Pro 18: World Tour Golf
Forgive us for being cynical, but whenever a boxed copy of a game arrives in the office it tends to set the alarm bells ringing. It’s not too surprising, therefore, to report that Pro 18 World Tour Golf smells worse than a week-old bag of airline sick. How the handful of stars were ushered into a small room and ‘persuaded’ to become the latest motion capture victims is puzzling indeed, but we won’t go down that fairway.
Pro 18 lands in the rough for far too many reasons, but here are a few of our current favourites. Although all of the resident ball bashers (Colin Montgmerie, Ian Woosnam, Vejay Singh, Tom Lehman, Mark Omeara, Jesper Parnevik and two golfer-ettes – Dottie Pepper and Laura Davies) go through their motion-captured routines perfectly, they look utterly ridiculous layered over the lower resolution backgrounds. It’s laughable that you’re supposed to take them seriously, when it’s plainly obvious that the nearest they got to getting their plus-fours dirty on a golf course was swinging at a blue screen in small recording studio.
IN THE ROUGH
Worse still are the static backgrounds. Players can choose from three courses -– Royal County Down, The Lost City – a designer course in South Africa and Coeur D’Alene, which replicate the real courses well enough (we’ll take their word for it) and look quite pretty.
That said, you can’t tee-off and follow the ball, in flight, to its resting place; instead it just whizzes into the distance only to be welcomed by another static screen further up the fairway. The archaic ‘Look Around’ feature is frightfully bad and judders like a vibrating bum toner and if you select a replay, the golfer animations are non-existent. Instead, the ball suddenly appears next to the golfer in question and zooms into the screen towards you. Pitiful. Further evidence of animation infrequency is made insultingly obvious when you’re on the putting green (or chipping). Whether you tap in from five inches or launch a 30- footer, it’s the same motion capture. Ugh!
Pro 18 World Tour Golf is a cesspool of inadequacy that may contain reasonable ball physics and all the usual Stroke, Four Ball, Shoot Out, Skins and Tournament play but suffers a below par average in corner cutting. Why even consider this when there are many much better alternatives?