Tennis has also officially restarted after the lockdown: with the first Grand Slam of Flushing Meadows that crowned the Austrian Dominic Thiem and with the Internazionali di Roma who had deluded us after the unexpected exploit of four Italian players who surprisingly advanced in the main draw, Tennis World Tour 2 promises to restart this sport on PC and console too . After the half-disaster of the first chapter, which not even with the revival of the Roland-Garros Edition managed to reach enough, the changes to put the series back on track were essentially a must.
Moreover, Nacon finds himself today with two series dedicated to this sport (the other is AO Tennis ), and consequently with the big question whether or not to cut one of the two (for obvious reasons of overabundance and excellence never achieved). However, it happens that following the poor results achieved by the progenitor, Tennis World Tour 2 is entrusted to the developers of AO Tennis , that is, to those Big Ant Studios that have taken the place of Breakpoint. Was it really worth it?
The answer to the question just mentioned is actually quite obvious, if one performs the simple exercise of pairing the two final numerical evaluations. On the other hand, the comparison between the structures and the potential of the two games is more complex, which from different now find themselves confluent, to the point that it is difficult to distinguish what is left of the Tennis World Tour and what is different from AO Tennis. 2 .
Despite this it is impossible to deny the improvements made to the series, which thanks to the more careful development of Big Ant Studios manages to make us forget the tumbles of last season and open what can timidly be a new beginning. If not for the new avant-garde of videogame tennis, certainly for Nacon and for what could become his flagship tennis product. Tennis World Tour 2 is in fact light years away from what is the highest point reached to date , that is, from that Top Spin 4 that has struggled to find a worthy heir for nine years.
Yet something begins to move, because compared to the previous chapter, most of the criticalities have been almost halved, especially as regards the animations and the credibility of certain shots and responses that previously appeared to be really unrealistic. Before analyzing in detail the whole issue linked to these strictly interconnected aspects of the game, it is right to illustrate a career mode that turns out to be quite similar to that seen in the previous edition.
In Tennis World Tour 2 you can in fact start a career from scratch by modeling the features of your athlete through a basic editor and without too many options, give him a name and a nationality you prefer and start the long series of matches and tournaments that make up the tennis season that you will face around the world. From the game menus dedicated to career you can manage your agenda, study your calendar and take a look at the ranking and history.
Organizing your agenda means deciding whether to face an exhibition match to earn cash prizes, train to increase your experience and get bonuses, exercise to increase your strength, decide whether to replace your coach or not, or dedicate yourself to a little healthy rest, essential for decreasing the fatigue parameter. The mode will clearly make you start from the rear, inviting you to face opponents that do not correspond to the real ones and that are generated randomly, drastically decreasing the level of involvement also due to the substantially nil (sometimes even physical) differences that exist between the one and the other.
If nothing else, it is possible to simulate matches, so that you don’t have to put up with a disproportionate amount of matches that have very little to say. In this sense, the career is still quite behind compared to other sports titles that offer a wide range of options and particularities adapted to the sport in question, complete with management parameters to follow and a greater concentration on extra tournament modes.
In Tennis World Tour 2 the skill cards also return, which are used to gain an advantage during the match : they can be used to improve, for example, some shots or apply an effect on an opponent, thus taking advantage of highlight or particularly critical moments to try to overturn the situation. But as we said in the preview “On the other hand, some doubts about the reproduction of the exchanges derive from the fact of not always being able to respond, in real tennis, to shots equal to those of the opponent. Although the champions have accustomed us to the possibility of performing a damp and a counter-damp with absolute grace, much more imaginative have appeared other solutions seen in Tennis World Tour 2, since the effect, rotation, power and angle of certain trajectories made certain responses we have witnessed substantially impossible “. It also happens in the final code of Tennis World Tour 2 , which from this point of view has not made any kind of device.
Moreover, after numerous games we have experimented with combined variations of strokes, discovering against our will that some of them are quite abusable, to the point of opening dangerous breaches in the game balance.. We refer in particular to the very low reactivity that the opponents show in certain situations: not so much when you move them from one side to the other on the horizon, but on the vertical one. It is in fact quite easy to lure them to the net with a well angled damping that can be performed from the baseline, induce them to execute predictable shots and respond from distance with a longline or even a crossed passerby, seeing what in fact materializes in a short circuit of the ‘IA. And it also happens with a creative mix of other hits, albeit to a much lesser extent.
The serve has been revisited and it is now more difficult to make mistakes: you have to press the key used for the launch function when the bar touches the center of the bow and leave it pressed until the apex is reached. The precision and the consequent success of the serve depends on this, with very low margins of error even if the ball is directed with obvious forcing. The same does not happen with normal shots such as top spins, flats, forehands and backhands, and considering that Tennis World Tour 2 is based precisely on the precision of the response, one too often has the feeling that the game does not leave full control of the direction. to the player.In fact, it is enough to make a slight mistake in the response time and the result will be a shot out of bounds even leaving the shot neutral, demonstrating that the system would have needed more foresight to really work.
Technically, Tennis World Tour 2 is ahead of the previous iteration, but still too far behind to be recognized as sufficient : the stands are rather flat and the polygonal modeling is far too generic, with the exception of the portraits of the players (however not exactly faithful, in many cases). And the relationships of strength are also not faithful to reality, with athletes like Stan Wawrinka and Stefanos Tsitsipas who are the same, with Kei Nishikori who is inexplicably one of the strongest and with Daniil Medvedev (currently number 5 in the world) who is the weakest of the ATP roster only after the emerging Jannik Sinner. Absent, however, the number one Djokovic.
In short, the developers have to work a lot on Tennis World Tour 2 , with a large number of patches that can at least fix some of the most obvious problems. The top of world tennis is still a long, long way off.
Tennis World Tour 2 certainly benefits from the change of developer, but it is still light years away from being considered a really good tennis title. Beyond the technical deficiencies, the career is not very thorough and certain ingenuity in the exchanges are really unforgivable because they lose much of the credibility of the matches. However, there are some steps forward that should not be overlooked, which we hope will be useful to really restart a series that still has a lot to work on.
Although going in the right direction, Tennis World Tour 2 still has some ways to go before becoming a great Tennis game. But for some occasional fun this is already miles ahead of its predecessor.