In the test, PGA Tour 2K23 proves to be an extremely successful sports simulation. Even newcomers to the genre will quickly celebrate success on the green with the current edition of the 2K PGA Tour series - connoisseurs can still hunt for trophies. 

Golf is a very special sport - relaxing, somehow unreal and difficult for beginners to grasp. Getting started is expensive. A golf video game seems like the perfect alternative. For around 70 euros there is training and tournaments, chic golf clothes and trips to the most beautiful golf clubs in the world. 

PGA Tour 2K23: Calm down!!!

Probably the greatest strength of PGA Tour 2K23 is the almost meditative gaming experience. Unlike other esports titles like FIFA 23, Madden NFL 23, or 2K WWE 2K23, PGA Tour 2K23 takes things at a leisurely pace. The contrast is immediately noticeable. And just as quickly you begin to love him. The only point of stress is probably the announced comparison to another PGA Tour game that Electronic Arts is working on. Presumably in the spring you will have to measure yourself. Currently, PGA Tour 2K23 is one of the few golf games and at the same time the best on the market.

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The star of the game: the small ball with the distinctive indentations. Picture: Spielpunkt

The "My Career" mode and thus the classic career is central. Players create their own golf star and play for glory, trophies and clothes. To be among the best in the world, it takes skill above all. PGA Tour 2K23 doesn't rely on speed, but it does use fine motor skills. The analog stick has to be pushed upwards as precisely as possible, in a straight line - in addition there are the general conditions such as wind and weather that you have to take into account. Speed ​​and angle must be matched for the perfect trajectory of the ball. PGA Tour 2K23 undoubtedly has the bulky charm of the real golf game: it's not about hitting the cue ball forward with force, it's about stroking it to the flag. 

Despite the shallow learning curve, this requires a lot of patience for beginners. The ball lands in the sand more often than desired. The developers have made provisions so that casual gamers can also have fun. In PGA Tour 2K23, you can optionally set easier controls, in which you have to press a button three times at the right moment – ​​like in other golf games. More fun, however, is the simulation-heavy approach, in which a "real swing feeling" arises. 

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The landscapes of PGA Tour 2K23 are particularly successful. Picture: Spielpunkt

Incidentally, 2K had taken its time with the continuation of the series. Two years are in it this time, but the amount of innovative features is manageable. After all: the ever-present impact of a role-playing game enhances the gaming experience. On the other hand, the lack of licenses means that not all known greens in the world can be played on. You can almost guess it at this point: the licenses are held by Electronic Arts. 

The visuals of PGA Tour 2K23 are sometimes too sober, but the animations are buttery smooth. In any case, the golf feeling doesn't just come into play when you hit the ball. Getting to the hole is the goal of the game. The route to get there needs to be well planned. Because: You should not only arrive, but also with as few strokes as possible. So you look for the perfect route, keep an eye on the wind and space conditions, choose the right club and the right shot position - and tap the ball with the famous "dimples" as elegantly as possible to hole the flag. The trajectory seems correct, here and there it seems that the golf ball is bouncing a little too violently. But what do you know about it as a non-golfer? 

More strategy than sport

In contrast to other sports games, PGA Tour 2K23 is more reminiscent of a turn-based strategy game. Again and again there are decisions to be made - the bad ones run through the rest of the mission.

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It is important to plan the routes to the hole well - sometimes you maneuver yourself into tricky situations. Picture: Spielpunkt

Especially good: The feeling when a perfect shot succeeds. Especially bad: hitting the ball again with force in sand, water or vegetation. You can guess what happens more often overall. Being overly cautious is not an option. You just don't make enough distance. So, as a player, you always try to walk the tightrope, including safety and risk. Due to the many settings before the shot, the result can also be fine-tuned amazingly well on the virtual green. Then it is entirely up to the skill of the player whether the plan he has made works out. 

Thanks to a detailed tutorial, beginners can easily get into the game. For connoisseurs, hardly anything changes. If you tackle the career mode, you gradually play your way to the top. You take part in real tournaments, assign a player type to your own character – the role-playing aspect mentioned is a great trick. Depending on the choice of archetype, you hit further or have more control over the ball. Because this can be changed at any time, you can use your strengths for the courses. 

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Stress? In PGA Tour 2K23 there is at most if you hit the ball against a tree with force. Picture: Spielpunkt

Otherwise, PGA Tour 2K23 also offers what you know from other simulations. Lots of accessories, different modes, a few nice gimmicks. The game really gets going in the short moment before the shot. Then it suddenly gets exciting for a second.

Infobox

Number of players: single player, multiplayer
Age: from 0 years
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: high
Genre: Sports Games
Subgenre: Golf Simulation

Developer: HB Studios
Publisher: 2K
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2022
Platforms (Test system): Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Language: German
Costs: from 69,99 euros 

 

Summary

Admittedly, as a sports game fan, PGA Tour 2K23 may feel like a kid at first. No hooting fans urging you to succeed; no hectic scenes in virtual arenas; no physical experiences. Instead, there are beautiful landscapes and a lot of relaxation. It only gets exciting when you've completely messed up the shot again. 

The developers don't cause any real excitement either. Overall, they did a more than good job. The graphics are good, apart from the motionless spectators. The sound in general, the "tack" typical of golf, signals to the player: Here we go! 

Many game modes and above all the grandiose career mode "My Career" provide medium and long-term entertainment. The learning curve is noticeable, you actually get better with more experience. The game is extremely beginner-friendly, everything can be adjusted: the controls, but also the level of difficulty of the opponents. This is how you win tournaments even as a newcomer. That motivates. 

The supreme discipline is then to design your own golf courses with the designer. The possibilities for the design are diverse: from the almost impossible route to the course for pure relaxation golf games, everything is possible. If you want, you can even play online with friends. 

With all the good presentation, what the game lacks is TV flair. Golf on TV is only such a real spectacle for die-hard fans, but ultimately the TV broadcasts are not quite as stuffy as PGA Tour 2K23. Here one could have put a little more on show. 

And microtransactions? Yes, 2K has also brought the unsurprisingly to PGA Tour 2K23: the Clubhouse Pass, which allows you to invest real money to unlock clothes and bonuses in the best of Battle Pass fashion. Of course, that is not necessary – especially since the real money options are advertised much less intrusively. 

Also worth noting is Tiger Woods' virtual comeback. He and other legends give the current game of golf a face. In addition, there are numerous options for adapting a golfer according to their own ideas. 

The game is always understandable, the ball rolls as it should. PGA Tour 2K23 is undoubtedly the best golf simulation on the market right now. That could change in the spring when it's Electronic Arts' turn. There they probably want to throw an iron between the legs of the competition. 

Preview Product Rating Price
PGA Tour 2K23 Deluxe - USK & PEGI [Playstation 5] PGA Tour 2K23 Deluxe - USK & PEGI [Playstation 5] * 83,90 EUR

Last updated on 7.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API