Dangerous Golf

Pared back and wonderfully focused, Dangerous Golf brings the spirit of Burnout indoors.

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Dangerous Golf's new patch does wonders for this unusual gem

FeatureDangerous Golf's new patch does wonders for this unusual gem

Quick restarts, simplified controls and the return of a Burnout legend.

Dangerous Golf has been fixed, and I will argue that from the slightly awkward position of someone who never thought it was broken in the first place. No. Let's try it a different way. How about this? I suspect that there has never been a better time to try out this strange, wilful, explosive and frequently beautiful twist on golf than tomorrow, when an update patch goes live with a range of tweaks that significantly change the pace and texture of the game.

To understand Dangerous Golf in the first place, don't think of green grass and Tiger Woods and that BBC commentator who's often amazingly sexist. Think about a phrase I heard this morning in the Three Fields office when I was being shown the build that's being released tonight - the phrase the design team uses when describing the appeal of its game.

We were talking about the best means of destroying a piano at the time, and designer Chris Roberts explained that the way that the Dangerous Golf team tends to pick its targets is by thinking about "naughty destruction". This is a less a game about sinking putts as it is about bashing up stuff that you feel a little bit guilty about bashing up: oil paintings, suits of armour, wine cellars, KitchenAids.

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Face-Off: Dangerous Golf

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Dangerous Golf

Are all three versions up to par?

Combining classic score-driven gameplay with next-generation physics, Dangerous Golf offers a unique blend of old and new ideas that have almost nothing to do with actual golf. At its core, you'll spend most of your time guiding a flaming golf ball around in slow motion while smashing everything in the environment for points. Yes, it's a simple concept but one that truly comes alive thanks to its robust physics engine and challenging gameplay.

Each level focuses on a single room littered with all manner of objects, gadgets and furniture. Objects placed throughout the level are each assigned pre-defined physics properties designed to enable some explosive situations. Realistic physics are nothing new, but the sheer number of objects present in any given scene combined with the complexity of the interactions is what comes to define this game.

Wood splinters, glass shatters, and cloth burns. It may not always behave realistically, but the results are always entertaining. You could, for instance, have a multi-layered serving cart with bottles of champagne stacked on top while a collection of fine china rests on the bottom shelf. Each of these items are stacked together until your flaming golf ball makes its way onto the cart. The direction and force of impact are taken into account in order to determine break points, reactions, and velocity. The resulting debris, then, can start a chain reaction with surrounding objects to further increase your score.

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Dangerous Golf review

Burnout - from Takedown onwards, at least - was always defined by its focus, its unshakeable sense of what it was, and what it should be doing with its players. This was a driving game in which driving badly rewarded you with the magic juice that allowed you to drive even more badly. And when you finally crashed - from all that bad driving you'd been doing - you realised that there was nothing remotely final about this kind of crashing. Rather, you ascended on impact, shifting from the status of car to the status of holy wreckage - wreckage you could steer through wonderfully thick, staticky air, and then barrel into your oncoming enemies as the sparks slowed to become individual twills of golden confetti.

In this respect, Dangerous Golf has as much a claim to representing that beloved series' final form as the glorious, if peculiarly expansive, Burnout Paradise. Paradise blew Burnout upwards and outwards, offering an entire city of havoc. Dangerous Golf - which is made by a team of core Criterion vets - shows what might have happened if the series had instead retracted, drawing in its fearsome energy until it dropped cars and wrecks altogether and reduced players to a single pinprick of destructive light, trailing fire and smoke, blasting through a world heaped with clutter, and leaving beautiful destruction in its wake.

In other words, it's a golf game that you play indoors. In toilets. In kitchens. In fancy ballrooms. In France there are halls of mirrors and baby grands. In England there are suits of armour to topple and bash. In the US and Australia there are burgers to upend from serving tables and gas station forecourts to reduce to flames. And you do all this with a wonderfully pared-back sense of what a golf game needs. No arcing arrows that show your potential path, no wind to take into account. No three-click ritual to calculate swing and force. Just aim with the camera and then push forward to fire the ball. How fast? Burnout fast. Always. Forever.

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Dangerous Golf trailer is Burnout's Crash mode in a kitchen

Watch this Dangerous Golf footage and it's clear you're seeing a game made by the creators of Burnout.

Swap out the flaming golf ball for a car and the gorgeously-rendered interior for a busy intersection and you have Burnout's fan-favourite Crash mode, which tasked you with smashing up motors in the most spectacular way possible.

Dangerous Golf has many environments to play in - the kitchen, a palace, a castle and a petrol station. As you'd expect, the more things you smash into/explode/destroy, the more points you get.

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The creators of Burnout announce Dangerous Golf

The creators of Burnout announce Dangerous Golf

"Crash Mode with a golf ball" out in May.

Three Fields Entertainment, the studio founded by the creators of Burnout, has announced its first game: Dangerous Golf.

Dangerous Golf is due out as a download game on the PlayStation Store, the Xbox Store and Steam in May 2016.

Alex Ward, who co-founded Criterion Games in 2000 then, after leaving EA, co-founded Three Fields Entertainment in 2014, told Eurogamer Dangerous Golf is a bit like Burnout's wonderful Crash Mode.

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