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
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
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

    Recruitment Genius: Field Engineer

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Account Manager

    £27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...

    Recruitment Genius: Front End Web Developer - Magento

    £28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

    SThree: IT Recruitment Consultant

    £22500 - £30000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking for experie...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

    War with Isis

    Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
    Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

    A spring in your step?

    Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

    UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

    Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

    Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
    Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

    Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

    If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
    10 best compact cameras

    A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

    If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
    Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

    Paul Scholes column

    Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
    Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
    Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?