There is no racket smashing.
No arguing a close fault with stoic unfeeling judges.
Brought to you by the good people at 2K Sports, Top Spin 4 is pure tennis, filled with rocketing serves, foot work entangling returns, and sweat-inducing volley play. Once you add together the ultra quick gameplay and beautiful graphics, there is no question why this long running series has been embraced by critics as well as loyal fans for its in-depth accurate portrayal of grand slam action and easily considered the best tennis franchise in the gaming business.
In this latest version of Top Spin, a few new goodies have been added to its already addictive gameplay. Although there is no fuzzy-headed John McEnroe for those maniacal racket smashers out there, dominating the courts this year are 25 superstars like Andre Agassi, Bjorn Bjorg, Pete Sampras as well as current stars like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all in stereoscopic 3D.
Each player is exquisitely programmed with 4,000 different signature style animations, so they look and play like their real life companions. The harder you work, the pure genius of the graphics engine comes rushing into play. Sweat beads up and trickles down your face, while exceptionally sculpted muscles strain with every shot, and depending upon the type of court your playing on stains of clay or dirt will color the multitude of outfits you can earn through experience points just as they would in real life.
In Career mode the goals are to evolve the core disciplines of Serve & Volley, Offensive Baseline, and Defensive Baseline play in order to grow from a nobody to one of the superstars in the sport. You are not alone in this journey as you get an assortment of coaches who will enhances your abilities with set and achievement style bonuses in order to make your character stronger. Add in the special events like Yoga retreats, partying in nightclubs, and charity events which also earn you XP, and you can easily get lost in a virtual world of tennis star.
As a fan of tennis, I found myself easily engrossed in the Career mode but play is definitely not limited to your climb up the through the ranks to be the next Grand Slam Champion. For those who require live action, you can take your customized player online to compete in the expansive world mode. Battle to the top of the multiplayer mountain each week, and hold up your championship while looking down on those who fell victim to your maniacal drive to be the best!
My experience online was tempered by the overwhelming amount of supremely better players at much higher levels, but you earn XP no matter what mode you play in so I took the points as well as the thrashing. Watch out though... I’m getting better and through the use of the expansive advanced facial editor my character looks like a hulking, muscle bound Jack White whose serve does cut like a buffalo!