Review: London 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Track and field games have been a mainstay of gamers’ party nights, long before plastic Rock Band guitars and SingStar microphones were invented. 

The popularity of such titles have now waned, largely due to the move away from button mashing as a primary way of playing, as well as the dominance of mascot-themed games like Sonic and Mario at the Olympics.

Luckily, London 2012 largely does away with button mashing (much to the relief of expensive controllers and thumbs everywhere) and rather tries to straddle a new control mechanism akin to EA’s approach to pretty much any sports game they make bar Fifa. It works for the most part, until you play an event that requires button mashing.

There are 30 events, with many hits and misses between them. However, these titles are a mixed bag so you can't expect every event to be a winner. The table tennis was particularly enjoyable, along with archery but for every sport like this, there was a dud like gymnastics.

London 2012 offers a healthy mix of countries, not that I cared for any except South Africa, and I am glad that we made the cut. There are no player likenesses (so no digital Oscar Pistorius) but this did not affect the game in anyway.

The graphics are polished, with every player feeling weighty. Everything is bright and cheerful, and this adds to the festive nature of the title. The stadiums are based on the actual stadiums, and while this realism was lost on me, it does help create an authentic feel.

The game works best in multiplayer, however, the single player mode does have enough depth to take you through to the extinguishing of the flame. This is no Skyrim, and it does not pretend to be. The commentary is surprisingly good, and the crowd cheers do make you feel like you have achieved something amazing, when all you have done is sit on the couch and rotate the right stick.

The Move functionality is fun but I ended up spending more time looking for the controller than I did using it in the game, which is indicative of the ‘Move’ in general. The Move controller does add to the game, but I soon went back to the Dual Shock.

London 2012 is a fun game that captures the essence of the Olympic Games, and provides a worthwhile distraction, but fails to be anything more. Like a newspaper, this game has an expiry date, and while the Games are big now, I doubt the momentum will continue into spring.

IN SUMMARY
 
Pros: Colourful graphics; strong commentary; some events are fun.
Cons: Other events are less fun; questionable lifespan.
Rating: 6/10
Price: R529
Contact: BT Games - www.btgames.co.za 

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