Bigben Interactional and Breakpoint Studios announced that Tennis World Tour Roland-Garros Edition will be launching on the Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and on Steam for PC starting May 23rd in Europe and on May 28th in America at the end of the month. Surprisingly it’s not going to be on the Epic Games Store. Apparently Epic didn’t think it would be a big enough mover or shaker for their nascent storefront.
Anyway, the game is another entry in Bigben’s ongoing Tennis World Tour series. Last year they released Tennis World Tour for home consoles and PC and it managed to garner mostly negative reviews from users and critics alike due to a litany of issues that spawned from the fact that the game launched unfinished. They noted that the game was only 20% complete weeks before launch last year, and that contributed to the game not reviewing well at all. They shipped 500,000 units to distributors, though, and there would be no returns for the software, so there’s that.
They also revealed last year that the current version coming out this year would be the more refined version, as detailed over on JeuxVideo.
We don’t get to see much of the new game, but we do get glimpses of the gameplay and the graphics, which look very much like the game that released in 2018. You can check it out below.
The hook for this iteration is based around the clay courts of the Roland-Garros tournament. The upcoming title will include 33 ATP and WTA stars, including Kristina Mladenovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Gaël Monfils to name a few.
They also brought in some of the tennis stars to perform motion capture for the movements in the game, but we don’t properly get to see how well this works out in the actual in-game play. Sometimes motion capturing athletes and then jerry-rigging their animation sets together can come out looking janky. The real key to motion capture isn’t in the moves but in the blend motions.
Blend motions are what blends together one set of animations to the next, so that it looks smooth and fluent during actual in-game play. There’s a lot of middleware technology available that can fill in keyframe transitions between one animation set to the next to remove that jankiness that oftentimes accompanies motion captured movements in games. So hopefully Breakpoint did their due diligence and incorporated proper frame-blending between strokes, serves, ready stances, and rest positions. Otherwise it doesn’t really matter how authentic the initial capture looks if each transition looks jerky and poorly done.
As mentioned you’ll have 33 characters to play, 21 courts to play across including the Roland-Garros main courts, along with a career mode, training, an overhauled player customization tool, and online play.
Hopefully this game is a heck of a lot better than the one they put out last year, but we’ll have to wait and see what more gameplay footage looks like before jumping to any conclusions.