This the first game from Three Fields Entertainment, a 12 man UK based code-shop founded by Criterion alumni in 2014. Yes, Criterion of the Burnout series & Black fame.
What we have here is a twist on golfing games where the aim is still to get your ball in the hole, only you have to smash the hell out of items in various locations spread across France, America, England & Australia. In effect Burnout CRASH!
made love with a Tiger Woods game and spawned this beauty.
If you've ever played a Burnout game (all the way back from Burnout 2's crash junctions 14 years ago to 2011's Crash) you'll be familiar with the concept of crash junctions. What you have with Dangerous Golf
is a physics based playground to smash shit up in powered by Unreal Engine 4. This underpins both the games strengths & weaknesses at the same time.
You play through ten tours made up of ten holes each, each tour culminating in a putting challenge.
The game has nailed that one more go hook as I've ploughed hours into the game since I bought it ten days ago. Often you'll get close to a medal target (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) and come up agonisingly short.
That's often enough to get you to have another try, in this case I was overlooking a bonus I'd not previously unlocked by utilising all the mop buckets around the level as you can see below.
You'll tee off from a starting point in the level, usually with a target to smash a certain number of items to unlock a
smashbreaker which allows you to wreak further havoc throughout a level, opening up auxiliary objectives like score flags which can augment your score (and pop an achievement if you putt your ball in them in the correct order). Ultimately though, to pass a level you have to land the ball in the hole scoring a minimum of a bronze medal. If you plough through the levels just getting bronzes you'll be done with the single player campaign in no time. Though you'll probably replay levels over and over to get gold medals, also for the cumulative achievements like those for destroying certain items (suits of armour for example) you'd be better off doing so.
You'll get awards from smashing all of a particular item too, these are called Smashdowns, they're the key to a big score and a gold or platinum medal. Some levels will have two sets of objectives so you can get a stackable extra bonus.
You'll also encounter levels where your ball is glued to the point you hit it at, to plant a timebomb manually or automatically. More often than not you'll have to place your ball strategically to open up another part of the level.
Going back to UE4 being both a strength & weakness, first the good. You'll delight at the mad shots you can pull off like this.
At the same time, due to the sheer amount of physics items modelled in each level, you'll experience extended loading times on a lot of levels. One level in particular has a noticeably tiny amount by comparison and has the shortest loading time of all. Maybe future patches will optimise this, we'll see. In addition, some levels will struggle to cope with the sheer number of individually modelled physics items being flung around and you will notice the occasional bout of slowdown.
The loading times and slowdown are the only thing stopping me giving this 5 stars.
Sometimes the odd achievement (for the glue in my case) won't pop even though you've fulfilled the criteria, but that's minor as the one incidence I had of it popped on a later level.
You'll play this over and over to get the full 1000 gamerscore. On top of the singleplayer there's also online multiplayer & couch-based co-op, though sadly no online co-op at the time of writing.