The 2020 edition of the Australian Open has already come to an end in real life, but it is now up to players from all over the world to try to rewrite history to their liking. This is because it has already been released to the AO Tennis 2 market, the official game of the competition.
Pplware has already had the opportunity to train on Australian courts and we leave you with our impressions.
The Australian Open is one of the most famous tournaments internationally and one of the most charismatic in the world. Maybe that's why you're the only one who has a game specifically dedicated to you.
This year's edition has already ended with Djokovic's victory (more or less anticipated) in the men's single final, while in pairs the outcome of the tournament smiled on the duo composed by the American Rajeev Ram and the British Joe Salisbury.
In time to celebrate this year's event, the Big Ant Studios team launched AO Tennis 2 last month, its homage to the tournament and Pplware had the opportunity to try the game for the Nintendo Switch.
In addition to several improvements in terms of gameplay, the great flagship of this year's edition is undoubtedly the Career Mode developed from scratch.
As in other sports titles, in which the player can create his digital athlete and lead him to fame and glory, AO Tennis 2 allows players to create their “virtual self” (or use an existing athlete). It is a simple Career Mode and without great maneuvers of illusionism, presenting a light and superficial narrative that is perfect for this purpose.
Okay, that the existence of a Career Mode does not represent anything new in its essence, but it is a very valuable feature in AO Tennis 2, being a way to guarantee a greater personal connection to those who play it.
Looking at a game of tennis, it is tempting to anticipate that a Career mode can only through an endless succession of tournaments and games but … and although it does not escape much from reality … the truth is that there is enough in between and that is what allows this maybe be where players will spend a lot of time.
While it is true that the evolution of the Career invariably transitions from tournaments to tournaments along the way, Big Ant has introduced many interesting reasons that make the experience more diverse and more comprehensive, such as interviews and press conferences. These interactions of the player with the media end up influencing the way the player is seen in the midst of tennis and by fans, even influencing the negotiating aspect with sponsors.
And speaking of the financial component, this is also present because during the games and tournaments, the player acquires as much money as experience that translates into the acquisition of better equipment and accessories, or in the skills training of the athlete.
Well, but what really matters is what goes on inside the tennis court and in that chapter the game presents some good ideas.
I believe that the main one goes through the system that Big Ant developed to control the athlete and the direction and strength of the play. Explaining better, AO Tennis 2 allows total control of the movements of our virtual athlete, both in the movement on the court, as in the control of the racket.
Control of the player's movement is done with the right analog stick. However, the moment of hitting the ball is made using a press of the respective button and with the analog indicating the direction of the hit. It is a somewhat complicated system to master, requiring a lot of practice and training. This coordination required at the moment of striking is demanding and if we take into account that the time to press the button indicates the force with which the strike will be made, it increases the necessary dexterity even more.
This strategy, which has already been introduced in other games, has the risk that if it is not properly implemented, it will turn out to be a disaster. Fortunately in AO Tennis 2, it does not reach this point and can even be considered quite decent and functional.
Definitely, it can be said that the learning curve of AO Tennis 2 is a little steep, and it makes sense, since the player has to achieve the perfect balance between the player's movement and (simultaneously) control of the direction of the ball .
Fortunately, there are also several definitions that the game presents to support the player and that allow a “help” when it comes to controlling the player or giving the final racket.
Although functional, this mechanics (at least on the Switch) suffers from some problems that we believe are related to a deficient interface with the controller. This is because there are situations in which the players' movements (whose animations are quite satisfactory) do not represent exactly what we intend to do and there appear to be jumps in the orders sent by Joy-Con.
Although the movements of the players are quite acceptable, there are often strange situations in which the AI-controlled player seems to have all the conditions to clear a move and fails stupidly scandalously. Or, on the other hand, they manage to reach practically impossible balls.
I could not fail to mention that the physics that the ball presents can, in most cases, be quite credible. There are few situations of contact or aberrant effects that sometimes arise in games involving balls and bounces.
The graphics, on the other hand, could be much better. Especially when we are not playing (from a high perspective behind the athlete). Nintendo Switch has already demonstrated in other games that it allows much better. As much the approximations (animations) to the players of the game in the stopped moments as in the press conferences, the graphics seems to have been quite neglected, unfortunately.
Another problem that occurs quite frequently is breaking brutal framerate during games. In a game that makes precision its most demanding point, this type of anomalous situations undermines the gameplay in a very frustrating way.
Licensing is often the source of problems for sports games that have aspirations to represent reality and AO Tennis 2, presents the same old problems. Although some of the top tennis players today are present in the game, the truth is that many more are missing … for example the champion of this year's edition. It is unfortunate that this happens (both in this and other games and whoever is responsible) because it robs the game itself with a lot of charisma.
Ok, it can be said that there are thousands of creations of players made and shared by the community that can minimize (or replace) these absences but the truth is that it is still something that should be present from the beginning.
A very interesting detail that will delight all tennis enthusiasts are the massive doses of statistics that the game presents us at the end of each game.
I take the opportunity to leave you a video made available by the organization of the event with some of the best moves that took place in this year's edition:
The Australian Open is relatively well represented in AO Tennis 2. The game presents good ideas in terms of gameplay and a good Career Mode, awakening in tennis fans that little bug that is sometimes asleep. However, the lack of licenses from the main players of today, some interface problems and a neglected graphics end up making the game fall short of what it could have achieved.
- Athlete career and evolution mode
- Get good tennis moments
- Sound effects
- Number of Game Modes
- Gym to train
- Framerates breaks
- Out of game graphics
- One-time interface problems