Outlaw Golf moderately succeeded at what it wanted to do. That was to create a mainstream golf game and get people not necessarily into golf, playing the game. The thing was that when you take the bells and whistles off the non-traditional players and gametypes that it really was just another game of golf. Outlaw Golf 2 is pretty much more of the same with more courses more gametypes and online play. The original game was moderate and unfortunately for GlobalStar Software the same remains for the second game. Basically if you didn't like the original game, OG2 is not going to be up your alley at all.
The crux of the game is of course golf but the developers have come up with numerous game modes to play for a party style atmosphere. There is the traditional golf modes such as strokeplay (lowest score wins), skins (win money) and others but there is also some games strongly skewed towards a group party environment. Also, there are modes which increase the difficulty of the game such as my one and only where you choose one club and use that and the putter for the whole round. As you can see there is quite a bit to keep you going, assuming you like the game of golf.
While this is no Links, the game itself plays very much like a serious golf game. You still choose a club, you still swing and you still have to be pretty accurate to succeed. In fact the game is actually quite difficult and this is what destroys the party atmosphere in the game. Unlike something such as Mario golf, it's not pick up and play and you really have to play a few rounds to get accustomed to the game mechanics. It's probably going to be a few rounds too many for non-golf fans, and fans of the sport are likely to pick up a more serious title such as Tiger Woods. You still create a player to take on the tour and must improve their attributes on the driving range and by winning tournaments which is inline with most golf games, but for a somewhat pick up and play style, the characters from the original game have returned with a few more. This is where the humor is supposed to come from, but most of it is pathetic and not funny.
The game itself does play very well however. It uses the right or left thumbstick to control the backswing as per the original game, and as per the original game it's incredibly hard to do it without slicing the ball, again leading to frustrating. Considering it's a party game, it would have been nice had the developers coded the swing mechanic to be a bit forgiving on the thumbstick action, but again they've made the same mistake. With that said, there are some aids that you can use to help play well. For instance the option to see the balls flight before hitting it is on offer, helping you aim the ball, and you also get three chances per hole to see where a putt is going to head, making putting much easier than in most golf games. These options still really aren't enough to make it a party game, and again we lead back to the non-pick up and play style.
There are a few changes to the game this time around as well. As well as the bashing mode to gain composure (which basically determines how well and accurate you hit the ball), you can now also race golf carts amongst each other which is sort of fun and something people may have wanted in golf games for a long time, but not really enough to make it a worthwhile purchase over OG1. There is also a greater variety of courses this time around, although some have been rehashed and used again which is a shame. One of the more interesting additions is an eighteen hole mini golf styled course which is a nice sideline to full blown golf modes but again not enough to warrant the purchase if you're not a golf fan.
One area where the game is decent is the graphics. The characters and courses are highly detailed and there is a wide variety on offer. The game is put together really well for golf fans and that is who will like the game but considering the mainstream feel to the game, it confuses us a bit as to who exactly is supposed to be the target of this game.
Outlaw Golf 2 is a decent game but like the first one is too firmly focused away from party games and more on being a golf game. This is not a problem for golf fans as they will get a kick out of it and its budget price, but those who are expecting pick up and play party golf similar to the likes of Mario Golf, will come away disappointed.