Even though Tennis World Tour 2 was a definite improvement on its predecessor in a lot of ways there was still plenty of room for improvement. For some of these improvements, there’s no need to wait until Tennis World Tour 3 thanks to the game’s obligatory next-gen upgrade that is now out. Anyone who purchased the Ace Edition, or holders of the Annual Pass, will be able to access the next-gen Tennis World Tour 2 upgrade free of charge. However, if you only have the digital standard edition of the game, you only get a 50% discount when purchasing the next-gen version.
The addition of ray tracing and a general improvement to the graphics of Tennis World Tour 2 does make the game look a bit better than it was last year. Everything is sharper, with the tennis stars having a more realistic appearance this time around, and it's even easier to make out the ball as it zooms around the screen. This was one of the major gripes with the game when it originally launched so it is good to see that it has been fixed, at least to some degree. Ultimately, this title still falls significantly short of other, more impressive, sports games and doesn’t feel as if it is truly “next-gen.”
Maybe that stuff would come alive if the gameplay was good. Maybe it’d all work if there was balance here. If when you faced a decent player, those cards and gear would give you the edge. We’d feel the game more then but this all feels like if FIFA and PES took a generational break and then Actua Soccer made a comeback to fill the gap. But that might be us. If you really like tennis and want to play a few sets either in career mode or in exhibition matches with the likes of Federer, Murray and Nadal (no Williams sisters though, for shame) then this might scratch that itch for you a little but for anyone looking for fun or even an introduction to the sport, this just isn’t accessible or fun enough.
There are several ways Tennis World Tour 2 has improved its career mode, but none are more important than the ability to now disable the uninspired skills card bonuses system that was previously a large component of the mode. These cards that you could purchase from your career earnings would give you the unrealistic ability to either boost your own attributes or nerf your opponent’s skills for a specific period of time during a match. They really have no place in a tennis simulation, so it’s great that you can simply turn them off (you can also do the same in exhibition matches).
Perhaps the biggest improvement in Tennis World Tour 2 is the reduced load times. The original release would force players to sit through tediously long load screens for every match but that is now a thing of the past. It takes just a few seconds to set up and launch a new round, while menus have also been made more responsive so that bringing them up in a match is snappier.
The lack of PS5 features also extends to haptics. All we get here is some pretty basic vibration which is a shame as the mix of court surfaces and use of left/right hand shots could have been represented and fatigue could have been shown using the FIFA style trigger resistance feature.
But even though the developers have made some real strides since the frustrating release of the original Tennis World Tour, there’s still a lot of work to do yet. In subsequent patches to the game (and inevitably perhaps its sequel), the developers should focus now on making the gameplay a little more fluid, and the AI a little more consistent. It would be easier to overlook the shortcomings of a tennis game if some of its biggest issues weren’t occurring when you’re actually playing tennis.