PGA Tour 2K23 Practice Preview: Get and Play

I’ve played a lot of video game golf over the years, from Links 386 Pro on my first home PC (yes, I’m old) to Links 2004 on the original Xbox to Tiger Woods PGA Tour in Xbox 360 days. A good golf sim always feels as relaxing and enjoyable with friends as a real life sport. But my virtual club set, just like the real-life club sitting in my garage, has been full of dust for years. So the fact that I could jump right into the PGA Tour 2K23 and feel at home with both its three-click swing and swing control options during my two-hour practice session, is a testament to that. Testimony to the developer HB Studios: it’s really easy to pick up and have fun even if you haven’t played the video game version of the sport in a while.

This is not to say that PGA Tour 2K23 is an easy game – or an arcade-y game. Sure, you can customize the experience the way you want, shifting supports and difficulties up and down to suit your preferences. But it has everything you want here for enhanced realism, from crafting shots on links to customizing your locker room character to upgrading your custom MyPlayer skills.

I started with a quick lap of Top Golf, the video game version of a real-life driving range game that, in fact, feels like it’s cot from a video game. This gives me a feel for the 2K23’s default three-click rotation system. Aside from the 10mph wind affecting the ball more than I expected, it was a good way to get used to this year’s game. I then turned off to try and recreate my sass self in MyPlayer, and despite feeling rushed due to the limited time spent on the game, MyPlayer did a helpful job of creating one. quick and dirty version of my real-life radio face. Player Builder lets you edit everything from jaw depth to cheek roundness and more. You also prototype your golfer and use your original skill points.

It will feel instantly familiar to former Links and Tiger Woods players.

I played a round of 18 against a pitch featuring my chosen professional opponent, Rickie Fowler, on the fictional Craggy Heights course, although HB Studios promises more than 20 real-life courses as well as courses. created by the player. Navigating around the course will be familiar to any golf veteran, and the aforementioned types of swing controls work well. The triple-click method punishes poor timing with cuts or fades, while swingers suffer the same fate if they skewer or hit off-center in either direction. Meanwhile, on the green you get a grid overlay showing the direction of the ramps, and you also get a one-time shot preview by holding down the X button. It feels instantly familiar. news for former Links and Tiger Woods players.

In fact, HB Studios told me that Xbox’s Links 2004 was an “unreferenced” game at the studio during 2K23 development, and based on how easy it was for me to get comfortable with it, I tend to believe them. . I topped the leaderboard after my round, easily beating my PGA Tour pro opponent and knocking out a bunch of birdies in the process. I only missed a few eagles because I beat an easy putt or two.

I go into the locker room to use my earned XP on some new items, and allocate the Accessories that I have unlocked. These are item-specific bonuses that can be swapped out as you choose, such as the ring on your Diablo character. I’ve also earned enough to level up, meaning I have another skill point left to spend. So HB Studios promises a multitude of situational skills that, for example, can be activated for the next hole. That would definitely spice up the game if it worked as described, though I haven’t tried it myself.

However, I think 2K and HB Studios have a good chance of attracting a lot of people like me who are out of date with EA’s Tiger Woods games. In fact, since it’s called the PGA Tour and has Tiger on the cover, some of the more casual player dads might realize this without even realizing that it’s a different game from one publisher. other. Therefore, HB has to make sure it’s a really good game and make them want to come back next year. So far, they seem to be off to a great start.

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