If you love tennis games, then you probably already know that the two most acclaimed tennis franchises, Top Spin, and Virtua Tennis, haven’t released any installments since 2011. In other words, last console generation. The good news is that the console tennis drought is over with the release of Tennis World Tour. The game is brought to you by the team at Breakpoint games, which even features former members of the Top Spin team. But does Tennis World Tour live up to those lofty expectations, or does it double-fault its way into mediocrity? Keep reading, why don’t you, and find out.
As you boot up the game, you’ll see the various game modes and options. You have all of the usual suspects here. First is the exhibition match where you can pick one of many fictional courts and one of many real male tennis players. The fact that there are only five female players comes off at best, an oversight, or at worst, sexist. Of the players featured, Roger Federer is the standout, but nearly all other stars are notably absent. Then there is my favorite, the career mode, which allows you to create a player and attempt to make a random nobody into the greatest in the world. I’ll get into this in a minute. Lastly, there is tennis school, which is the tutorial. Where is the online play, you ask? Great question! The team at Breakpoint insist the free update allowing online doubles and single-play is coming, but as of this writing -18 days after release – it’s still not here.
In the tennis school, you’ll learn how to move around the court, how to serve, and how to pull off the various hits you can make. You can slice it, lob it, drop it or put some backspin on it. If you know tennis you know just what I’m saying, if you don’t, you might think I’m trying to sell you some kitchen product on the home shopping network. Unfortunately, it was in this tutorial that I learned just how sloppy the hit mechanics in Tennis World Tour really is. Just because you hit the slice button doesn’t mean you’ll slice the ball. Sometimes the game will decide to hit the ball with backspin or nothing at all. It’s obviously pretty frustrating when you aim a killer winner down the line after an intense volley only to have it choose a flat shot down the middle of the court. It doesn’t happen a lot, but enough that the game feels out of control and random.
Having the racket not do what you want is bad in a tennis game, but what may be worse is the player itself. He feels sluggish and uncoordinated with animations that don’t feel natural at all. You’ll miss swings that should have been easy, and you’ll hit balls that you weren’t even remotely close enough to hit. Sadly, the graphics of World Tennis Tour rival the last batch of tennis games on the previous generation console, but the fluidity and smooth play that you remember is nowhere to be found. Not even the voice of tennis icon John McEnroe can save this one. In fact, McEnroe delivering the most clichéd, repetitive, and out-of-place play-by-play in recent sports game memory makes it even worse.
The one bright spot might be the career mode. Admittedly, it features the most bare-boned player creator I’ve ever seen, but the mix of tournaments, training and choosing when to rest made this my favorite part of the game. If the actual tennis playing had been fun, I probably could have put many hours into this mode.
In the end, I can’t recommend paying full price for this game in its current state. As it turns out, playing tennis in Tennis Would Tour just isn’t any fun, and that’s a bad thing. If you love tennis, and you’re desperate to knock a few balls around then at least wait until the online play has been added, as it should have been on launch.
Tennis World Tour PS4 Review
Despite offering only the bare essentials of features, developer Breakpoint forgot to include a fun tennis experience. With sluggish controls, repetitive gameplay, and no online play as of yet, Tennis World Tour is not worth your time.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, pleas read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.