Virtual golf has been dominated by EA up until the last few years when the small HB Studios introduced us to The Golf Club. Jump ahead a few years and that same studio is now partnered with 2K and just released PGA TOUR 2K21 on numerous platforms. Let’s take a look at this new release.
Normally I like to start a review discussing the graphics in the game but with this title, the biggest update is in the gameplay mechanics.
PGA TOUR 2K21 uses the same right-stick mechanics to swing but has added numerous additional features. The biggest addition in my opinion is the ability to add spin to your shots. You can now select not only where on the ball the club hits but also the approach angle to the ball. These new abilities let you put some serious spin on the ball assuming your shot swing is perfect. Imperfect shots will cause the ball spin to vary depending on the speed of your shot.
Another great improvement is the restructuring of levels. Not only are there additional skill levels to use including a Legendary level but the clubs themselves have various attributes. Those who have their swing rhythm down may want to use a driver with longer distances but might be less forgiving. Others may want a driver with a shorter distance but greater shot shaping abilities. Additionally, club brands such as Taylor Made and Calloway are now available in the game.
The graphics in PGA TOUR 2K21 are similar to previous iterations of the game including the user interface which is more modern looking. There is a new shot type called the Splash shot that is similar to the Flop shot for those times you need to get the ball in the air quickly and land softly. There are a few new animations including putts that ring around the cup before lipping out. While a nice addition, it seems to happen more than I expected.
The PGA Tour branding is prevalent throughout the game. PGA TOUR 2K21 includes 15 licensed courses and 12 licensed golfers visible in the PGA Tour Career Mode. The one downside to the licensed players is that none of them are playable. The licensed courses show Tournament branding at each course giving a more realistic environment to play your round.
The Course Creator is back again with an easy to use interface and many new objects. Create your own masterpiece in PGA TOUR 2K21 or take a course you previously made and update it with some of the new objects available in the designer.
PGA TOUR 2K21 Review Final Thoughts:
PGA TOUR 2K21 takes an already good game and brings it to the next level with licensed golfers and courses. The additional difficulty levels and club attributes allow you to refine your shot and bring additional realism to the game. While the ability to play as the PGA golfer would be nice, this year’s update is significant and should meet the needs of most virtual golfers.
PGA TOUR 2K21 is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, Switch, and Stadia for $59.99. Check it out today!