So far the PlayStation Move controller has been impressive in what it can do, even if the majority of games don’t really take full advantage of it. As with any good motion-controlled launch a solid golf game is almost a no-brainer. Tiger Woods patched their latest version to work with Sony’s wand, but the results left something to be desired. In comes John Daly’s ProStroke Golf and we get our first taste of just how accurate this new waggle device actually is. The true one-to-one motion that Gusto Games has managed to achieve here is impressive; it’s just a shame the rest of the title lacks that same amount of polish.
Let’s get right to the heart of what you want to know first though, how does it play? Well being the first game designed from the ground-up for the Move controller it feels fantastic. The fluid motion of swinging a golf club is nearly perfect here. The game offers you the ability to tweak your shots much like you would in real life. You can twist your wrist and adjust pitch to pull off the perfect drive down the fairway. The motion is so realistic that I spent most of my time in the beginning slicing shots and sending them straight into sandtraps. The one problem I did have with the Move controls though was the navigation. It seemed far too touchy at times which made lining up some shots more difficult than it should have been, not to mention fighting with the menus.
You have to respect what the team at Gusto Games has managed to accomplish here though. Every single shot felt natural and whenever a mistake is made you know it was by your hand and not inaccurate game mechanics. It is worth noting that this is not the golf you have become accustomed to. There are no power shots or special moves you can perform. This is you, the club and the course no-holds-barred. If you are one of those guys that tend to hit the greens occasionally you will likely derive more enjoyment out of this game than your average armchair Tiger Woods.
Unfortunately if you are hoping that this excellent control scheme comes packed with loads of features and a quality package, you will be disappointed. It feels almost as if the team focused entirely on the motion-controlled mechanics and skimped out on the rest of the package. This is immediately evident when you boot up the title only to realize that there are only three modes of play to be found. The game does support online but the lack of players makes it difficult to find a match.
Outside of that you have a Quick Game and Career option, and that is it. The Career mode is also a bit misleading as you don’t really progress your character so it feels almost like a waste of time. Instead you basically perform challenges and then compete in a tournament, and that’s it. To say that the modes and features are a disappointment would be a gross understatement.
If lack of modes weren’t enough to deter you then one look at the visuals and presentation just might. This is truly an embarrassing game to look at. The character models, including the star of the game, look downright awful. The texture work and animation are absolutely horrendous and make most of the golfers look like something out of a 90s arcade cabinet game. The courses are also devoid of any interesting scenery mostly consisting of flat grass textures and PS2-esque effects. This game is simply nothing to write home about in any manner. Sound fares a little better with some decent commentary, but it is so underused that it mostly goes unappreciated.
I admit I was truly excited to play John Daly’s ProStroke Golf after I picked up my Move controller, and as far as motion controls go, it is fantastic. However, when you completely ignore every other aspect of the game it doesn’t matter how great your control scheme is. This feels more like a tech demo that was never supposed to be put onto a retail disc. The mechanics are outstanding but everything else simply feels rushed and falls flat in execution. It is a shame as this could have been the start of something beautiful for an obviously promising developer, but I doubt Mr. Daly will be putting his name on this game again for quite some time.
Review copy provided by publisher.