GAME CENTRAL: London 2012

Pretty good graphics back up the licensing

Pretty good graphics back up the licensing

First published in Columnists Asian Image: Photograph of the Author by

The Olympic Games start imminently, and as with every one that’s been hosted within the last twenty years, there’s going to be an official game of it (the first accompanied Barcelona 1992 and was called “Olympic Gold”, if you’re interested).

As with every title of this type since Track & Field (the 1983 arcade game from Konami that preceded all the official Olympic titles), there’s lots of button-mashing involved.

But there’s a slight twist in how things work – rather than the fastest button-basher winning all the race events, you have to keep to a rhythm, because should you hammer the buttons wildly your athlete will dramatically reduce his speed.

This is a novel idea, and it actually succeeds in its goal to make things slightly more interesting and competitive.

Move/Kinect support is included but not for running etc. (so don’t expect to be flinging controllers around like you would for the Sonic & Mario Olympic Games incarnations on the Wii).

Strangely, for a licensed sports title of any genre, all athletes included have fake names and appearances. You have the option to edit them, but considering how long this would take, it’s not something I imagine a lot of people doing.

Still, all the arenas that will be used in the real thing (from the Olympic Stadium to Lord’s Cricket Ground) are recreated superbly.

This is an incredibly short game, although you can’t compete in every single event in a single Olympics run – a tactic which is an attempt to keep you coming back to the game, I’m sure.

Still, it’s a lot of fun, with a slight twist to proceedings, and with offline and online multiplayer it’s certainly a good game to have in your collection for when friends or family drop by – depending on the price.

My rating: 8/10 Details: London 2012; Developer Sega Studios Australia; Publisher Sega; Out June on PC / PS3 / Xbox 360; Reviewed on PS3.

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