London 2012

by Sandra Clover
author awarded score: 75/100

London 2012 The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games Review
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: SEGA Studios Australia
Format Reviewed: Playstation 3
Reviewed By: Sandra Clover

2012. The year of many big sports events: UEFA Euro 2012, Tour de France and of course the Olympic Games in London. And you know what the best part is? You can participate in them, be a part of this multi game event. You can play an important role. Okay, maybe not as a coach, athlete or even a masseuse, but in the virtual sport event of the Olympic game you be any athlete you want to be.

What strikes first in London 2012 aren’t the shining medals, but the looks / design of the athletes. No matter which athlete is selected, the individual look with style and muscles seems as if SEGA scanned each and every athlete before transforming them into a virtual character. It’s possible to select playable characters who participate in the Olympics, but customizing an athlete to your wishes is optional and fun to do. But looks aren’t important compared to skills. Let’s take a look at the sport events.

The main rule any virtual athlete and player should follow is to train any kind of sport event before taking part in the real deal; going for gold. It is highly recommended to train the athlete and get acquainted with the method and timing of the controls. For example if your character is performing on a trampoline, a series of buttons needs to be pushed in a certain order to perform a perfect performance. First to jump high, another to make a certain acrobatic jump in the air, followed by other jumps if the right buttons are pushed. Depending on the difficulty level, chosen at the start of each event or try, the number of buttons increase or two buttons needs to be pushed at the same time. Again timing is very important to succeed. Wrong button, wrong timing and your chance of winning any medal is over.

The era of button bashing as we know it in an extreme way of the summer Olympic Games on the Commodore 64 to make a fast 200 meters is definitely history. The controlling gives the player a more logical feeling. While swimming you control the left arm with the left joystick and the right arm with the right joystick. Combined with a perfect timing and rhythm you can “feel” the arms sliding through the water, getting the maximum of the athlete’s capacity. Most track and field events though require the most of the buttons and finger endurance, but new is the speed meter that keeps track of the speed of the button bashing and turns red when the player is pushing to quickly and it will slow down the athlete. Keep the speed meter happy in a green color to get the maximum performance.

After drooling over the character design, and smiling about the controlling method, it is certainly important that the player enjoys the varied sports in over 40 plus individual events that are included, each of which are divided by disciplines such as track, field, swimming, diving, shooting, archery, gym and non-categorized sports in “Other Events”. Certainly everyone checks out the events they like to watch or to participate in reality. My focus went out to the swimming, trampoline and the vault to name a few. Although the game’s design is as close to reality as possible, no athlete can get hurt. No injuries, no bruises, no ambulances, no broken necks. Believe me I let my character perform badly, but no realistic impact on bad behavior. Of course it’s not the main goal to injury your character, but it can be fun to watch. Otherwise there weren’t as many funniest home videos with people that are hurt during a sport event.

Although track and field events are most common to participate, most fun this reviewer had playing table tennis and indoor cycling. Admit able that Table Tennis is not as good as Rock Star’s table tennis but still very enjoyable. Other sport events are weightlifting, beach volley, diving, shooting and other sports. The main campaign in London 2012 contains a qualification, followed by a final in which a medal can be achieved. But you only have one chance to succeed. By earning more and more medals, extra’s can be unlocked such as tokens to get a second chance in the finals. Try to make the best of it and earn as many medals for your country as possible. Multiplayer / on-line gaming pleasure is included to bring a more human competition into play. Party Mode allows a minimum of two players to take on a set amount of challenges, which if successful will then present you with more. The Online mode allows you to compete with people from all over the world which is always enjoyable.

From a female point of view, a lot of virtual interpretations of female athletes can be selected as your personal athlete. Customization is also in place to create your own character, perhaps a visualization of yourself, doing all kind of active sports while hanging on the coach, Hold on, Playstation Move can be used as a control method if you want be a bit more active. If you have the chance, try to check out the female characters that truly participate for your country in the game and the resemblances, Be surprised but make sure the virtual succeed thanks to you!

London 2012 – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games isn’t a big surprise. It would actually be a surprise if such a game wasn’t released. Compare it to a year without EA’s FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA Tour or even an expansion pack for the Sims … impossible! Compared to the previous Olympic videogame there are improvements though. Not only are the controls much better, but it also supports Move and Kinect. Loading times are hardly noticeable between qualifications and going to the finals. When playing on an easy level, off-line against virtual opponents, any player will earn medals without sharing a drop of sweat. The multiplayer / online competition gave me much more fulfillment and fun experiences. Again not a shocking surprise in the games market, but a fun gaming preparation before the real deal starts on the 27th of July 2012.