The closed beta for The Golf Club went live on Steam on Wednesday, and I was able to spend quite a bit of time with the game before deciding to put together an article on my first impressions of the game.
First things first, this game looks incredible. Even in beta, you can see the potential that this game has the ability to make you feel like you are actually watching a round of golf on a real course.
As far as the gameplay goes, it was tough to truly get a feel for how the game plays because of the immense lag I experienced throughout. No matter the graphical settings the game was at, it was nearly impossible to swiftly browse through the game’s menu let alone take a shot on the course.
At times I was able to get in a smooth hole or two which allowed me to actually understand the feel of the game. When the HB Studios team aims for no load time, they mean it.
Within two seconds (at most) of finishing up a hole, I was at the tee box of the next one ready to swing away. The potential for this no loading time feature that The Golf Club aims for is something that has me, as well as many others, excited about the final build. Another nice thing about this game is the fact that you don’t have to pause and save your round before closing the game. Should you have to leave, the game automatically saves your progress the second you leave the course in any matter. Players can then pick up right where they left off via the game’s main menu.
Ultimately, though, the choppiness of the game would come right back, making the play on the course too much to bear.
Since the on-course gameplay wasn’t playable for most of my first 24 hours with the beta, it gave reason to try out, arguably, the game’s biggest feature: Course Creator.
Though it took a little bit for the initial entry into the creator to load, I can already tell that this will be a mode that I will become lost in for hours. There are so many things to do to make your course unique that it’s hard not to catch yourself redoing the same hole 20 times until you feel like you’ve gotten it right. Trust me, it’ll happen.
I even decided at one point to make a hole with a tee box in the middle of a lake. How exactly you’re supposed to get there is a question for another day.
Another cool feature about the course creator is that, when published, fellow players will actually be able to rate your course based on how they felt it played. Make it too tough, they will let you know. Too easy, and it’ll be reflected in the overall rating.
The Golf Club is a game that will be built around the social golf experience. And while you can’t take full advantage of that just yet, the foundation is laid for a golf experience that millions can enjoy at the same time.
As the studio updates the game throughout the closed beta, like fixing the choppiness, I will continue to post my thoughts on the improvements made to the game.
The Golf Club is currently slated for a Spring release. An open Steam Early Access release is planned after the game’s closed beta ends.
Editor’s Note: It may seem a bit harsh to come down on the game because of the fact it is only in the first days of the closed beta, but the in-game lag is something that the developers at HB Studios should, obviously, be made aware of. You can’t provide proper feedback in terms of swing mechanics, feel of the controls, overall gameplay, etc. when you can barely play the game.