The first Tennis World Tour received an icy reception from the specialist press. Two years later, the series returns with a new component enriched in content and completely revamped gameplay.
Presented as the successor to Top Spin, Tennis World Tour will have made a nice uproar when it comes out. Visibly, its creators did not have time to finish the job. Filled with bugs, the game was far from up to par. Despite the absence of competitors in this market, he hadn't been very successful either. For this suite, Breakpoint gives way to Big Ant, the studio behind the friendly AO Tennis, another tennis simulation that turned out to be a little more promising.
The developers of Tennis World Tour 2 left with a clean sheet and chose to focus their efforts on two aspects of the game : finish and gameplay. Precisely, the two black beasts of the first part. A smart choice. Finishing side, if the result is not perfect, Tennis World Tour 2 has the appearance of a neat game. The bugs are few and the game runs without latency. Gameplay side, World Tour 2 is inspired by its Top Spin model 4, with a striking system which is based on a long press of the fire button. Understand by this that by holding down the fire button, the player can “charge” his strike. The longer he lets the button press, the more powerful the shot, but the more chances that he will miss it. Casually, this is a complete game-changer because this system tends to make matches much more intense and stressful. There are more fouls than in most tennis games and multiplayer matches are getting more intense. The gameplay is really well oiled and is close to that of a Top Spin, even if it is not quite at the same level yet. We regret some dubious animations and a few more hiccups.
Content side, no big changes however. Tennis World Tour 2 is based on the achievements of the first episode, with an effective career mode but not crazy-crazy either. Fault, largely, to his too much sobriety. We play here a beginner player who will have to climb the top ranks 500 the best players. The player can choose which matches and tournaments to attend, must manage his schedule, and if you've recently played another sports production from Nacon, you will clearly not be lost. It works pretty well but on the immersion side, it's not great. The narrative factor takes a back seat.
Casting side, there are around thirty stars of the discipline, Nadal to Federer. 25 men versus only 11 women. It remains a little light, especially since a few big names are still missing.
Before going further, it is also important to alert potential buyers to a very specific aspect of the game : the standard edition does not give access to any official tournament. To do this, you will need to go back to the cash register to purchase multiple DLCs or purchase the Ace edition of the game.. In which case you will be able to access the legendary tournaments of Roland Garros, Madrid and Halle. Said edition is still sold 20 € more, at full price so ... We can imagine, lovers of the discipline will invest directly in this formula, the one at 39.99 € ultimately having little interest without these nice licenses ...
On the new side, we will underline the presence of doubles which add a real plus. Tennis World Tour 2 shows however are real potential online, against human players. If its content remains very classic, however, we appreciate one of its peculiarities : the presence of cards that activate the player's skills during the match. Each player can equip them 5, one is passive, the others can only be used once. The cards in question will give precision bonuses, power or endurance to the player. We lose realism in the face of a pure simulation, but the formula works quite well and allows to add a strategic dimension to the duels. Unfortunately, who says cards necessarily means in-app purchases, even if these are not essential.
On the production side, it remains light. Graphics are correct, nothing more. We are very far from exploring the full potential of machines that are at the end of their life. The soundtrack remains as for AO Tennis very sober, with minimalist sound effects and a not crazy atmosphere in the stadium. There is clearly still a long way to go before the series reaches the level of a Top Spin..
Within two years, the developers of Tennis World Tour 2 managed to correct the two main flaws of the first part. With refined gameplay, now modeled on that of Top Spin and an almost flawless finish, Tennis World Tour 2 is finally positioned as a real contender for the title of the best tennis game of the moment. Certainly, there is not a lot of competition, but the evolution is notable. Technically, World Tour 2 is far from taking advantage of the capabilities of current consoles, yet at the end of life. Its content is still light, All the more so since you will have to fall for the Ace edition of the game to have access to the three licensed tournaments. However, the formula finally works. The Big Ant studio has left a blank sheet for this second part, by choosing to focus on the two biggest faults of his ancestor. It's still far from perfect, but a big part of the road has just been covered.
Nacon, Tennis World Tour, PlayStation 4
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