PGA Tour 2K23 review: Championship hardware golf
PGA Tour 2K23 is a continuation of the solid foundations laid by HB Studios with its earlier golf endeavors and no mulligans are needed here as this true next-gen step is making solid progress.
To be immortalized as a great golfer takes years of skill, practice and hard work. This ideology almost mirrors HB Studios’ run with golf games as the Canadian game developer went from creating a smaller indie game called “The Golf Club” to working alongside golf’s GOAT itself. Tiger Woods, under gaming giant 2K Games on PGA Tour 2K23.
While PGA Tour 2K23 isn’t completely bogey-free golf, as a loose swing or two will keep you awake at night, it’s the best golf sim out there.
PGA Tour 2K23 Key Details:
- Developer: HB Studios
- Price: $59.99 / £49.99
- Release date: October 14, 2022
- Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC
PGA Tour 2K23 Trailer:
New swing, new success
Slicing chunks of earth with a 7 iron is a concept that seems alien to many, but those who do it will appreciate a ton of effort that has gone into the latest iteration of 2K’s golf series.
From subtle but immersive additions like on-screen caddies and the ability to choose the brand of golf balls you want to take on the course, to massive additions like Topgolf, there’s an overall feeling of “more” with PGA Tour 2K23.
For example, if a MyCareer tournament ended in a tie in 2K21, you would automatically win. Now you are immersed in a heated play-off with rivals who finished with the same score.
Say goodbye to the Splash Shot, unless you’re in a bunker, because that accessible blast shot is no longer a green cheat, which I relied on so heavily in 2K21. The emphasis on chipping is clearer than ever, and it’s a challenge that should rightly test players.
A “punch” was finally added allowing you to negotiate any difficult overhanging obstacles obstructing your way to the green. it works well in tandem with the new 3-Click swing system which seems like a friendly inclusion for casual players and more inviting for those who may be put off by the more realistic qualities of the PGA Tour.
True PGA Tour pros have also arrived on the course with a number of elite level golf stars fully captured in the game. The attention to detail is also marvelous as Jon Rahm is equipped with his unique swing of three quarters sawed off, and the game’s ambassador, Tiger Woods, retains his classic silky move that carried the legend to 15 Majors.
The GOAT has arrived in PGA Tour 2K23.
This list of stars is also joined by celebrity inclusions such as basketball legends Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry, and they come with all-new courses to bring the overall selection to 20.
Add SkySports’ Henni Koyack as a new mid-game analyst and the focus is on the finer details this year, as HB Studios has clearly made a concerted effort to create the best golf game possible.
MyPlayer does it for you
The way you present your created pro and the way they are artificially crafted has been overhauled in 2K23 as there are new skills and archetypes to shape your golfer like a pro would use exquisite artistry to shape their shot.
Skills are presented in the form of a progression tree that provides boosts to every aspect of your game and triggers over the course of a round. Some skills are designed to give you a helping hand with percentage lies if you’re struggling, while Momentum skills will reward your excellent play.
While Archetypes are a set of predefined attributes designed to enhance the areas of the game in which you want to excel. Are you obsessed with throwing bombs 350 yards down every fairway, wherever it goes? Then ‘Powerhouse’ is the solution. Interested in following Luke Donald’s model of precision on everything? Then a ‘Rhythm’ archetype may be appropriate.
Fittings are another tool introduced to you and they are stat-altering modifiers that determine strength, accuracy, and more. of your clubs thanks to their rarity.
The game is a real leap in quality from its predecessor.
PGA Tour 2K23 made sure you had more control over your path and how you want your ideal golfer to be and I found the options liberating.
The grass is greener, but uneven
Despite everything the developers have done to reinvent and refine how a golf game can be enjoyed in 2022, there are definitely things still missing, several iterations later.
MyCareer is the game’s main source of entertainment as you embark on a journey from Q-School to the Korn Ferry Tour to the lavish riches and fame of the PGA Tour.
As with 2K21, it still feels a bit undercooked, and like so many golfers, it falls short of its potential. The Rivals mechanic that sees you go up against a Tour pro on your turn still seems like an arbitrary mechanic that’s more like an afterthought and doesn’t reward you with anything if you succeed.
The trophy presentations are a nice touch for claiming victory, but other than that it just feels like MyCareer needs to be fleshed out a bit more like other sports games. Exercises to help improve your player, even more, press conferences that could add more tension to a rival, interviews, etc.
Additionally, there are still core components of the game that are presented incorrectly, such as the lack of side hazards – a basic tenet of golf – which will unnecessarily add more strokes to your score as you essentially have to get back to the point. where you played the original. shot instead of taking an adjacent drop.
Topgolf is one of many new additions to PGA Tour 2K23.
I also think that while Topgolf is a fun addition that will be a multiplayer staple, it also shares that familiar feeling of lack of substance. I’m thinking of Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour golf which had a litany of small challenges to overcome, and Topgolf would need to expand its repertoire a little more because it risks becoming the same.
It feels like we’re on the course
The graphics are a notable next-gen advancement in PGA Tour 2K23, as everything looks smoother and neater.
The course designer has been enhanced to encapsulate the feeling of unleashing your inner Pete Dye, trees have been uprooted and reshaped to look even more realistic, and the beauty of the game complements the gripping action on the course.
Sinking a 30ft draws the adrenaline roar from the crowd and you can tell the sound effects have had some extra work done as the devilish crackle of a pilot squarely hitting the ball is almost too tempting for the ears.
The same can’t be said for commentary which arguably got worse this year with newcomer Henni ruining a putt I was meant to win in the playoffs. “Tweet tweet” she tweeted, reminding me it was for two birdies in a row – not the win itself.
It’s a small sensitive point, but easily rectified by going to the menus to turn it off. Speaking of which, the interface has also been redesigned and looks sleek with a professional feel now.
The verdict: 8.5/10
PGA Tour 2K23 is more than just a standard annual sports release with minor changes here and there. It’s a two-year project that added a ton of star power and new features. HB Studios clearly went back to the drawing board on this one and found new ways to make 2K’s golf franchise even more competitive and invigorating.
Its realism and immersive qualities easily overshadow some of its weaker moments and make it one of the best sports games, period, and will make you want to hop on the birdie train.
Tested on PlayStation 5.