Visually, the game is extremely impressive. The athlete models are generally well-designed and not the usual “early-2000’s Poser” models we sometimes see these games rushed out with. The venues are stunning, the presentation graphics are crisp and sharp, and even the ancillary bits here and there - crowds, people milling about, environmental animations, etc - are all extremely well done and add to the overall experience. The weakest area may be some of the character models, but it isn’t awful at all.
Beyond the usual load of sound effects which are more often than not pretty good, the game also delivers on the color commentary. It’s pretty bare-bones and you aren’t going to get fun facts and quips from the one-person booth, but it does add a nice level of charm to the game that, most of the time, Olympic video games tend to ignore.
I’m a big fan of sports games of all shapes and sizes. When a company does right on an Olympic game, it can be a lot of fun, and London 2012 is a lot of fun. Despite the fact that many of the events fluctuate wildly in how easy they are to learn, none of them appear to be broken and none of them appear to require any degree of super-human skill to learn. Like me, you’re bound to find the events you really enjoy playing and the ones you want to avoid like the plague (i’m looking at you, High Jump), but you’ll find far more that are fun than aren’t. Not to mention you can compete online.
From a single-player standpoint, you’ll get a bit of replayability out of this game. As you get better, you’ll turn the difficulty up a bit and you can unlock a few features and try to break World Records. Beyond that, you’ll need to turn to the online modes where you can compete in events to help propel your nation of choice to the top of the overall ranks. You should find a good deal of fun out of this game, and hopefully it’ll keep you until the 2014 Winter Olympics game comes out. Or at the very least, until the next game you want to play is out.
Like I said earlier, London 2012 does a fine job of making the controls behind the game very simple to learn and a bit challenging to perfect. The competition you can get from other AI opponents scales nicely even if it’s a bit drastic from one event to the next. For example, in the events like Javelin and Shotput, I was often able to far out-pace my opponent on Medium difficulty whereas in the swimming events or Table Tennis, I would sometimes fall short or at least trade games. However, a nice feature of it all is the pace in which everything occurs. While Sega did deliver a game that features fancy introductions, camera shots, replays and medal ceremonies, you can often skip past a lot of them to head right into action again. Even the loading isn’t too bad and it’s hidden behind a bold colored illustration of the area and event you’re about to participate in.
Plain and simple, I can recommend this game if you enjoy sports games. Especially if you enjoy the Olympics. Sega Australia did a fantastic job with it and set a standard that future Olympic game developers need to meet and exceed. This is the kind of Olympic game that will keep you pretty entertained, even if you do hold off on buying it ’til after the Olympics.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.7/10
This game was reviewed using the PC version of London 2012.