My 2K journey continues and this time I have had the opportunity to test the PGA Tour 2K21. As an amateur golfer, I can recognize myself in how really anything can happen on a golf course, if I am only a few hundredths of a second wrong when hitting the ball. Water or Fairway? We’ll find out.
Of course I started with my journey in PGA Tour 2K21 with Career Mode. In this game mode, I had to create my own golfer as usual and follow his journey. I have to say that this game mode is very realistic, if I am to see how a trip to the PGA Tour actually goes. However, the situation is not as well developed as, for example, in NBA 2K21. Here, for example, there are no animated sequences where I get to follow the story of my alter-ego. But it does, as I also know that this is not funded with the “big wallet” like giant sports like the NBA and Madden has in the back. The demand for golf games is not as great, quite simply. But, even though they have not had the same budget as the above-mentioned “sports siblings”, they have still managed to produce an incredibly good game.
If we skip to Local Play, which is the game’s single-player mode, you can choose from a large selection of famous golf courses, fictional courses (created by the developers) and completely crazy, user-generated courses. In this game mode, I spent hours falling in love with the home-made creations: here I could come across courses that could have upwards of 1 kilometer long holes with downhill, so you reached the green with a single stroke, others where you have to bounce the ball between houses, rashes from extreme heights, green on boats and more. Real party golf in other words!
Playing online is also easy; if you want to play against another player online, the match-making function can take some time to find an opponent, but once inside a match, the game mode works really well without bugs or delays. You can also choose to join a club (Online Society), where you play online tournaments and take on challenges to win prizes (though not PvP in real time, as far as I could see). Something you can do during all game modes is to collect credits to buy new clubs, clothes and accessories from well-known brands and HB Studios’ own. And you know what? No microtransactions as far as the eye can see! It feels absolutely fantastic in a game from 2020, as the microtransactions really remind you daily in most franchise games that they seem to be here to stay.
Game mechanically, this game is “spot-on”. I have never experienced such a well-developed skill-stick feature as in this game. Don’t get me wrong, the level of difficulty ranges from super easy for the amateur, to doomsday-difficult for the golf fanatic. This allows you to easily set your challenge level and calibrate the timing meter to your own playing ability. If I have to mention something negative about it, it is that for some reason they have chosen not to include Punch-Shot – which is a common type of blow to keep the ball field down, so that the ball is not affected by the wind conditions as much.
To sum up, the PGA Tour 2K21 is very fun to play. It does not matter if you have played golf before or not, because all the setting options make the level of difficulty fun for everyone. The gaming experience is absolutely phenomenal and entertaining at the same time. In terms of presentation, the PGA Tour 2K21 will not top the list when it comes to the best-looking or most realistic graphics on the market. The player models are quite substandard and the audience looks like they have undergone stiff surgery the whole bundle. The commentators are not particularly good either, as it is practically the same script for each round. But these two things are, in my opinion, petitesser, if you look at what you actually get out of the game.
I have had fantastic fun while playing and I clearly think that the PGA Tour 2K21 is by far the best golf simulator on the market!
Will there be a sequel to this game? I really hope so!