|a game by||49Games GmbH|
|Platforms:||XBox, PC, Playstation 2|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 4 votes|
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|See also:||Olympic Games|
As A Rule of thumb, any sport that requires water in any of its physical forms - ice or snow, for instance - is often a waste of time. As a further rule of thumb, licensed games cobbled together to cash in on a televised sporting occasion are usually a further waste of time. Throw both maxims together, and you've got whatever the opposite of gold is.
Torino 2006 is of course the obligatory official licensed product' of the Winter Olympics, in which a variety of entirely unsuitable events are shoehorned into a videogame on the basis that people will see the Olympics on the telly and go out and buy the game. And the sad truth is, that's exactly what will happen, despite the fact that as a game it fails to engage on almost every level.
Of the 15 events featured, over eight main disciplines - Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Luge, Speed Skating, Ski Jumping, Cross-Country Skiing and Nordic Combined - less than half can even claim to be genuinely interactive. The rest are essentially a series of rhythm-action games that happen to have vaguely related low temperature-based action taking place on the screen simultaneously.
The developer has even resorted to the vintage 'Daley Thompson' control method, requiring you to pummel alternate keys to get your Speed Skater up to speed. While Daley Thompson's Decathlon was a classic of its time, we'd like to imagine things have moved on somewhat since those Spectrum-battering days.
In its defence, the Downhill Skiing sections are playable, requiring a reasonable amount of co-ordination. The Bobsleigh and Luge are mildly impressive in terms of speed, but without the imminent threat of decapitation, soon lose their appeal. And you might try the Ski Jumping a couple of times. As for the rest, they're thoroughly joyless, with the Cross-Country Skiing proving a particularly moribund experience.
The bottom line is that these events, while fairly dreary in reality, simply have no place in a game. For all its production values and official licence, ultimately you'd have a more interactive experience playing with a yoyo while watching the Winter Olympics on the telly.