When children play, they are so focused playing that it takes a Shout of their name to pull them from their fantasy world of 'play'.
Dangerous Golf, can bring out that child in anyone, that knows how to hold a controller.
As most of my readers know I really enjoyed the Burnout games, Takedown and Revenge being favourites. I like to race and take people down for fun, I enjoy the competitive racing of Revenge, and the road rage of Takedown. I loved Burnout 2 but no online play puts it 3 on the list.
What both those games have got are a crash mode, well all the Burnout games have, all the way up to Paradise, with Smash Time.
Burnout 3 had a go and crash at high speed, direct your car to targets and bonus multipliers.
Revenge on the original Xbox had a meter swing, hit, like a golf game of old to start a crash.
While on the 360 it was similar to Burnout 3 where you pulled you accelerator and aimed to make a mess.
They all had a $ target to meet, a Bronze, Silver and Gold, scoring tier system, with the possible scoring in the Platinum range, and an amount of car damage target to build up a Crash/Smash meter, to really let the destruction begin.
Over the years people play, get massive hi-scores and find different ways to achieve that goal.
A good example was the Crash zone in Silly-cone valley on Revenge, the preferred car to use for a great top score was using the Etnies Racer and the first crash track Dock Side, in the same game, with just using the Revenge racer and letting it go, would gain a top 1000 score. (It's been out a long while now everybody should have caught on by now, hence the top 1000 score rather than 100)
They all had a Slow-mo Button, to guide your car to more destruction and find other things further from the 'suggested area of destruction'. In Dangerous Golf, it is called Danger Time, it could be your most used button/mechanic.
So, I played these games and all they entailed, but my forte was racing and takedowns. I played with friends online for many, many, hours.
So when the news was that the original team that built these games was going to leave the cover/wing/cave/bunker offices in Guilford of EA and go their own way I was wondering what they were going to do next. A couple fields it seems...
I should also mention they made Black, which was destruction incarnate for a FPS genre type of game for the time, and lead to similar games following from the Battlefield series, to (the Outfit, or Smash Crew or something with names I can't remember), to (Body Count) using destructive environments, to showing damage during game play, to build a top score per level and so on. Bullet Storm is also a good example as well. And yes some started it first elsewhere and stuff, but you get my drift, Criterion made stuff that was awesome and took it to 60fps and messed shit up, to the satisfaction of an audience.
So there's the big intro...
They, now Three Fields Entertainment, the core crew from all the games you loved and one you didn't, where for hardcore racing fans of Revenge, could not get to grips with, as it was missing some je na say que of the previous cannon, Burnout Paradise. I love the game these days, looking back at it, I prefer to call it Paradise, but that game worked in the sense of loading times and as it was sold 'dickin' around with friends' kind of game, and it was for those 8 man challenges.
It's 'Crash mode' was insane for the hardcore fan of that mode, you could play for hours bouncing around the whole map, going into the billions of $$ of damage scores. I admit I just went for my compliance gold's for game completion, but did try to see if I could get massive scores on certain track areas I liked but it got tedious for me. I think at the time it was clenching all the buttons syndrome for more than half an hour, that did it.
Yes, Criterion made great games, still waiting for this extreme open world game they talked about 3 years ago to show some light too. Thought still not sure of a fixed FPV driving game?
So back to Three Fields Entertainment.
11 people, plus going by the credits lots of nice people, that just helped out, from advice to just being there, to this is science, computer science, gaming science, where physics has come to play but it needs to reflect real life, game engines.
I read stuff, the physics work in this game for 11 people to build, was a great feat!
Sadly to get the greatest from it visually, the PC version is the way to go, then PS4, then the Xbox. What is it with Xbox, and resolution, and day one updates, this generation? Everything was supposed to be 1080P, 60fps, FFS! Yes, I own an Xbox One. I am a follower and I took my gamble this generation, well done PS4, and be quiet albino'ed Master Race PC users. Most gamers need more vitamin :D.
So back to topic: Dangerous Golf.
You Build it, they will come is a great philosophy, you have built amazing games, your followers will also come.
If you like Burnout Crash modes and Burnout Crash, you will love Burnout Golf, sorry, Dangerous Golf.
