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London 2012 Review (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Going for gold.

The modern Olympics were reborn in the 19th century, with the first International Olympic Committee (IOC) run Games occurring in Athens in 1896. From then on the Olympics has become one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and this summer sees the Olympics come to London, bringing with it athletes from around the world in search of Olympic glory.

London 2012, the officially licensed game of said Olympics, has been developed by SEGA Studios Australia and contains 31 events across a variety of different sports, from the famous track events such as the 100 metres to the less publicised events, such as trampolining. It’s good to see such a varied selection of events, though due to the sheer number of events in the Games don’t expect to be competing for medals in every sport, like hockey or taekwondo.

Shooting is one of the game's highlights.
The game itself has both single player and multiplayer components.  The single player spans the 10 days of the Olympics, where you choose which nation you want to represent.

The layout of the event selection is implemented well, with each event day giving you up to eight events to select the two you’ll be competing in from. Once the events are selected you must first compete in the qualifiers, before moving on to the finals if you’re successful.

The gameplay does vary slightly between events, though most will either follow a button bashing method (track events), or you’ll have button prompts appear on screen, basically turning certain sports, like diving or swimming, into quick time events.

With the control schemes you’re given, the best way to succeed is to be precise. When competing in the 100 metres you’ll mash the relevant button, but doing it too quickly will tire the runner, while pressing too slowly will quickly leave you in the dust. Instead you need to keep the on screen bar between two white lines to have a chance of gaining a podium finish.

Events like javelin or shot put require an even deeper level of precision, relying on a flick of the analog stick; even the smallest deviation from the desired angle can have a huge impact on your final result.

This control system can be frustrating at times though, and can seem a bit odd. For example, at one point in the javelin I had a perfect run up and angle, resulting in a very good distance. On the next throw my run up wasn’t quite as good and the angle was slightly off but I beat my previous throw.

Whilst these control issues are present in some sports, events such as the table tennis, shooting and archery are examples of brilliance among the QTEs, precisely because these events are where you can really show your skill. The table tennis requires you to play forehands, backhands and spin shots to outwit the opponent, the shooting tests your reflexes and the archery requires working out the best shot whilst taking account of wind speed and direction.

The single player campaign itself will last only around 3 hours, and that’s if you qualify for the finals of every event you enter. With such a short play time on offer it does feel like you get rushed from one event to the next.

The game is impressive graphically.
There is some replayability in trying to unlock new outfits, equipment or beating your personal bests, but there’s a limit you may reach quickly and you soon come to realise that this game is one where the devs wanted the multiplayer to be the main draw. Both local and online multiplayer are available, where you can choose which events to play either in your own tournament or just do one event.

The online multiplayer is set so you can compete in purely race events, round based events or a mix of both.

Once you’ve selected the kinds of events you want to play in you’ll either be put into a lobby or have to create your own game where you can choose the events.

A maximum of 6 events can be chosen and, again due to the nature of how short some events are, one online tournament will last around 20 minutes. The multiplayer has the small advantage of increasing the competitive spirit as you try to beat another person’s record.

London 2012 also boasts option motion controls, although due to how much precision is required in some of the events motion controls may not be able to read the required movements well enough.

Graphically the game looks very good, and the devs have created some nice loading screens inspired by the London 2012 logo. There are also commentators in the game and though voiced well enough they quickly become repetitive, sometimes looping through the same lines during an event.


  • Archery, table tennis and shooting events are highlights.
  • Multiplayer works well enough.
  • Large variety of events.


  • Single player is a short affair.
  • Events last only a few minutes each.
  • Most events nothing more than QTEs.
  • Controls can be fiddly at times.

London 2012 gives a taster of what we can expect to see on our TV screens soon and does highlight some less known sports well. Overall I can see London 2012 selling well purely because of the hype surrounding the London Olympics (something held out by this week’s charts), but once the Torch is extinguished the game may quickly be left to gather dust. 

Score: 6/10

  1. bunimomike
    Since: Jul 2009

    Thanks for the review. :) Looks to be as generic as most of the Olympic video games we see (over the years). More emphasis on the looks than what’s under the bonnet. Meh. Some things never change.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 13:14.
    • freezebug2
      Since: Dec 2008

      Was commenting on this the other day and wondering whether they would be turning out a quality game, or just some eye candy with far too many events included
      I did fancy a good track and field game again after all these years on from the PS1 decathlon game that I enjoyed.
      It seems like they have taken the latter path…..Balls!

      Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 18:14.
  2. fs
    Since: May 2012

    Good review, but a good review of a poor game is sort of like watching rubbish TV in HD.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 13:29.
  3. Forrest_01
    Since: Jun 2009

    “London 2012 also boasts option motion controls, although due to how much precision is required in some of the events motion controls may not be able to read the required movements well enough”

    So can you can use move with this title? I don’t know if it’s just me, but i found the above statement a little ambiguous (as it could be referring to kinect, sixaxis etc). Apologies if it is just me.

    If it does utilise move, surely that should be more accurate rather than less, shouldn’t it? If not, that’s a massive oversight as far as i can see, as that would draw in the sports champions crowd if done well.

    Either way, what i got from the review was that it is a 3hr long QTE, button mashing extravaganza & in which case, surely Azuras Wrath would be a better choice of game.

    I’d probably do a mini sick every time i saw that horrific 2012 logo anyway.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 13:49.
    • Aran Suddi
      Since: Sep 2011

      Oh yes, it supports Move/Kinect. This review was done on 360 so I can’t speak for how well Move is implemented. However, your summary is pretty much spot on.

      Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 14:19.
      • Forrest_01
        Since: Jun 2009

        Ah, thanks for the clarification Aran.

        Well, if move is well implemented i can see that it has some merit, but if not then its just another cash in on a popular event, like we are so used to seeing.

        I am also available for a quick summary at any time if required, such as;
        “You’d be better off buying a grape – It’s a hell of a lot cheaper & 10 times as fun”.


        Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 14:26.
  4. webby_15-0
    Since: May 2009

    if u saw my post yesterday, i usually buy every olympics game no matter what. but this looks incredibly similar to beijing 2008. looks like its the same game in different arenas. not sure if il get it now tbh.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 14:55.
  5. Motalla
    Since: Dec 2011

    These kind of games always gets me to reminisce of the games I played when I started gaming. Games like Epic’s “Summer Games”, “Winter Games”, “World Games” and last but not least “California Games”.

    I assume most of the TSA-readers won’t have a clue what I am talking about, it’s kind of an age thing.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 15:25.
    • Forrest_01
      Since: Jun 2009

      I am with you brother. :)

      Only thing is that button mashing in those days was acceptable, as you generally only had two buttons to work with (usually one for right foot, other for left).

      In fact, i think that they have generally been the same since Daly Thompsons Decathalon!! Which says a lot.

      Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 15:33.
    • bunimomike
      Since: Jul 2009

      Plenty of us do, fella. We have to go that far back to remember the greats. Sure, they might not have aged so well but they were belters back in the day. :)

      Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 15:33.
    • R1MJAW
      Since: May 2010

      Don’t worry mate, there are plenty of us old timers kicking about on TSA. Summer Games and World Games are particular favourites of mine along with Track & Field (the arcade version).

      Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 15:44.
      • shields_t
        Since: Oct 2008

        Old timers? Blimey, I recall Daley Thompson’s decathlon, that was out before the ps1 was even a glimmer in sony’s eye!

        Comment posted on 13/07/2012 at 08:21.
  6. Amphlett
    Since: Jul 2009

    Love the way that all of the outdoor screenshots show blue sky with fluffy white clouds. I doubt that will be the case come the real event.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 16:13.
  7. El_Mariachi
    Since: Jan 2011

    Is there hot seat multiplayer?
    Because I dont want to break my almost 2 decade run of having a good old world class gaming session when a new Olympic game comes out!
    We all have our tools – be they lighters, bottle tops or knuckles- they all come out every 2 years or so, and records will be broken. (still got a scar on my palm from setting the WR in the hammer throw – Athens 2004)
    It is going to very good to beat Athens 2004 (ps2) though, that game is the best one since “Galactic Games” on the spectrum. (does anyone else remember this?)

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 18:04.
  8. Sitorimon
    Since: Jul 2011

    I have enjoyed the game so far and its good fun online for a bit but there’s one key problem wrong. There’s NO button mashing in the proper sense. Even the 100 meters involves going at a specific tempo. I was flexing my fingers and everything and then that appeared. Argh!

    Comment posted on 10/07/2012 at 19:14.
  9. RaviGroup
    Since: Oct 2013

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 08/10/2013 at 16:45.

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