Grand Slam Tennis 2 (PS3/360, $59.99) will be in stores next month on February 14th (yes, that's Valentine's Day). The final game will include more than 20 tennis legends, including Bjorn Borg, Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams and Roger Federer, to name just a few.
The game's demo, which is available for download via the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live for free (if you start now, the demo will be finished downloading by the time you finish reading this post), features just two players: the world's number-one ranked player, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal. And they are playing on just one court: Centre Court at Wimbledon.
Before reliving the 2011 Wimbledon championship match, the Sports Gamer suggests getting a feel for the game on the practice court, which is also included in the demo. It's there that you can test out the various swing control options available. I strongly suggest using the all-new Total Racquet Control scheme, which lets you control your shots via the right analog stick on the controller. Depending on the direction you push the stick determines the speed, power and accuracy of your shots. From what I've seen so far, it works great.
But fans of the original Grand Slam Tennis--which was a Wii-exclusive--might feel most at home with PlayStation Move motion control scheme. It'll take you a couple of matches to get the hang of using the Move controller (and the Navigational controller, which you'll need to move your player around the court), but once you do get the hang of it, you'll be smashing virtual crosscourt forehands from your living room like a genuine pro.
The visuals, as you can see from the attached screenshots here, are amazing. And EA is promising that the final game will feature something they are calling P.R.O. A.I. (P.R.O. stands for Professional, Realistic, and Organic.) Translation: the tennis stars in the game will behave exactly as they do in real life. In other words, expect Nadal to grind the baseline...a lot.
We'll have more to say about Grand Slam Tennis 2 in the weeks to come. Excitement Level: 7/10.
The Sports Gamer's real name is Scott Jones. He played football for 12 years before hanging up his cleats and jumping into video game writing. In his time covering the gaming world, Scott has interviewed star athletes such as Venus Williams, Tony Hawk and David Wright.