It's all there, great locations, 4 world map locations: France, America, England and Australia, broken down to areas, Mansion (I think), Kitchen, Castle and Garage/Petrol Station and their extensions, that give you 100 Tee Off locations, or for it seems my across the pond reader and gamers, Boards. (I get it but do not like the term, as is implies boredom, and yes, a history of table top 'board' games but still, if you are in the game, stick with the game terminology; and a map on BF is a map, a track in a racing game is a track, not a Board?!?)
And it is not all about just Tee'ing Off, building up your smash breaker and smashing it all, some maps, sorry courses, require Glue , where your ball will stick to walls, and doors, but not floors, so you can find your next piece of destruction but also to plant bombs too, open said doors or cause more of a mess. A good example of this is the Cat Burglar course, where you have to break into the Garage and find the 'goods' to destroy.
There are also set pieces to destroy to gain a Smash Down scores, these are hi-lighted in the fly-by of the course, at the start, while pushing down on the X button (Xbox One, and all other button mashing referred to in this article), and gives you an x-ray view of the needed things to smash and should be all aglow. But you know 'you're gonna smash 'em all', right? Anyway, they that glow, will grow your total score way up, so use what they put in the game, it is there to help, even the title of the courses help. The Y button is to show the flag in case it is hidden from view, or in another room, this is also an x-ray cam.
Even the sound track is a bit Burnoutesk...
My first impression of the game was its Burnout, with its Burnout Menu system, (very green, and I know my greens, but it works it's almost a 'golf green' ...veal... here all week...drum sound...etc), $ damage, but it was missing 60fps and on Xbox One it was 800p, up scaled etc and blah, blah, stuff said earlier.
Is it important, no. Because the game play, makes you forget, what you see is still pretty graphic destruction, and you can see all you survey, and catch glimpses of the stuff you need to find to get that Platinum score.
The game is intense, enough that though I could only download it at midnight and it took 25minutes to dl? I only played it till 5am in the morning, so my first session of game play was 4 and half hours long, and going by my friends list I was the only one playing it or even bought it, and evidence of me being first on the score board, for all the maps I did play through and continued to do so, for the next 4 days as I played the game thru. I was worried I was the only gamer playing it, as leader boards were not loading to show me anyone else was 'competing'.
But I played till I unlocked my first England Location map on the world tour, of which there are 10 tours in the game, I wonder if you get all Platinum's you unlock another tour? And remind me to write a DLC idea bit at the end, thanks.
I played for gold, got some Platinum's in my first try along the way, if a map was not going my way I settled for Bronze, though to be honest a lot of my scores were Platinum's till I missed that putt, and after all the Danger Time work, (it was hard to make the ball go horizontal round a brick wall alcove, in a pretty flaming arc to destroy those micro-wave ovens, honest, hard work), I would settled for the score after that missed putt, which would give me half the score I had, yep miss that final putt and you lost half your score, a good old DNF in my book, so if I got a bronze or higher I moved on, trying to get to the England part of the Dangerous Golf Atlas.
I also had the problem with the default set up which is set up for natural 'righty's' gamers, so into the depth of settings in my Xbox One dash board, I flipped my sticks,(wish this had a save per game set up), as I like a bit of Track Mania on the side and going into settings to just flip my sticks back has become first world problem time consuming.
Talking of time consuming, the loading times in Dangerous Golf will piss you off, especially on retries, but since that is the only really bad thing in the game, live with it and accept that Three Fields Entertainment was going for next generation Physics in this generation of hard ware, it takes time to reset 6000 plus objects for your destructive enjoyment, rant, suck it up and go back and get that high score...
Also thought of changing button layout too, but got the hang of right trigger bounce-move faster and holding right shoulder Danger Time, and trying to remember to let go of the right trigger to use the left trigger slow down the ball trigger, without putting me in putt fall, unless I wanted that Airstrike :P, yes, holding down the two triggers puts you into the putt part of the game. The course finale. But also used when you want to drop into a Yellow Mop Bucket, that will let you Tee Off from the bucket and take it with you for more added 'won-ton' destruction, (like the trams in Burnout Revenge). And the Dolly Trollies too!
So that first night I don't think I had any bugs show up, I know I had a few, over the 4 day game play intervals I did, some which sucked, like freezing on a big score putt, and weird stuff happening, to being trapped in a wall space, or between 2 garage doors in the same space. I even got trapped in the loft/attic space of the garage, and though I did not get the score on the putt, (if it was possible to get), I would have scored $250 million for the putt score alone, as it ricocheted, like a demon.
