A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that London 2012 is a sports simulation of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. It encourages players to take pride in their country's athletes by competing under a national flag of their choice, and promotes physical exercise not just through the depiction of dozens of events but also the option of motion control, which gets players up off the couch. Some players could be frustrated by the need to learn new controls for each event. Parents should take note that an online mode provides support for open voice communication with strangers.
What's it about?
LONDON 2012 offers players the chance to try dozens of events featured at the London Summer Olympics. Kids will compete in multiple events in the disciplines of archery, aquatics, gymnastics, shooting, and track and field, as well as several one-off sports, including beach volleyball, kayaking, cycling, table tennis, and weightlifting. Local modes allow players to work through a lengthy roster of events on their own or go up against friends and family in their living room in quick party play competitions. An online mode pits players against others online, letting them strive to improve the ranking of their chosen country by earning National Pride points. Some events offer players the option of motion control using a PlayStation Move or Xbox Kinect peripheral.
Is it any good?
Like most other Olympics simulations, the value of London 2012 will be greatest in the weeks immediately preceding and during the summer Olympics, with diminishing returns coming after the London games have completed. With the exception of table tennis and beach volleyball, the events are fun and competently designed, and the presentation -- including photo-realistic graphics and telecast-style commentary -- is surprisingly good. However, going for gold after all the medals have been handed out in London will likely seem a little anti-climactic.
Continued enjoyment will depend on the player's interest in key events. Kids into swimming may have fun coming back to the diving and speed competitions, which feature a broad range of styles with subtle differences. Ditto for fans of track and field, who've been given nearly a dozen decent events from which to choose. However, fans of Olympic sports not featured in the game -- equestrian, boxing, fencing, sailing, and basketball, to name just a few -- will likely lose interest sooner rather than later.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Olympics. What are your favorite events? Have you tried competing in these sports at school?
Families can also discuss the idea of national pride. Why might it be good to feel pride in athletes competing for one's country? Can you think of any negative consequences that might come with overzealous or blind national pride?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Social Studies: global awareness
- Skills: Health & Fitness: body awareness, fitness, movement
Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sega of America
- Release date: June 26, 2012
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.