Golf Club: Wasteland

released on Jun 20, 2018

Human life is wiped out. Earth is now a golf course for the ultra-rich.


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It feels almost misguided to critique Golf Club: Wasteland for its golf when clearly its setting, aesthetic, and radio station are the showstoppers. But even if you are just going to use golf mechanics as the framework to tell a story, they should be up to par.
Then again, there has never been a better time to tell the cautionary tale of why Elon Musk won’t save us. Perhaps it gets a pass.

El peso de este juego se sustenta mayormente en la narrativa y la ambientación que en el propio gameplay. Jugablemente no es más que un juego de golf cortito con mecánicas ciertamente toscas. Los escenarios son preciosos y la ambientación muy bien lograda pero en el gameplay no han tenido la misma inspiración, haciendo que muchas veces quieras hacer un golpe simple a la bola y te pases demasiado o te quedes muy corto sin saber exactamente el motivo.
A nivel narrativo es una pequeña joyita. Una concepción anti capitalista fuerte sobre el descubrimiento de nuevas Tierras y lo mal que estamos cuidando nuestra actual casa. Tiene un mensaje potente y conciso y necesito saber como lo expanden en su siguiente título The Cub.
Recomendable si sabes a lo que vas.

Una historia sobre como las utopías de huir de la Tierra a Marte solo son cuentos para los ultrarricos. En este futuro lo han logrado y la vida en Marte es miserable para todos los que viven allí, solo sostenidos por la nostalgia y las drogas.
¿Y qué hacen los ricos? Viajan a la Tierra a jugar al golf entre sus ruinas. Pero en esa Tierra, ya libre de los mismos plutócratas que la destruyeron, la vida puede volver.
Un juego anticapitalista con una crítica nada sutil a Bezos y Musk con una jugabilidsd simpática.

- Not 100% completed all of the diary entries but finished the game.
- Loves the soundtrack and the overall visuals of the levels.
- Many people seem to have issues with the controls, but I thought they worked well.
- Most of the courses were pretty easy to complete but there were a few that were a PITA.

Huh.
I was not having a great time while I played Golf Club: Wasteland. The game is slow in everything it does. Having to watch the player character physically move to the ball's location after every shot was mind-numbing. I was aware that all the downtime was meant to focus my attention on the radio station that plays throughout the game's runtime (which clearly received a ton of effort and care from the development team), but all the clever social commentary and worldbuilding was absolutely not enough to make up for the controls.
This is not a great golf game. It will definitely land somewhere near the bottom of my "Weird Golf Games RANKED" list simply because the golfing is not fun. Aiming and judging distance are both imprecise and felt like guesswork each time. Combine that with unclear terrain effects that seemed to alter surface friction and driving distance at random, and you've got yourself a frustrating time. It was never difficult, it just felt like slapping a ball around with a pool noodle, hoping it'd eventually go where i was aiming. The only thing that kept me from tapping out after ten holes was realizing there were only 35 of them in the entire game. Might as well finish it if it's that short, right?
Through the rest of the game, I found some interesting level design, some chuckle-worthy logos and graffiti messages, but the golf always felt bad. The stellar radio station recordings were carrying the whole game. Soon enough, the 35th hole was over, and there was a brief cutscene. It was pretty much what I had expected it would be based on what had transpired up until that point, and didn't really do anything for me. While the credits rolled, I debated whether to rate this 2 or 2.5 stars.
But after the credits, an epilogue titled "Charlie's Odyssey" appeared in the form of a storybook. About 50 illustrated pages detailing the character's story, including previously-unseen backstory that occurred before the game's beginning as well as an alternate angle on the game's events. Before reading that epilogue, I felt utterly and cynically nonplussed by Golf Club: Wasteland's story. Yet somehow, this final straightforward telling of the story I had just experienced completely recontextualized the whole thing for me. It retroactively made me appreciate what I had played.
Now, I have no idea if this epilogue was added out of necessity or simply because the devs liked the idea, but without Charlie's Odyssey, the whole package would not have landed for me. This is a completely unique experience for me, where a game is saved by its coda. I went from dislike to appreciation in just under 55 pages. What a weird thing!

This game is what the youth call a “vibe”. But the golfing itself is not particularly fun, with only one club which feels inconsistent and an overemphasis on precise shots onto tiny platforms. I’d have enjoyed the game much more if the courses were less frustrating so I could just chill out while listening to the in-game radio. Still, the atmosphere was enough to motivate me to see it through.