So second day running through the tours, I come across a course that stumped me, I even tweeted @3FieldsEnt., as I though in my head, the game was broken, well that course anyway. But it turns out that Danger Time is not always your friend, and going around a course with only speed up and slow down triggers are the way to go, definitely speed up for that Tee OFF! It's in Australia, I have wiped it name from memory.
So graphically all stuff goes boom, splat, crash, bang and wallop, so I am use to the visuals, downgraded as they are, but then we have sound effects for all the stuff flying about.
I really took it for granted, as sound in Criterions, and I assume in Three Field Entertainments, games will have great sound. But I first started 'listening' or 'hearing' or absorbing sound, on and after the multi piano course, as you hit each piano they started the piano duelling song. Then I aimed for my first Stuffed Bear head, which growled at my flaming ball, then the bray of Deer head, which was my next head shot, it was those sort of sounds that make you realise, for an 11 person team they tried to put in all they could to immerse you into the game. Is the sound Criterion 'great' no, but it's good enough, and if they had double the team, I would not even have said anything but great as always, but then again it's not. This is an experience team, that went out and discovered what's in today's games along their careers and know what a great job is, and they put out what an 11 person team can do, and it is impressive, so some stuff is not up to par, fair-way enough..more veal vicar?... .
I think the game needs a few tweaks, I think the menu system is fine, but to sort out a course to play in multi-player is a pain, when you have to go into each tour to find what you want to play, rather than a list order of difficulty or story mode order, and no online co-op is a missed opportunity, but that could be just be a technical/time difficulty, that may happen in the future, or the next version of the game. Dangerous Golf 2:Really Tee'ed Off!
It could have been called Angry Golf, then again that may exist already.
I know to get every medal to finish, and you need a bronze minimum to progress, I did not take risks with my putts, I just wanted to keep my best score, as I seemed to miss if I did not aim for the flags, (you get a laser sight for Putting and the Tee'ing Off laser as you progress in the early part of the 'story' of the game), experimentation, got me more fails than good, but I know to get top 10 scores on the boards (no, my across pond friends, that does not count either), going for a crazy off the wall, especially a forth wall putt can score big when it gets to the hole. But it has a big risk of hitting an object and not going anywhere near the pin, another term for a golf hole, btw.
I used a lot of forth wall putts, on the multi flag game modes, which adds enough time to get gold and even platinum scores, though fire off the ball a few times against 3 walls to really build up the time.
So objects: There are special smash breaker items in the game, from Red Smash Boxes, I assume a reference to Smash dehydrated potatoes, that had some catchy adverts on the 70's and 80's. The Hot Chilli Pots, which I have only seen in passing, there are Gas Cylinders, and other hit it and they will fly around the course causing damage additional to what you are up to with your flaming ball, there are even 7 cross bows that you have to hit in one course, I need to look at what the one pointing up does, I assume it hits stuff up stairs?
There are so many objects, that you forget the stuff that you think is just scenery, like paintings, mirrors, signs, posters and it all has a $ smash value, so you need them to compete with the world leader board.
And that is what Dangerous golf is about, as with Crash modes in the Burnout games, you need that No. 1 score to brag with your friends, next to you in Co-op and online with the single player. You can play, this should be compete, together online, but you lose Danger Time, which was also a feature that never made it into online Burnout games either, no online slow-mo for you, but at least it is fair since you, and 7 other players can play 9 courses at a time online, and yes that also is plagued with loading times, but you are with mates, so you can talk politics, religion and finance while you wait! And what a year for it!
Anyhew, Dangerous Golf is a great game, it can be buggy, can crash on you, but once you can see your destructive power build those 'scores on the boards', you know looking back that if you just squished those oil cans for splats, you would have a higher Platinum score.
It has replay value, for fun and competitiveness, and I have rarely seen the game give the same result off a Tee, something will deflect that flaming golf ball to least expected places, of course you know a good place to start to gain that big score but you need to work it out with retries. :P
Cost wise it's only £15 or less dependent on exchange rates etc. But for a game that kept me occupied for 4 evenings and an early morning, to get through, I assume the end of the game, I got the Credits Achievement, so I'm sure it's the end, make it seem like less than an £1 per hour of play. I think it was money well spent, and I'm the guy that just wrote that last sentence! Money is tight, and I pick games vs valued 'waste of time'='dicking around time' for my evenings vs food money. Yes, I am going first world hungry to play this game, meaning I missed out on some sugar, so this game may have saved my life this week :P. I will get my money's worth just trying to compete with the Hi-Scores for the next few months.
