Athletics games not titled Track & Field don’t have the greatest rep, and for good reason. The whole ‘tap A and B simultaneously until you can’t feel anything in your fingers, hand or right arm for the next 3 hours’ control scheme is not exactly ideal, and hasn’t shown even the slightest hint of evolving since the early 90s, with only Mario and Sonic’s Olympic efforts coming close to bucking the trend.
With this in mind, we were skeptical, and a little wary for the sake of our Xbox controllers’ long-term future when we picked up London 2012. However, after we made it past the impressive opening visuals and finished listening to the calming classical music during the extremely pretty loading screens, we were surprised to find that the control scheme is actually...OK
Yep, we’re not sure how SEGA managed it, but they have made a modern day Olympics title that plays really quite well. Emphasis has been taken away from button-bashing, stick-twiddling and such, in favour of more simplistic rhythm based controls in most events. If thumbs could breathe a sigh of relief, we’re pretty sure ours would’ve.
Sure, it’s not going to win any awards for innovation on that front, but what it does do, is make the game accessible to absolutely everyone. Trust us, your nan will love this game, and she’ll love beating you in the 100m sprint even more.
Couple the improved control scheme with a host of polished visuals and a huge selection of different, and for the most part varied, game modes and what you’ve got is actually an extremely playable athletics sim.
+Easy to pick up and play.
+Surprisingly usable controls.
-Not much replay value.
-Tacked on Kinect controls.
-STILL no licensed athletes.