room with loads of objects to wreak havoc on with said ball. Levels are short and consist of 3 parts: the tee off, the Smashbreaker, and getting the ball in the hole. Before each level starts there's an overview of the level, and the number of broken objects needed to enable Smashbreaker is revealed to the player.
While the game is pretty simple, don't take the simplicity for granted. There was one level with a 16-object requirement that seemed easy enough, but I had to repeatedly start the level over. It was then that I realized that the left trigger made the putt softer than the regular putt, and was finally able to scatter a group of cans on a shelf lower than my starting area.
Experimenting can be Dangerous
It's the trial and error that makes up the majority of the difficulty with Dangerous Golf. Some of it will be caused by players thinking the game is too simple, but some of it is caused by the game not properly explaining some things. The load screens that you will see a lot of show the controls, but some of the mechanics shown have to be unlocked, leaving me to think that the pistol putt and soft putt were the same thing.
Just how crash mode from Burnout was simply a mode in a much bigger game and could only be played so much before becoming tiresome, Dangerous Golf is best played in short sessions. I could only play about 3-4 levels before I was ready to switch to something else, and the game does a good job of having a few ways to do that solo and with local and online groups.
Even Danger is Familiar
The only bad part of Dangerous Golf would have to be the load times. I can excuse my preference to being able to cause more destruction before having to get the ball to the hole, but the trial and error nature of the game makes the load times for stage resets and even leaving stages to go to the main menu seem even longer than they are. When trying the level that I mentioned earlier over and over, a memorable chunk of the time was spent looking at the loading screen.
So much of Dangerous Golf's aesthetics pull from Burnout, that the golf ball is basically a car in another skin. The fonts in the main menu resemble Burnout's font, and even the music sounds like EA Trax just without the licensing. Even the main aspect of the gameplay, the Smashbreaker, is a modification of a mechanic in Burnout. There's not a lot here that feels uniquely golf, which isn't a bad thing, but it still stands that a lot of things in Dangerous Golf will feel very familiar to fans of the creator's other series.
A take on golf mainly by name, Dangerous Golf’s focus is on the former part of its name. Sure, the golf ball is used and there are holes to end the levels, but that's about as far as the similarities go. What it is is a fun game played in short bursts.