I have recorded most of my game play, for those first 4 days or so, and I tried to stream via twitch on the second day, but when the game loaded my stream also went into loading mode to...ooo...oo...o, it well narked me off, considering what I sacrifice for my internet bill. But I will find a cure and be a Burnout streamer one day.
So I just recorded it all, then as I game neared the end and checked my footage, I recorded it in 60fps, and the game is in 30 fps, and you can notice the jumps in frames, so even when I can edit the footage it's going to look poor quality, but I'll go through it sometime next week and YouTube it if I am satisfied I can give you something watchable beyond Xbox One clips.
If you are a fan of anything that Alex Ward, Fiona Sperry, Paul Ross, Alex Veal, Chris Roberts, Phil Maguire, Paul Phillpot, Fung Sia, Simon Phipps, John Guscott, Adam Coburn and Piper the dog has done, then buy the game. Though most of their names you will recognise as the street names from Paradise. And forever, for this game, Dangerous Golf and probably what they do next, of course..of track.
So problems with the game are being addressed, for the PC Master Race, they have a beta for mouse and keyboard support.
Paul Ross is working on quickening the loading times.
And bug reports are being sent to their respective console/pc emails, check out their twitter for more information @3FieldsEnt and their webs site threefieldsentertainmentdotcom.
So after they tweak the game, what's next for Three Fields Entertainment?
There was talk of a new generation of Burnout coming from them?
Every bit of press I saw for Dangerous Golf, was someone asking 'so this will lead to your new Burnout game', and I lol'ed as they want to sell this game first, and get stuck with Burnout questions :P. I would also ask btw.
So will there be DLC for this game, I can see new rooms/locations being built, a toy store comes to mind, though I fear for licensing as in that store there would be some very interesting collectable toys I know I would like to smash.
There were wooden toys dotted around some of the courses so it's possible.
A classic china shop, would also come to mind, with a bull horned golf ball?
Or a giant ball that destroys an airport, and you have to open up a sink hole to putt, and since going giant, then locations would be numerous, but we have 100ft robot golf coming and Beautiful Katamari is still out there to play, so stick to the script.
Comment for other rooms, I just went blank. err. space, gravity...etc...
Will we get a Dangerous Golf 2? First world patience.
So what does this mean for the next Burnout game? (see it never goes away)
Liquids, Flames and Kinetic energy and a lot of debris and detritus.
Will we finally get windshield wipers?
Paint trucks, milk floats, exploding petrol tankers?
Small Robot children? (yes, alarm bells went off on my head too, it's ok I'm medicated) Robots to run over, that's better and some animals too like that goat that is not real but simulated?
Rumour was that Burnout Revenge was going to be more like Split/Second, so buildings and stuff beyond objects and busses of nuns (OK, but it's a movie cliché just like the barn and the chickens), will we have Battlefield building destruction, for a racing Burnout game?
Real giant saws cutting cars in half in our lumber yard of Lone Peak, real avalanches in White Mountain, The Run touched on that. That moving train that was concept for Paradise?
Driving through a Marina during a hurricane and the water level in rising, waves crashing, broken boats and palm trees?
Giant squids washed up in Big Surf Shore?
Airplanes crashing at the Airport track?
Different drivable vehicles, like a milk float crash section, in a milk factory, from robot cows ;P.
See the imagination can break you, and disappoint you when time, money and effort still needs to beat the game play going 300mph or a bit less, at 60 fps, you're not going to see much anyway except the finish line and some taken down racers in your rear view? Even if you even look back?
For now buy Dangerous Golf even if in your head it will fund the next Burnout Game.
In mine, I bought it to play something new from them creative minds mentioned above. Have fun, with what I got, with whom ever joins me to play. Not much different to my first Burnout experiences, really, so off the fence and into the game, go... I did that by the way, rolled my ball along a fence! In Dangerous Golf!
Ah, time for Tea. Yes, it is all about Burnout for me too, but Burnout Golf for now and Track Mania, and Rocket League, and still not done the raid, Kings Fall and Crackdown Multi Player beta should be out this year and E3, but I will also be playing Dangerous Golf :)