Dangerous Golf turned heads when it was announced by the original Burnout creators earlier today. But come on, are they going to make a new racing game or what?
"I am sure some people won’t like it because it's got golf in the title, but then that’s part of the joke."
Three Fields Entertainment is made up of former Criterion developers who previously worked on Burnout, Black and Need for Speed. Today the studio announced it's new game: Dangerous Golf. A golf game. What?
"I am sure some people won't like it because it's got golf in the title, but then that's part of the joke," Alex Ward, founder of Three Fields, tells VG247.
"We felt like 'how about we do something where we look at golf and throw the rulebook away?' Because let's be honest; golf is boring, golfers are boring."
The aim is to create a turn-based couch co-op game with a heavy emphasis on scoring and social multiplayer. But those freaking out that it's got nothing to do with their previous titles have missed the point. It's the antidote to all those straight-laced realistic sports games in the same way Burnout was the opposite of Gran Turismo.
So golf is the perfect sport to "have a go at" in Ward's eyes. "You only see it on TV when they’re knocking the ball out of a tree or playing it out of the lake, because it’s just a bit dull.
"It's a game of failure. The reason why we don't play [golf games] is if you don’t know the controls you lose right away. It’s about playing it safe and not taking any risks." And we can all agree that playing it safe makes for boring games.
"We’re trying to finish Dangerous Golf and if that can be successful, we can find an audience and do alright, then we’ll make a driving game."
The legacy of Burnout isn't the only thing underpinning Dangerous Golf. The studio took inspiration from NBA Jam, movies like Caddyshack, and even the videos of YouTuber Dude Perfect, whose videos are all about well-executed trick shots.
"We’re big fans of NBA Jam, and thought if those guys are still around and they made a golf game what would it be like?" offered Ward.
In Dangerous Golf, up to eight players take turns to score the most points. Style and destruction are the core of gameplay. Ward likens it to Crash Mode from Burnout, only you have a golf ball, and it's on fire.
Just because Three Fields is a small indie studio, doesn't mean it won’t be pushing boundaries. Dangerous Golf utilises Unreal Engine 4 and the team has been working with Epic and Nvidia on pushing physics simulation, the number of on-screen objects and more.
"We started to even look at the best stuff coming of [computer graphics conference] Siggraph, and coming out of Hollywood and try and see what we can do when we put a lot of stuff on the screen," Ward said, adding that because of what the engine is doing behind-the-scenes and the nature of the game itself, 60 frames-per-second wasn't a priority.
Dangerous Golf is something different for the team, and a learning experience at the same time. But to the average gamer, the words "from the makers of Burnout" comes with very lofty expectations, something Ward isn't shying away from.
"I think I’d probably say everything we made in the past was good, and we push for the best quality we can and to deliver something that’s exciting. This is no different. And I think people are going to hold us to the same standard," he added.
Dangerous Golf is still a few months away, and it does have potential. But the team has been teasing another project; a spiritual successor to Burnout. And making a driving game is something fans expect from Three Fields, according to Ward.
"We’re only a small team, we’re trying to finish Dangerous Golf and if that can be successful, we can find an audience and do alright, then we’ll make a driving game. I think a lot of people are expecting us to do it and we probably will.
"As long as we can stay in business."
Dangerous Golf is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One this May.