Fans of simulation golf video games are getting some big news, as 2K has confirmed many more details about PGA Tour 2K21, including its cover athlete, game information, and launch details.
Starting with the cover athlete, Justin Thomas will be the first-ever PGA Tour 2K cover star. A former World No. 1-ranked player, Thomas is one of the best players in the sport, currently sitting at No. 4 on the Official World Golf Ranking. At only 27 years old, Thomas is a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, including a Major championship win at the 2017 PGA Championship. He is currently 25th on the all-time money list, with more than $34 million in career earnings (which is to say nothing of his various endorsement deals).
“Being chosen to be the first-ever cover athlete for the premiere PGA TOUR 2K game is a tremendous honor,” Thomas said in a statement. “I’m excited to join the 2K family and challenge players everywhere on the digital links.”
Developed by HB Studios, PGA Tour 2K21 will release on August 21 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Stadia. The Switch edition will only be available digitally.
One of the criticisms of the last game in the series, The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour, was that it didn’t fully utilize the PGA Tour license. PGA Tour 2K21 takes further steps in the right direction by including 15 officially licensed PGA Tour courses (which is up from six in the previous game). All of them make use of “cutting-edge technology” to capture fairways, greens, and bunkers faithfully.
You can get a peek at PGA Tour 2K21’s visuals and gameplay in the video above. Additionally, you can check out some of the first screenshots in the gallery below.
On top of the licensed courses, PGA Tour 2K21 features official player likenesses for the first time in the series. In addition to Thomas, there will be 11 other PGA Tour players in the game, though 2K is not announcing them today. These players will be unlocked as players progress through the game’s career mode.
In addition to these real-life players, users can create their own character and deck them out with all kinds of officially licensed clothing. Some of the real-world brands you’ll see in the game include Adidas, Polo Ralph Lauren, Malbon Golf, Callaway Golf, Bridgestone Golf, and TaylorMade Golf. The popular course editor also returns in PGA Tour 2K21, and the teaser trailer shows that you can even add kangaroos.
2K also confirmed that PGA Tour 2K21 will feature a new broadcast package with dynamic cutscenes, special graphics, and a replay system. Additionally, the play-by-play commentary will be performed by Australian broadcaster Luke Elvy and former player and current analyst Rich Beem. This is a huge change from the 2018 game, which used HB Studios’ own in-house audio designer as its commentator.
In a statement, 2K marketing boss Chris Snyder said PGA Tour 2K21 will offer realism and depth for seasoned players who want a simulation experience, while the game should also appeal to “casual fans.” That’s an interesting point to note, given that The Golf Club 2019 was primarily aimed at the hardcore crowd with its tough-but-fair gameplay.
To that end, 2K confirmed that rookie players will be able to use things like real-time tutorials, tips, and shot suggestions, while players who want a more challenging experience can make use of more expert-type features and “other innovations” that 2K will announce later.
PGA Tour 2K21 will let you hit the links solo or with other players locally and online. There are many supported game modes, including alternate shot, stroke play, skins, and scramble. There is also a new Online Societies option where players can essentially create an online club where they can compete in tournaments against their friends, setting whatever rules they want.
Those who pre-order PGA Tour 2K21 will get a special customization pack featuring the Codechaos Boa golf shoes, as well as Adidas pants, hat, and a polo. These items were designed specifically for PGA Tour 2K21. A deluxe edition of PGA Tour 2K21 will also be available, featuring that content, in addition to a “Golden Touch” DLC bundle that gives you a golden putter and driver, as well as an allotment of 2300 VC.
Like 2K’s other sports games, PGA Tour 2K21 will use virtual currency (VC) as a means for players to unlock cosmetic items with real money. All of the items can be earned through gameplay, but spending money on VC will speed up the process.
The PGA Tour 2K21 game will enter the market with little to no competition in the officially licensed golf simulation market. EA stopped developing its own PGA Tour games after it parted ways with Tiger Woods. The company tried to rebrand the franchise with Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, but that franchise was dumped after one release.
The real-world PGA Tour season is currently on pause due to COVID-19. It’s due to start up again in June, with events scheduled to take place without spectators.
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