Front Page Sports: Golf certainly has some fun surprises, taking the stuffiness out of your typical golf sim. Instead of playing at a private country club, the feel of FPS: Golf is more like playing at an upscale public course. Leave the game untouched for a while and you'll hear someone scream at you from a distance. With the mouse-controlled TrueSwing, draw the mouse back and shake it around to see your golfer lose balance and fall on his rear end. You can also dress your golf character up in a wild array of apparel, some of which even a golfer wouldn't wear.
The most noticeable difference in FPS: Golf is the fully rendered 3-D golfer, instead of the typical superimposed FMV golfer. This gives FPS: Golf the freedom to make the golfer respond in real time to the mouse swing and react to shots with numerous animations.
The graphics are certainly good, but nothing stellar. Although it supports up to a 1024x768 resolution and splashes 64,000 colors on the screen, FPS: Golf has a sharper edge on some of the polygons, particularly sand traps and walls, so terrain does not blend as uniformly as in other golf sims.
But the one critical component of this simulation is the TrueSwing. The traditional TriClick is included, and works just fine, but without the TrueSwing, FPS: Golf would be little more than another golf sim with a few minor, yet entertaining, twists.
If you're wondering if this version of the mouse swing is even usable, it is. You have to calibrate your swing for driving, chipping, and putting by hitting each shot type at a set distance. You adjust your swing power by moving a slide bar until you achieve a comfortable consistency. However, putting still isn't quite right. Even after sliding the power bar to the lowest setting, it doesn't take a very strong stroke to putt the ball too far. In other words, the variation in the mouse movement between a five-foot putt and a fifty-foot putt is not that great. You would expect to have to pull the mouse pretty far back on a long putt, when in actuality you can achieve that distance with the same size backswing as a ten-footer.
Many computer golfers might scoff at the TrueSwing, since consistency can be more difficult to achieve than with the traditional gauge technique. But that's real golf. There may be shots where you feel like you hit it perfectly only to see the ball sail into the trees with a lot of spin. What you might have done wrong is not as obvious, since you can't just look at the final results on a gauge, but these imperfections are all a part of the game of golf.
The added emphasis on physical interaction of the TrueSwing creates a more challenging and satisfying golf experience. If your preference is extreme precision in a golf sim, FPS: Golf might not be what you're looking for - especially considering the other choices on the market. But if you're looking for a golf sim that's less stuffy and has more fun and humor, then FPS: Golf is it. You might have a hell of a time hitting ten under par using the TrueSwing, but then again, how many golfers ever have?