PGA Tour 2K23 hands-on preview: pick up and play

PGA Tour 2K23 hands-on preview: pick up and play

I’ve played a lot of golf video games 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 back in the day Xbox 360. A good golf simulation has always been as relaxing and enjoyable with friends as the real sport. But my virtual set of clubs, just like the real set sitting in my garage, has been gathering dust for years. So the fact that I was able to jump straight into PGA Tour 2K23 and feel comfortable with its three-click swing and swing control options during my two-hour practice session, was then a testament to 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.

That’s not to say that PGA Tour 2K23 is an easy game – or an arcade game. Of course, you can customize the experience however you like, changing the assists and difficulties up and down to suit your tastes. But it’s got everything you’d want here to enhance the realism, from shaping shots on links to character customization in the locker room to skill enhancements for your custom MyPlayer.

I started with a quick round of Top Golf, the video game version of the actual practice game that actually feels like it was pulled from a video game. This gave me an idea of ​​2K23’s default three-click swing system. Aside from the 10mph wind affecting the ball more than expected, it was a good way to acclimate to this year’s game. After that he was off trying to recreate my nerdy self in MyPlayer, and despite feeling rushed due to my limited time with the game, MyPlayer did a friendly job of creating a quick and dirty version of my face. real radio. The Reader Creator lets you tweak everything from jawline depth to cheek plumpness and beyond. You also set your golfer archetype and spend your initial skill point.

He will look instantly familiar to former Links and Tiger Woods players.


I played a round of 18 against a field that included my chosen pro rival, Rickie Fowler, on the fictional Craggy Heights course, although HB Studios promises over 20 real courses as well as player-created ones. Navigating the course will be familiar to any golf sim veteran, and the aforementioned types of swing control both work very well. The three-button-click approach punishes bad timing with shots that slice or fade, while swing stick users will suffer the same fate if they skew their backswing or off-center tracking in either direction. On the green, meanwhile, you get a grid overlay showing the direction of the slopes, and you also get a preview of the single putt by holding down the X button. He will look instantly familiar to former Links and Tiger Woods players.

In fact, HB Studios told me that Xbox’s Links 2004 was a “often referenced” game at the studio during the development of 2K23, and given how easily I got used to it, I’m inclined to review them. to believe . I finished atop the standings after my round, easily beating my professional PGA Tour rival and racking up a slew of birdies in the process. I only missed a few eagles because I missed an easy putt or two.

I headed to the locker room to spend my earned XP on new duds and also allocate the fittings I had unlocked. These are item-specific bonuses that can be traded at will, such as rings on your Diablo character. I also gained enough to level up, which meant I had another skill point to spend. To this end, HB Studios promises many situational skills which, for example, can be activated for the next hole. It will definitely spice up the gameplay if it works as described, although I haven’t been able to try it out for myself.

Still, I think 2K and HB Studios have a good chance of attracting a lot of people like me – gamers who haven’t played EA’s Tiger Woods games anymore. In fact, given that it’s called PGA Tour and has Tiger on the cover, some of the more casual gamer dads may relate to that without even realizing that it’s a different game than it is. a different editor. So, it’s up to HB to make sure it’s a really good game that makes them want to come back next year. So far, they seem to have gotten off to a good start.

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