by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Be Kind, Rewind (cntd)
The Rewind function can become extremely useful in Vertiginous Golf, as at times the game can be a bit like a game of Mouse Trap. There are heaps of gameplay hazards that can hinder your progress to the hole. Hitting your ball into a small chute could result in it being flung around a series of pipes and thrust out into a much preferred position along the course. Or, a series of fans could lift up your ball and push it to a higher platform or out of bounds. Or your ball could roll onto a conveyor belt and be taken towards or away from your destination. Or your ball could land on a moving platform from which your next shot can be taken – hopefully with a better vantage point. Water Hazards are also prevalent and it can be annoying to see your shot landing with a splash. All these hazards need to be taken into account. You are given a flyby of the course prior to each hole, so this helps you to locate the hazards. Another helpful function is a little mechanical hummingbird companion. This hummingbird lets you view the course after you have teed up your ball. As the hummingbird, you can fly wherever you please, allowing you to take notes of particular points of interest along the route to the hole.
When taking a shot, golfers only have two clubs available in their arsenal – a wedge and a putter. The putter can be used at any time, and is often the better choice in some areas. The wedge, as you would expect, gets further distances and can get elevation on the ball, whereas the putter can only hit along the ground. Once you have reached the Green Room, it is time to pack away the wedge, as only the putter is allowed on the green. The controls are fairly simple to use, although it took me awhile to get used to the gamepad controls. I do prefer the keyboard and mouse combo though, but that’s probably because I’m more familiar with the controls.
As mentioned earlier, Vertiginous Golf has a visual design straight out of the Bioshock series (and Bioshock Infinite, in particular). From the moment you walk up to the Vertiginousphere (like the Bathysphere from Bioshock) and pull the lever on your seat, you feel as though you are heading back to Columbia. The fly through prior to playing each hole gives a wonderful view of the required task, clearly showing the carpeted fairways and the assortment of hazards. Combined with your hummingbird companion, every aspect of the course can be seen from every angle. I have had the occasional issue with obstructed views when using the clubs though. This can cause a slight problem with the putter when attempting to aim for the hole.
The background music as a relaxing classical tune, played continuously throughout the game. And although it is the same throughout, it is unobtrusive and does not become grating. The sound effects are pretty standard for golf games, but do their job admirably. The wonderful sound of the ball dropping into the cup is always my favourite. But apart from the golf-type audio, the course design leads to steam powered equipment which gives off steam from time to time, balls bounce of metal sounding platforms and splash into the shallow water hazards.
Hitting the skies
Vertiginous Golf is a lot of fun. The course designs are interesting and give a variety of paths to choose in order to reach the small hole positioned within the Green Room. Although the game only really has three courses to date, more are planned. A course editor is also planned for the future, so gamers will be able to make their own imaginative courses. An online multiplayer will also be available shortly. The visuals and audio do a more than adequate job too, with Bioshock Infinite clearly being an influence in the style. The game also has Oculus Rift support for those with the VR device. I’d certainly like to test that out in future, flying around with the mechanical hummingbird. I’m going to need a lot more practice in the meantime. Time to tee up again.