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Bandai Namco Entertainment and developer Webzen OnNet have announced the new multiplayer online free-to-play golf game Winning Putt for PCs.

In Winning Putt, players create an extensively customized character avatar, then take them out to hit the courses either solo or with other players. Using easy-to-master keyboard and mouse controls, players pick their clubs and time their swings to achieve ideal hits and reach the greens. Outside of the golf courses, players can relax at the clubhouse, where they can socialize and purchase new golf gear, items, and fashion accents with either in-game or premium currency.

Winning Putt will be entering open beta later today. The client for the game will be available as a free download on the Winning Putt website. If the game sounds intriguing to you, now’s the time to try a few holes and see if it catches your fancy.

Winning Putt isn’t just a straightforward golf sim, however — it features a lot of interesting new gameplay elements and settings to broaden the title’s appeal. Players can pick a character class (Power or Accuracy) and level them up to earn benefits. They can accumulate gear and items to use on and off the course and earn benefits, like sensing slopes and the wind direction. Clubs can be enchanted to give special effects to ball hits. One of the golf courses currently in development and shown at the game’s announcement is actually based on a faraway alien planet. By imbuing the game with both realistic simulation and fanciful elements, as well as attention to detail, Winning Putt looks to be setting itself apart from the pack of F2P PC golf titles.

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Above: Bandai Namco Entertainment and Webzen Onnet are promising a triple-A visual and gameplay experience.

That’s going to be an important point as Winning Putt is stepping into a market currently dominated by popular titles like World Golf Tour and PGA Tour Online.

“A lot of free-to-play golf games on the market are very heavy on licensed content,” says Karis Low, Winning Putt’s brand manager. “While we’d like to introduce more of that content in the future … Winning Putt allows us to be really creative with how players are playing on the course and how courses are designed … . The upcoming alien planet course is a great example of how we’re able to expand on golf gameplay by using a little creativity.”

Other elements that set Winning Putt apart includeonline, community-oriented features, like being able to create “guilds” of golfers. An upcoming competitive mode, tentatively called “Instant Speedrun,” introduces a speed element to a group golf competition by putting players under the clock to get their hits in as quickly and accurately as possible.

“The [role-playing game] and [massively multiplayer online] elements are something we’ve been focusing on,” says Cory Maggard, Winning Putt’s producer. “We think they represent tremendous innovation and will be a lot of fun for players.”

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Above: This shot’s so good, it’s positively electric.

 

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