I believe it was one William Frederick Durst that first extolled the virtues of property destruction as a form of catharsis in his classic rock anthem entitled “Break Stuff”. While I’m not really much for the rock and roll music, I can still appreciate the sentiment, so long as we channel those energies in a productive manner that results in no actual harm. Video games have thrived on this concept of agency for as long as they’ve existed. There’s an unmistakable appeal to destroying a world that we know can be rebuilt in seconds.
Continuing the legacy of the likely-dead Burnout franchise, Dangerous Golf looks to emulate the same thrills we’d come to expect from the various Crash modes, the only goal being to cause as much destruction as possible. The problem is that all of it seems just a little too familiar; having the same aftertouch controls, scoring system, and astoundingly unskippable tutorials from games past. What made Burnout work so well was that it was a departure, a hard pivot into new territory while its competitors were feeling increasingly more sterile. Dangerous Golf, on the other hand, stands in lonely territory as an arcadey physics exhibition in defiance of nothing.
That isn’t to say there’s not fun to be had. As noted, smashing a room full of fancy plates with a sentient golf ball certainly has its appeal, but, after a few hours, I felt like I’d seen everything. Unlike with Burnout, I couldn’t then just back into a menu and play a regular 18 holes. There is no contrast. This is it. This is the whole game. And it’s $20.