London 2012: The Official Video Game Of The Olympic Games – Review

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Can the official game of the Olympics match the drama of the real thing?

Athletics isn't really a sport that transfers well to the videogame sphere. Unless you're using Kinect's full body sensor, the inputs you're making are never going to accurately reflect the action on screen. That's why the button mashing of Konami's Track & Field has been the basis of the genre since it first came out in the eighties.

London 2012, the official game of this summer's Olympics, adds a few twists to the time honoured rapid taps, creating a control system with a little more finesse, and throws in a variety of sports that require dexterity over the ability to hammer the A button as quickly as humanly possible. The end result is an enjoyable but ultimately forgettable sporting experience.

Perhaps the biggest alteration to the ancient athletics blueprint that London 2012 makes is the way button mashing too quickly just as likely spells disaster as not button mashing quickly enough. Running events have a power bar, and you need to tap rapidly enough to keep that meter in the sweet spot towards the top.

Go too slow, and you'll potter around the track with no hope of winning a medal, but go to fast and you'll lose your rhythm, and suffer the same fate. It makes for a more intriguing, slightly less tiring style of play, and it's a system that Sega rolls out to the other events as well.

Long Jump and High Jump both need you to run at the right speed, before inputting a combination of stick and button presses to throw your athlete over or across whatever they're trying to clear. It's certainly not the most complex of approaches, but each event has its own feel, thanks to different angle and speed requirements.

Oddly, the jewel in the crown isn't any of the showcase running events, it's the Table Tennis. You use the right stick to fire shots, and the left to move your ping-pong player around the table. Quick twists of the right stick add spin to the ball, and even on the lower difficulty settings, the matches are frenetic and addictive.

The cycling events fail to capture the excitement of the real thing, and the ladies beach volleyball is pretty dull as well. Swimming plays like an intriguing rhythm game, where you drag down on the right and left sticks in time with the movements of your swimmer. Weightlifting is all about power and angles, mashing buttons and making sure you position your sticks correctly when you go for a lift.

There are a variety of shooting and archery events too, from quick-fire pistol and bow shooting, to a pretty exciting clay pigeon shooting game called Skeet. Multiplayer modes let you duke it out with friends online or off, creating your own mini-Olympiad and taking part in a variety of challenges.

In small doses, London 2012 is a perfectly enjoyable party game. It's unlikely you'll get too involved with the single player, apart from the excellent Table Tennis, but there are enough multiplayer options to make sure you stay interested at least until the real Olympics start at the end of July.

Score: 3/5

Format: Xbox 360 (tested), PS3, PC
Price: £29.99-£39.99
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
John Terry puts Chelsea ahead
football
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David performs in his play ‘Fish in the Dark'
theatreFish in the Dark has already generated a record $14.5m in advance ticket sales
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tvReview: Too often The Casual Vacancy resembled a jumble of deleted scenes from Hot Fuzz
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
news
Arts and Entertainment
Jemima West in Channel 4's Indian Summers (Joss Barratt/Channel 4)
tvReview: More questions and plot twists keep viewers guessing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003