The PS3 and Xbox 360 era was a great time to be a fan of tennis video games. We got multiple Top Spin and Virtua Tennis games and they were very fun. Top Spin catered to real tennis fans, while the Virtua Tennis series favored those that loved an arcade-style feel.
Sadly, the PS4 and Xbox One generation saw a drought of console released tennis video games. From 2013 until 2017, there were no tennis games released of any kind. For some sad, strange reason, 2K Sports and Sega decided to not release any Top Spin or Virtua Tennis games respectively.
It wasn’t until 2018 did we see the first new Tennis games finally get released. The first one to come out of the gate was AO International Tennis from Australian developer, Big Ant Studios. AO International Tennis was kind of a mess at launch, but the game improved with later update patches.
2018 also saw the release of the Tennis World Tour from the new developer Breakpoint. Well, Tennis World Tour came out and was one of the worst tennis games I ever played/reviewed. The game never featured Doubles matches, and the physics were slow and sluggish. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I paid full price for that game!
Due to the utter failure that was Tennis World Tour, I was very surprised publisher Nacon decided to announce a new game called Tennis World Tour 2. Unlike the first game though, AO Tennis’ Big Ant Studios is now the new developer for Tennis World Tour 2.
Big Ant Studios already released AO Tennis 2 earlier this year, and I thought that game was an improvement over the first game. Due to this, I was optimistic that Tennis World Tour 2 wouldn’t be as bad as the first Tennis World Tour game from 2018.
Big Ant Studios has actually made Tennis World Tour 2 to feel vastly different from AO Tennis 2. The gameplay physics are different, plus the graphics are better too. Not to mention Tennis World Tour 2 comes with more licensed players including the likes of Roger Federer, Gael Monfils, and more.
Graphically, Tennis World Tour 2 isn’t as realistic as NBA 2K or EA Sports UFC, but it’s much better than the stiff animations seen in Tennis World Tour. I also feel that the character models look good too as they have sweat and many of them look like their real-life counterparts.
The game also has lots of cool and creative looking courts. The game doesn’t have real-world licenses, but I liked the design of the courts in this game. You can also change courts to be hard, clay or grass to suit your playing style.
Another thing I liked about the game is the addition of two legends if you pre-ordered the game. Since I pre-ordered the game, this gave me access to both Marat Safin and Gustavo Kuerten. However, some people are going to be upset that a lot of major stars are still left out of the roster.
Tennis World Tour 2 does not have Novak Djokovic or any of the Williams sisters. John McEnroe appeared as a commentator in Tennis World Tour, but this sequel does not have any commentary whatsoever.
In terms of gameplay, this new game is far more fluid and fast compared to the sluggish feel of its predecessor. There are actually two ways that you can play that cater to both beginners and veterans.
For beginners, they can tap the face buttons to execute a ‘safe’ shot. This is a simple shot that will guarantee you’ll hit the ball on the other side without making an unforced error. It’s useful, although it won’t help you if you’re against a better player.
If you don’t tap the buttons, you can hold them instead. Holding the face buttons allows you to do a more powerful shot. You can also use the analog stick to point in the direction you want to strike at.
Holding the buttons is probably the best way to play the game because you can actually hit winners this way. That being said, you are still prone to unforced errors, although it’s rare in this game to make too many mistakes.
I will say Tennis World Tour 2 is far easier to play compared to Big Ant’s own AO Tennis 2. AO Tennis 2 feels much harder because you have to time your shots more carefully to avoid errors. In Tennis World Tour 2, the game is more generous to the timings of your shots.
The gameplay isn’t all perfect though. Playing net still feels stiff, and I cannot seem to get sharp angles in this game either. If you played the first Tennis World Tour, Tennis World Tour 2 is still miles better than that game!
One change in this game though is the use of ‘skill cards’. Skill cards are basically boosts you can get to make your match easier. This includes stamina boosts or even making your shots more effective.
However, I felt the skill cards didn’t really do their job well. You won’t probably notice too many changes if you buy them. Thankfully, you can only buy them using the in-game currency. This is not a legit pay-to-win game-like mobile titles.
Tennis World Tour 2 also sees Doubles matches. This is actually great considering the first game didn’t have Doubles of any kind! Doubles matches are fun, although you have to be good at volleys to win them.
As for multiplayer, Tennis World Tour 2 still has an issue with its camera. If you play offline multiplayer, Player 2 is ALWAYS positioned at the top of the court. You don’t swap sides as you should in other tennis games.
As of this moment, this issue has not been addressed yet. AO Tennis in 2018 had the same issue, but it was eventually fixed with a future update patch. Hopefully, Big Ant Studios listens to fan feedback again.
Speaking of multiplayer, online play still needs improvements as well. Lag continues to be an issue and it’s not fun playing the game like this. This is something I’m sure that will improve in the coming weeks though.
Outside of multiplayer, you can dive into the game’s long Career mode. This mode is where you play as a rookie in hopes of becoming the best tennis player in the world.
There’s not much else to say about Career mode other than you can earn money and stats to improve your player and their equipment. It’s quite a long Career mode, so players will have to play for hours before they can be number 1!
The Career mode also lacks the story mode and voice-overs that appear in 2K Sports and EA Sports video games. It can get a little boring, but it’s a mode that will satisfy hardcore fans of tennis.
Tennis World Tour 2 – Verdict
Overall, Tennis World Tour 2 is far better than the 2018’s Tennis World Tour. Big Ant Studios improved on the gameplay, and the character models actually look decent here. That said, the game is still not as polished as Top Spin or Virtua Tennis. It’s still worth playing though if you are a hardcore fan of the tennis sport.