What's Next for the Golfing MMO?
Winning Putt, the latest MMO from Webzen Onnet and published by Bandai Namco has been out in public beta form for about three months now here in the US and it’s about to get some new courses and features for fans to enjoy. For those not yet familiar with Winning Putt, the concept is simple enough; instead of spending a small fortune to join a country club and a decent set of clubs, you can take your Golf game online and compete against folks all around the world for 18 holes. The mechanics are straightforward and it’s very easy to get swinging with skill, even for a newbie like myself.
Item boosts, like energy bars to keep up your stamina and putting guides to help your endgame, enhance the RPG elements of the title and can give you an advantage over your opponents, or balance the playing field if you’re the kind of person that finds themselves caught in a sand trap more often than not. And of course standard MMO elements such as character customization are present so you can make your avatar look as stylish as Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
But enough about the core mechanics. We’re here to talk about what players can expect from Winning Putt in the next few months. First and foremost players can look forward to Sakura Pro-Am starting on April 21st, 2016. Sakura will be the first tournament in the Volero tour which should run for about six months and span over four seasons. Much like in real-life golf tourneys, players will compete to be the best of the best on special event leaderboards and can win themselves an exclusive fancy jacket for their in-game character.
Players will also get their first chance to golf on another planet in the new Starglen course. While all the physics will remain the same as they are in their earthly counterparts, visually players are in for something new. Purple grass and alien structures offer fans a new aesthetic and some tricky new holes to try and make par (or better) for the course. It’s definitely a new angle for the game since up until this point everything had been very grounded in real-world courses, so hopefully it’s a sign that there’s even more amusing surprises to come.
On top of the new landscapes and tournaments players are getting a new Survival Time Attack Mode. Up to twenty players can throw down at the same time to see who can finish a hole the fastest and with the fewest strokes. It’s a fast-paced and competitive race to the hole that gives those looking for a shorter gaming experience than a full 18. I know I’m opening myself up for a lot of childish jokes here, but there’s literally balls flying everywhere as everyone tries to be the first to reach the green and be the first to get theirs in the hole.
I would encourage you to check out the included video and watch my mad skills in action in Time Attack mode or just check out Winning Putt for yourself for free on PC. While it might not have the over-the-top look of a Mario Golf game, there are definitely similar elements that shine through and make this an easy to pick up and go MMO sporting experience.