Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Play-Asia
January 30 2012
Grand Slam Tennis 2 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
9/2/2012EA GamesEA SportsEA Canada
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
Click To Enlarge Image
Stefan Edberg is one of the legends in Grand Slam Tennis 2.
Click To Enlarge Image
Visuals in the game are cleanly impressive.

Click To Enlarge Image
Serena Williams is instantly recognisable.
Tennis based video games have been around since the very earliest arcade cabinets and consoles with Pong being widely regarded as one of the earliest, and greatest, video games of all times. Now, some 40 years later, tennis games are still being developed although the dramatic increase in CPU and graphics power brings with it a realism that makes people second-look at their TV to check if it's real or not.

Strangely despite dominating in the video game world in many sports including NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, FIFA among others the company has never dominated the tennis genre with Sega covering the arcade style with their Virtua Tennis franchise and 2K Games with Top Spin. But Electronic Arts are here, and Grand Slam Tennis 2 looks like a winner all the way.

Despite being labeled Grand Slam Tennis 2 this is the first game in the series to hit PS3 with the original remaining a Nintendo Wii exclusive (conversely, the Nintendo Wii is not scheduled to receive this sequel at this stage). This game includes all four Grand Slam events as well as plenty of other tournaments from around the globe on all three surfaces. Rivalries between players will be tracked as you progress through the 10-year career mode which sees you creating a tennis player and then following their entire career. Besides this career mode you will be able to enter ESPN Grand Slam Classics where you can relive 25 classic matches from the past including Borg vs. McEnroe to Nadal vs. Federer.

Click To Enlarge Image
Australia's own Lleyton Hewitt is in EA's game.
In terms of gameplay there are two ways to play the game. First up is by using a conventional Dual Shock 3 controller with the developers implementing the "Total Racquet Control" where you use the left analogue stick to move around and then the left analogue stick to control the type shot, power and direction. It's not unlike the controls used in EA's Skate franchise.

The other control style is using the PlayStation Move controller and it must be said that there's probably not a more applicable use for the motion controller. Given it's accuracy, and from what we've experienced from the hands-on playtesting the developers seem to have nailed this.

Grand Slam Tennis 2 includes 23 past and present, male and female players. In terms of the current mens players the game includes Novak Djoković, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Kei Nishikori while the female players include Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Ana Ivanović. To be honest we would have expected a few more current players, especially on the female front.

Click To Enlarge Image
Roddick takes on Hewitt.
Legends players includes the following men; Boris Becker, Björn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and Michael Stich. On the female side of the legends Grand Slam Tennis 2 includes Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert, Justine Henin, and Martina Navratilova.

Besides the players the development team have secured the rights to licensed tournaments including Wimbledon, Australian Open, French Open at Roland Garros and the US Open while unlicensed tournaments will be held in Shanghai, Geneva, Dubai and Brighton.

One little side-note, when I asked the development team during a Q&A session they confirmed there was no Hawkeye system to challenge points that were borderline in or out. The developers wished to keep the game moving, however I would have liked the option to turn it on or off for close calls (perhaps with a small percentage of incorrect calls during regular play to make it useful).

Click To Enlarge Image
Nadal smashes the ball on a clay court.
Visually Grand Slam Tennis 2 certainly looks the part with a very slick interface, fantastic looking player models and most importantly slick animation and cloth simulation on the players. There isn't much else to say or do really but just enjoy the surrounding screenshots. When it comes to audio Grand Slam Tennis 2 includes the usual tennis sounds - including grunting! - but will also include commentary from Pat Cash and John McEnroe which, from the gameplay we've seen, is pretty impressive and a first for tennis games. Indeed from what we understand the developers got the pair to sit in front of real matches and provide commentary - authenticity at its best!

Grand Slam Tennis 2 looks good, sounds great and plays very well in the demo which is available now on the PlayStation Store. If everything comes together as well expect, or at least hope, and PlayStation Move support is solid then this should be a game worth checking out. We'll know in a couple of weeks...