Hot Shots Golf 5

Some might suggest that Tiger Woods’ soul is beginning to creak. No offense to the militant arms of his fan base or anything, but it seems that the more intently Electronic Arts march him toward realism, the more he reminds us of a possessed doll with mo-cap data pulling the strings. Look into his eyes - there’s nothing there.

Tiger isn’t burning so brightly, but maybe that’s because our retinas have become attuned to the mesmerizing explosion of color, character, and general loveliness of Hot Shots Golf’s first foray onto the PS3 green. We don’t care that it’s not set in St. Andrews in the drizzle, our bags our packed.

There’s nothing anti-artificial about what we have here. Anime characters look cute and hyper-realistic, swing their strokes across myriad of beautiful courses and all controlled with the minimum of fuss. Earn points, hey, why not buy a big hat? It may not be hardcore, but it’s still going to be beautiful, and the irony that these golfers look more alive than Mr. Woods isn’t lost on us. The name rightly suggests golf for the commoner, but that has never made the Hot Shots Golf games light on features - and number five in the long running series won’t be the one to buck the trend. Its online lobby system can hold fifty prospective golfers who can chat away, while up to eight can get their act together and head out to the fairway.

The more we see of Hot Shots Golf 5, the more we feel Tiger has lost its edge, which puts us in the mood to take everybody out to the sunny fairways later this summer.


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