Ah yes, we’re well in the swing of the Olympics now, so it’s time to review the two big games that have come out for it. First up is the official one from Sega Studios Australia, London 2012 which is out on all current gen consoles and PC.
The first thing that strikes you about this mini game fest is the breadth of events taken on. The usual running, throwing, swimming and a bit of archery are all present but we’ve also got rapid fire pistol shooting, rowing, table tennis, beach volleyball, gymnastic and canoeing. 45 different events are in and that’s a delight to have. It’s so annoying when these types of games scrimp on the events.
There’s also a shock – gone is the maddening button mashing – to a degree anyway. In the running events you have to keep a set rhythm inside a percentile of a bar. Over the race that section slowly decreases and if you drop outside of the target window you’ll either slow down or knacker yourself out. The swimming does the same but with circulating the analogue sticks. Several of the other games have become rhythm events with timing being more crucial too. A couple of the events suffer slightly with wobbly controls such as canoeing and table tennis where things get a bit messy but after time you get used to some of the weird layouts and you work around the problems.
The game while having some nice single player Olympic and challenge modes really is designed for multiplayer, both 4 player local and up to 8 players online. Currently the servers are full of lots of budding armchair athletes and there is no lag, no weird times appearing on the scoreboards and when you’re playing say diving or archery everyone plays together and has say 30 seconds to complete their round. The online is very well implemented including a country medal tally which I thought was a particularly fun feature! You can use the Move controller which works well in these kinds of games – just expect to be knackered quickly!
One final plus to mention is the overall presentation. The graphics and branding are seamless and the commentary is great although in some events the same lines are used a tad too often. I also enjoyed the interactive music which adds instruments per menu change to heighten the drama.
~Solid control schemes make each event feel slightly different
~Excellent production values and overall presentation
~Excellent online stability
~Limited single player appeal perhaps?
Excellent style immerses you into the Olympic world. It’s been a pleasure to play both alone, with friends locally and online competitively. This is one to keep for furious party sessions. I missed some of the heavy button mashing but when what’s replaced it works perfectly well, you’ll be trying to time everything to perfection for a while to come. Better than Bejing 2008!