This year's largest sporting event is just around the corner, and to help celebrate, SEGA have released their official video game of the London 2012 Games. We've seen a few attempts with the licensed
button-masher genre before, but not many turn out that successful. The classic Track and Field still stands at the top. But Sega's latest button-masher is a surprisingly decent title. The question is, does it deserve a gold medal or bronze?
Swimming is one of the better events.
There's a nice variety of events, giving you a taste of what to expect when the games kick-off. There's the track and field events, such as the 100M - 400M Sprint, Hurdles, Javelin and many more. It features all the events you expect to see, along with some you might not. For example, there's Rapid a Fire Pistol event, which I didn't realise was part of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The game is a button-masher at it's core, but Sega have introduced something that requires a little more skill. For example, the 100M Sprint event requires you to rapidly tap a button to fill up a gauge bar. The idea is to keep the bar in the green zone, but tapping for too long will overflow the bar, and your athlete will become tired far too quickly. You will need to tap the button, then release for a short while to gain your strength back up. What makes the game more interesting than other button-mashers, is the use of the analog stick. Most of the events will require the use of both analog sticks. For instance, the swimming event has you pulling the left and right analog stick down in flow with your arms. Events like this can be tricky to get the right momentum, but once you get the hang of it, it can be very enjoyable.
What took my breath away the most was it's visuals. I was not expecting them to be as good as they are, especially when considering it's a licensed game. They are visually stunning. The athletes look like real athletics, and they move realistically. The environments are also detailed, from the stadium, to even the crowds that fill it. Sega have done a great job in bringing an authentic and detailed structure to the game, and it's the most visually impressive Olympics tie-in yet.
Olympic Games is the main career mode. Here you can choose your nation, customise your athletes, and take part in events, each span across ten days. Each day begins with a selection of four events. You must select two of them to take part in for that day. There's a variety of men and female events, and your rewarded with a Silver, Bronze or Gold medal at the end of each day. With only ten days, it doesn't take long to complete the career, but there is split-screen support, making it great for party games. You can also compete with the rest of the word over Xbox Live Arcade. It adds a bit more playability to the game, but don't expect it to last very long. It does become reparative and looses it's appeal quite fast.
Despite it's shortcomings, London 2012 is the best Olympics video game yet, and it offers enough to keep you busy until the real Games begin