Finally, Tennis fans can enjoy a new title, given that in recent years the releases have been very few and not really of quality.
Definitely the release of AO Tennis 2 it is also a symbol that can also move colossal titles of the genre such as Top Spin and Virtua Tennis, which have not been released on the gaming market for over six years.
What the title promises to do is to be a game dedicated to Tennis that can offer aquite realistic gaming experience. With our trusty racket in hand, we launched into the world of the Australian Open!
Learn from the past
We had tried the Australian version of AO International Tennis, originally bound in New Zealand and Australia.
Unfortunately it was a really poor title, suffering from too many technical problems and above all from input lag and woody commands. Although the title has been updated several times, it has never managed to reach decent levels of playability, thus “tarnishing” the name of AO Tennis.
Technical movements are very limited also in this second chapter, unfortunately the engine is very “restrictive”, in fact we often ran into animations cut in the middle of the process, with evident teleport of the polygonal models from one point to another.
Although the team has worked hard to offer a functional game compared to the past, the gameplay, however technical it may be, is penalized by an engine that is too immature.
Lots of content and a fun career mode
To defend themselves, the Big Ant team proposed lots of content within AO Tennis 2, including the ability to tackle single, double, and personalized career fights, as well as a very large content editor.
The career we will face with our tennis player will also allow us to participate in press conferences, where we will have to make important decisions.
There is also a character growth system, which helps to better master the techniques to always be efficient within the field.
Each character has its own peculiarities, and from the statics we will be able to learn which style of play he prefers or with which hand our character plays best.
The choice of pitch is also important, as some players perform better on artificial turf than on hard courts. We will also be able to create characters inspired by icons of Tennis, to simulate the same style of play.
Unfortunately the polygonal modeling is really sharp, the characters are very "flat" and the care is marginal. The tennis courts, being often very "minimal", do not suffer any damage from the engine, unlike the characters on the screen.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, even the animations are of low quality, and are often cut in half to reach the end of the frame.
Old problems inherited from the past
On PlayStation 4 Pro we had many framerate problems, the title dropped below 25 FPS in the most eventful moments, making the gaming experience frustrating. If that were not enough, the online mode is not very functional, it is no coincidence that we were able to play very few games due to unstable and many times empty servers.
One of the things we appreciated the most is certainly the difficulty, very tall and often fierce, capable of putting us in a tight spot even with less threatening opponents.
To learn how to play it will take a few hours, certainly suffering inevitable defeats, given the technical nature of the title which makes the gameplay very “articulated”.
It will be necessary to understand over time which shot to use and in what situations and also it is mandatory to try to prevent the opponent's move in order not to be displaced in the short period of time we have to react.
Despite the obvious flaws, from the gaming side the title is very funnyespecially when venturing into career mode, where you can face all kinds of opponents and rise as a tennis star.
Given the past of the previous chapter, Big Ant has certainly made several steps forward, managing to at least conquer the sufficiency between content and the technical sector.
Ultimately AO Tennis 2 is so far the best result present on this generation of consoles. Despite being a product still very raw and full of defects, the career mode is fun and allows us to spend several hours of fun, trying to ascend to the podium of the Tennis star.
We were a bit disappointed with the online sector, a server that often disconnected us from games and was not very “inhabited” by players.
We hope that with future patches we can file all those technical uncertainties that make AO Tennis 2 still an immature title.
For us the title has earned a pass, we hope to see a third chapter much more aggressive and at the height of the historical titles dedicated to Tennis.