Sydney 2000, to put it mildly, is a button mashing fest; to put it another way, it’s quite possibly the most repetitive game we have ever played. There are 12 events in the game and in nearly every one all you do is pound the power buttons (you can use the arrow keys on your poor keyboard or the buttons on a gamepad) as fast as you can and then press the action button to perform a task (like throwing a javelin, leaning at the finish line, or what have you). That’s about it. Events include the 100m dash, 110m hurdles, high jump, skeet shooting (nearly impossible to play with the keyboard), weightlifting, kayaking, cycling, hammer throw, triple jump, swimming, diving, and javelin.
Want to give your player a name? You can’t. All you can do is choose a set of initials. Want to at least name the computer opponents? Nope. All of the computer opponents are generic, too. What makes the Olympics so great is the athletes themselves, and the competitors are devoid any of flare in Sydney 2000. Even more bizarre, you can’t select race or gender for your persona, either. In one event you may be a black male and the next event you may be a white woman or a white male. Why not let us decide what we want to look like on screen?
Some slackness can be tolerated; after all it’s been a while since we’ve even seen a track and field game, but the mind numbing gameplay is unforgivable. Summer Games was nowhere near this taxing. It’s difficult to play the game for more than 30 minutes at a time as muscle fatigue starts to set in. That’s how repetitive it is. Sydney 2000 is a prime example of a game that should have stayed where it belonged-on the consoles. This is not a PC game. There is no mouse support whatsoever, you can’t use your keyboard to type in your initials, and trying to play against a buddy or two on the same machine is an exercise in futility.
System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95
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