Golf Club Wasteland Review

Golf Club Wasteland Review

I don't have a lot to say about Golf Club Wasteland but what I do have to say is all positive. At its core, Golf Club Wasteland revolves around a simple premise: Earth has gone to shit. (Pardon my french). Humanity had to jump ship to Mars to survive. And the ultra-rich return to Earth to play golf in the wasteland. You are one such premium golfer who is playing through the game's 35 holes and listening to the Radio Nostalgia From Mars. That's it. Play golf and listen to good radio. That is Golf Club Wasteland in a nutshell. And maybe, just maybe, you'll feel a tiny bit depressed afterward.

As usual, I do still want to touch on the story. Though the game doesn't have voice-acted cutscenes, there are still cinematic moments that push the narrative forward. From things placed in the foreground for you to observe to the way the radio is implemented into the gameplay, the experience of playing Golf Club Wasteland is unobtrusive yet meditative if you give it the time of day. The game has two modes from the start, with a third that gets added after completion. Story Mode lets you play the game with no pressure, swing as much as you want until the golf ball is in the hole. The Challenge Mode sets a shot requirement on every level that you must meet or be under in order to progress. I played through the game first in Story Mode and decided to loop back to play in Challenge Mode. After you finish the game once, you unlock two things. The first is Charlie's Odyssey, which is a graphic novel that details the main character's past. It is simple but very effective in bringing the story together and putting small things from earlier in the game into perspective. The other is a digital download link to the game's soundtrack by Igor Simic and Shane Berry.

Golf Club Wasteland is a gorgeous game. Its atmospheric levels give you a glimpse at a post-apocalyptic Earth while stories on Radio Nostalgia from Mars shine a light on what Earth was like before humans left for the red planet. These stories play in between a playlist of songs that I can only describe as being absolute vibes. Usually, when reviewing a game like this I would say that while the sound is nice, it's not necessary and that listening to your favorite podcast while you play will be just as good of an experience, however, that's not the case with this game. At least for your first playthrough, I would recommend listening to the game in its entirety. Listen as it weaves one moody tale of nostalgia and purposefully crafted music after another and be immersed in the surprisingly potent story of a golf game. I can confidently say, despite my golf game rap sheet, this was the first time where I got goosebumps from playing one.

From Golf Story to Golf With Your Friends, I have played a lot of golf games in my time and Demagog Studio's Golf Club Wasteland offers a simplified version of the golf video game formula. While there are times where you have to take the wind into account before you take a shot, you don't have to worry about putting a spin on the ball or use the wind to curve the ball around an obstacle. That's not to say the game is easy and things can get pretty frustrating, especially in some of the more sprawling levels in the late game. I don't think it can ever be not disheartening when a shot you take goes horribly wrong and somehow ends up with the ball being further back than when you started. But these moments were never so frustrating that I wanted to stop playing the game and when I think back to it, I find the game's atmosphere and presentation to be much more memorable than its annoyances.

This brings us to the end. If you haven't yet figured it out, perhaps because you skipped right to the end without reading the rest, I really enjoyed Golf Club Wasteland and highly recommend it to players who don't mind a game that gives you some space. Golf Club Wasteland doesn't hold your hand through its story or in its gameplay, but the resulting experience, for those patient enough, is superb and one that will linger with you long after the credits speed by. Golf Club Wasteland is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. The game is playable via backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. A review code on PlayStation 4 was provided by the publisher and the game was played on a PlayStation 5 for this review.

Golf Club Wasteland | 8 | Great

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