Friday, August 21, 2020

"PGA Tour 2K21" Review

Golf gamers can rest assured that their sport is in capable hands.

After eons in the hands of EA, which rode the "Tiger Woods" name into the ground, then awkwardly swapped it out with Rory McIlroy before letting the series go dormant for the last half decade, the PGA license falls to 2K. 

The initial effort is a decidedly nuts-and-bolts affair, with developer HB Studios Multimedia doing its best not to end up in the bunker and two-putt its way to par. It helps that sim golf fans have gone so long since they've been able to take to the virtual links. The need for a new game is so strong, that just about anything with licensed courses and athletes could sate the urge.

Like cover star Justin Thomas, the game is fundamentally sound and pulsing with makes-it-look-easy excellence, if also a little bland and wallflowerish.

The lineup of modes and customization options is thoroughly satisfying, if unspectacular. Resisting the urge to plug in a trendy, half-hearted narrative, it's just plain golf here, with the playoff-driven FedEx Cup taking the place of the traditional majors.

The course design feature is robust and easy to use, allowing you to dream up and execute your duffer visions in minutes.

MyPlayer builds efficiently off the 2K brand established in its NBA entries, letting you upgrade your duffer's equipment and attributes, with nearly everything you do online and off contributing to your virtual currency pile. Thankfully, there is little to no pay-to-win mechanic at play.

The effort to infuse rivalries with other players seems a little stiff and forced, but does add some welcome edge to the prim, proper sport.

Online Societies, akin to virtual country clubs, let you group up with like-minded players for casual or cut-throat matches.

While more courses and players would have deepened the game's authenticity factor, what matters most is that the structure is in place for a series built to last. If 2K develops the series into an annual release format, the best is no doubt yet to come. But even if this entry stands alone for years, there is plenty here to keep fans satisfied.

Publisher provided review code.

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